My oh my, we have reached the M of the A to Z April Blog Challenge! The letter M today will be focused on Meal Planning.
When living more frugally or managing the food budgets closely knowing what you want to eat and what you need to make it is a must. Just being aware of what you need over what you want when you hit the supermarket will help you stay in budget. Looking in the fridge and cupboard before you write you meal plan and shopping list for the week will ensure that food waste is minimized (yes you can use that forgotten piece of cheese for something).
At the start of the Frugal Veggie blog, Monday meal plans were to become a bit of a feature.
Indeed before blogging about our eating I had this idea that meal planning would be like a magic wand of the budgeting world, it certainly does have it’s benefits. Here are my top three…
- While strict meal planning the two adults eating here were fed on £17.84 a week. This covered the cost of cooked evening meals, breakfasts and lunches each day.
- Food waste was reduced.
- Husband was more involved in the cooking, if I was working a meal would be planned that he was happy and confident to prepare.
So meal plans are a bit of a no brainer, you would think. But Meal plans are not for every one. Indeed they have there draw backs. The husband and I have chatted about the continued use of a weekly meal planner, it’s current status is “under revision”.
Why the change of heart I hear you ask? Well for every up side there is a down side our top three reasons for restructuring the Meal plan approach are…
- Sometimes we just don’t fancy what was planned – if it is bubbling away in the slow cooker it is a bit late to change your mind.
- We became significantly more carbohydrate reliant, every meal was paired with rice, potato or pasta.
- Our food became more predictable, call me mad call me crazy but I enjoy the chaos of inventing an edible meal with no clue of how it will end up.
So to the compromise and how our approach to meal planning will be framed in the future. We will include our favorite choices, on my work days there will be a named meal for the husband to cook (I am not going to give up that wonder). On other days, when I have more time only the main ingredient will be listed, so I can create away, play in the tiny cooking cupboard of our home and hopefully bring a variety of new flavors to our table and subsequently to this blog.
Meal Planning has many benefits to us, even the negative points that have cropped up might not have been noticed had we not been planing and tracking what we were eating. How do you plan yours?