Menu planning is an important part of my weekly routine. Every Sunday I take an hour or so while my Roast Dinner is cooking in the oven (How stereotypically English of me, right?!) to go though my recipe books and things I’ve saved online to come up with a flavourful and varied menu for the week ahead.
Planning ahead allows you to ensure that you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet, as well as being able to give yourself the occasional treat too!
You might think from what you’ve read so far that meal plans are only useful if you’re trying to form the Healthy Habit of sticking to a specialist diet (wheat free, gluten free, low carb, high fibre… the list goes on!) but did you know that, if done properly, a meal plan each week can be beneficial to both your wallet and the environment as well as your health?
In the U.K alone 3.5 Million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year? This costs the average household £470 ($625) rising to a massive £700 ($931) in a household with children. [Source]. I don’t know about you but an extra £60 a month could make quite a difference to my budget!
As well as environmental and monetary improvements the health benefits aren’t just related to diet. I personally find that knowing what I’m cooking each day reduces my stress levels greatly: There’s no mad dash to the supermarket when I realise there’s nothing to eat in the fridge or cupboard. I’m also able to plan meals around activities I have planned – I don’t want to attempt to cook something that takes 2 hours when I need to be out of the house within an hour after getting in from work.
A menu planner allows me to see where I may be using multiples of the same item too. For example it works out cheaper to buy a bag of 3 peppers than it does to buy them individually so if I’m going to be using two peppers that week I know I can get the 3 and freeze the extra saving on money and waste.
A menu planner also allows me to look at what leftovers I have in the fridge and freezer and see what’s going out of date in the cupboard so I can make sure as little as possible gets wasted.
How You Can Plan Your Meals
There are a variety of ways you can plan your menus, you can pop a note in your diary and keep a shopping list handy, or you can use one of my Handy Meal Planners that allow you to work out your meals, what you need to buy and what leftovers you need to use up.
There are two different styles of the Meal Planners, both have the same functionality they’re just a little different style and size wise.
Meal Planner – Pastel Design
This pastel themed meal planner allows you to write down the breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day as well as what you need to buy and use up. The planner kit contains letter/A4, A5 and Happy Planner formats.
FlipMealPlan – Functional Meal Planner
The FlipMealPlan is a functional planner that allows you to list out your evening meal, along with side dishes and deserts. You can also add in items you need to buy and what you need to use up
How Do You Plan Your Meals?
Do you just wing it or are you super-organised? Let us know in the comments. Also, if there are any comments or suggestions on the planners I’d love to hear them too.