The one day of the week where I own up to something.
I'm a Meal Planner.
Every week my wife and I decide what we are going to eat for the coming week so that when Saturday rolls around we've got our shopping list sorted.
This one simple thing makes life easier when we go shopping.
There is nothing worse than trying to decide what to eat and buy on the fly.
Planning and Preparation
I think of my meal plan like a gym program it gives me direction and purpose.
Whose gone into the gym and stood around not knowing what to do because you weren't prepared?
Just imagine standing in the supermarket with all these great ingredients laid out before you.
Where do I start? Vegetables? Proteins? Carbs?
Without knowing it you've put pressure on yourself to have to make a decision then and there and in that moment you'll go for the easy option which may not be the most nutritious.
With a little organisation you can make shopping a breeze and not a chore.
Where to start?
There are plenty of options.
Cookbooks. Google. Facebook. Instagram. Pintrest.
My favourite cookbook for simple and easy recipes is the CSIRO Complete Recipe Collection. I'm no chef and this book is perfect for those wanting easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious meals.
We've been posting some of our meal plans on Instagram so click the link below to have a look.
When deciding on meals for the week I have a few criteria that I take into account just to make life easier.
- Will it make leftovers for lunch the next day? Not all meals for the week have to pass this test but at least half will fall into this category.
- What is the weather forecast for the coming week? This may seem like a strange one but I don't want to be using the oven if the weather is going to be hot.
- Try and use seasonal ingredients as much as possible. This keeps the cost down because buying out of season is more expensive or it's just not available.
- Some recipes are perfect for cooking in batches like meat sauces or stews that can be portioned up and frozen for later use.
A Bonus Suggestion To Make Life A Bit Easier
If you don't own a slow cooker I would highly recommend getting one. They're not expensive and are dead simple to use. Most recipes involve throwing all the ingredients in at once and leaving for a few hours until the food is done. It is perfect for making meals big enough to be portioned out for later use.
Why I love it.
Meal planning really allows you to expand your diet by adding something new or different each week.
I know for sure that if I had to improvise on the spot my choices would become pretty repetitive.
In saying that we do have some favourites that make regular appearances like chilli can carne, spinach and feta pie and vegetarian sausage rolls.
Food does not have to be complicated or cause you stress. A simple process like a meal plan can make food preparation quicker and easier.
I encourage you to give it a try even if it's only a few basic recipes to start with and see how you go.