I have been asked a couple of times about my meal planning and preparation routine. I first started to meal plan way back in 2008 as a working mother, completing my masters studies. Sticking to a budget and having access to healthy food at the right time were my main motivators at the time. I’m going to be honest and own up that meal planning and prep quickly became a necessity, after a few instances of hungry child and husband going shopping, getting junk food and cleaning supplies! (I still maintain that corn chips and bleach should not be put into the same bag… emphatically!)
Downloadable paper planners along with Microsoft Word and Excel were the first tools I started off with, as they
- were simple to use – fill out and print,
- could be laminated and reused with a white board marker
- were easy for the family to fill in with their choices for the next week.
The next thing I discovered was meal planning options through websites like The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – for completely plant based meal plans, Epicurious.com and the Food Network. These were great as they had recipes and I could try and incorporate a few new dishes every week.
We eventually moved on to a blackboard planner, much to my husband’s horror, as he was convinced our house was fast turning into a corner café! Child 2 had arrived by then and decided to meticulously draw and scribble all over the blackboard… Out went the blackboard of course, in a hurry I might add!
Around this time I’d started to use my iPad more, discovering the many apps that were available for meal planning, and to make shopping lists with. These days, I tend to use a mix of apps and my old favourite, the paper version. I have attached a simple downloadable menu plan that I presently use, it prints out on an A4 sheet and is customisable, meal-planner_1
Thank you for reading and to be continued… 😊