This week I will share how meal planning for the ad hoc week is super useful for a family juggling the fact that each member has different schedules and likes and dislikes. There is no doubt that taking a few minutes once a week to create a plan for the meals you’d like to have or prepare for, can help you to save thousands in the long run.
I have definitely been seeing a reduction in my grocery bill, savings on time spent in the supermarket, and less food wastage in my household now that we do our meal planning. I make a definite effort to look out for yellow-stickered food items these days.
This week we had such a lot going on. There were two birthday parties, trips away from home, and two house guests (including a vegan) so we would definitely be frazzled if we didn’t have a plan in place.
One of the best things we ever did since we started meal planning is to portion out, label and freeze any leftovers. This always serves us well when ad hoc weeks like this one comes up.
The next thing we would suggest, in order to have a plan for the ad hoc week, is to always have a few basic items in that you can use to make a quick meal. Items such as pasta, potatoes, and grated cheese, frozen peas, sweetcorn and other vegetables always come in handy.
We really only had two days when the whole family was home for dinner together so having extra home-cooked meals in the freezer saved us. All we had to do was to figure out who would be home when, and just retrieve a meal or two for them to microwave when they were ready.
Here are some of the meals that featured this week:
Fish Pie (made fresh)
Lentil curry with quinoa (frozen dish)
Tuna pasta bake (made fresh)
Vegetable soup (frozen dish)
Jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw (made fresh)
The thing to do is to always have a plan but also to plan for eventualities. Having meals in the freezer certainly saved us from having to go out to buy meals on a whim.
One of the other many benefits of meal planning is that you only buy ingredients for the items you know you are going to prepare. This way there is much less food wastage. In fact, if you practise this, you will find that for a week or two, you may be able to ‘shop directly from your freezer’ for the meals your family needs.
Do let us know how you are getting on with your meal planning. What are the benefits you are noticing? And what tips would you share for managing when things get ad hoc in the family? Share with us in the comments section below.