Monday, 22 July 2013

The importance of meal planning.

I think that it is really important to plan your main meals each week in advance for a number of reasons.
  • To start with, it stops you standing in your kitchen with hungry children wondering what on earth you are going to make each night.
  • It can save you money as you know what you need, so helps to avoid impulse buying and it also stops you turning to take-a-ways when you do not know what to cook.
  • You never have to run to shops half way through cooking a meal to get an ingredient that you need but don't have in.
  • You can make sure your weeks meals are varied.
  • You can plan for days that you are limited on time with easier dinners.
For those of you that are new to meal planning, I thought that I would share with you how I started off planning my menus.
 
I started by getting a pen and paper and jotting down all the dinners that I could think of that I would normally make. I then made another list of all the recipe's that I have that I would like to one day make. I then had a master list that I could refer to when making my weekly menu plan. Once you have your weeks plan, you can then make a shopping list so that you have everything you need for the week. When the week is over, don't throw away your plan. You can keep it and then if you have a week where you are short on time, you can just re-use it so all you have to do is make a shopping list and your done.
 
More meal planning tips.
  • Try to include as many different food groups as possible each week for a varied and healthy diet.
  • Try to include a new recipe that you've never made before most weeks to keep things interesting.
  • If you have a week where you need to spend very little you could base your menu plan around the food that you already have in your cupboards and freezer.
  • Another way to save some money is to look online at your supermarkets offers and base your menu around the stores current offers.
  • Although it is not always practical to cook from scratch every night, try to have at least two meals a week where you do and then once you are use to that, you could try three each week and build it up to a level where you are comfortable.
  • Write your menu plan out and put up somewhere that all the family can see to stop the constant 'what's for dinner?' questions.

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