Meal Planning

Today I want to talk about one of my favourite organising tasks – meal planning.

I’m a foodie. I feel happy when I have a well stocked and ordered kitchen and I love having a crowd of family and friends around the table and sharing food with them. I can’t wait for times when big meals, BBQs and shared picnics become the norm again.

Because of my background in nutrition, it’s important to me that, as much as possible, we eat organically produced food, that we eat what is fresh and in season and that our food is locally produced.

For these reasons, some of my favourite places to shop are:

Riverford – they bring our weekly vegetables, fruit and milk

Hodmedods – stock amazing UK grown pulses and grains

Suma – they bring our bulk essentials

Pipers – my go to for meat

Having food in the kitchen from these lovely producers, each week before I sit to make my plan I do a quick inventory of the kitchen.

  • what vegetables did we get this week?
  • what meat do we have in the freezer?
  • what leftovers are in the freezer? – handy for quick mid week meals
  • which dry pulses and grains do we have?
  • what else in the fridge do we need to make use of this week? – maybe tofu, cheese, cooked pulses or grains

Then I’ll sit, with a cup of something delicious and a few of my favourite recipe books, and plan meals for the week. I’ll make sure that there’s a plan for all of the fresh ingredients and some of the freezer or dried goods.

Some people like to list which meals they will eat on which specific day. My inner rebel can’t deal with quite that much structure, so I list 7 evening meals and decide as the week goes on what order those meals will appear. I make sure to include a couple of really quick meals for days where time is of the essence, some with more preparation involved and a couple of salad or soup veg plans for lunches.

I make a list of any ingredients that we don’t have, buy them, and then know that we will have what we need for the week’s meals taking the stress out of daily meal preparation.

I’m a pen and paper girl. I hand write my list and stick it to the fridge with a magnet, but there are also handy apps for keeping track of your kitchen stock, for storing recipes and some that link to online shops to buy the ingredients.

How do you meal plan?
Where do you start? With what you want to cook or with what you have in the kitchen?
Do you use an app? I’d love to hear if you have favourite ones.
Do you plan a week or a month at a time?

Let me know your favourite meal planning tips.

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