For me meal planning means less hassle at all possible levels. It means that when I’m in a rush either taking Junior from place to place or getting my other work done, my maid knows what exactly needs to be cooked and that there’s nothing missing that I need to drive to to get! More importantly, it means less wastage since I don’t end up with rotten veggies that need to be thrown out of the fridge at the end of the week. In terms of wastage, it also means that I can conserve electricity and gas since I can make larger quantities of food and res-use for future meals.
I had a lot of wastage before I started meal planning, what with me never cooking or grocery shopping before marriage, it took me nearly 8 years to perfect it! We are a small family, just four members in the household means that its easier to fall into the trap of wastage without being able to manage portions. Meal-planning really helps.
So here are my tips for meal-planning:
- Write down your meal plans on a paper and hang it for easy access or in a place where you can refer easily when grocery shopping as well when cooking.
- When planning meals, make sure you take into note everyone’s likes and dislikes. This way you will be able to control portion size. While we all like to lay out a meal which is well balanced – cooking it and throwing it away doesn’t really meet the aim. Now I’m not encouraging you to not serve things your family dislikes (invariably, that doesn’t leave much!!) but what you can do is simply purchase less of it. For example, both my hubby and Junior dislikes beets – hubby since he just doesn’t like the taste and Junior cos he just perceives it as being spicy, that doesn’t stop me from buying beets!! I just make the quantity less.
- Never be embarrassed to buy small quantities! My hubby often asks me if I’m not shy to get just 8 beanstalks! I’m not 🙂 See if I plan on having beans only for a boiled veggie dish that week, there’s no use of me buying 500g of it. See less wastage, even though people may think I’m super cheap 🙂
- Sometimes, you can cook for two meals at once. You may opt to make a Potato curry for lunch and dinner – this makes sense as you don’t waste on gas/electricity. At other times, I boil chickpeas for a Channa Masala and boil a bit more for breakfast. Now I don’t serve the chickpeas right the next day for breakfast, instead I either freeze it or refrigerate it and have it in about 2 days!
- There are things that you cook and it just seems to big for a single sitting – at these times, when serving them into dishes, separate the extra amount and freeze it. Less wastage and you already have some food prepared for another meal!!!
That said, I’ll go onto a 7-day Meal Plan
Day 1 SUNDAY
- French Toast
- Vegetable Biriyani
- Chicken Kurma – (extras to be leftover for same day dinner)
- Carrot, Peas, Potato Curry
- Raita (extras to be leftover for same day dinner)
- Chocolate Chip Cupcakes & Banana Muffins (Extras for next day breakfast & school snack)
- Chicken wraps with Raita and salad leaves
Day 2 MONDAY
- Banana Muffins (from day before Tea)
- Banana Muffin
- Potato curry (extra for dinner)
- Snakegourd fresh salad with tomatoes and onions
- Fried Fish
- Red String hoppers
- Potato curry (left overs from lunch)
- Chicken curry (left overs to be left for next day lunch & dinner)
- Pol Sambol
Day 3 TUESDAY
- Banana Nutella Sandwich
- Chicken Curry (leftovers from day before)
- Garlic Kang kung
- Sri Lankan stir friend potatoes
- Batu moju
- Channa Masala
- Chicken (from day before leftovers)
Day 4 WEDNESDAY
- Mini Pizzas
- Roast Chicken
- Potato Salad
- Stir fried Kale
- Mashed Peas
- All leftovers from lunch put together into a pasta, and baked with cheese! Yum!
Day 5 WEDNESDAY
- Omelet Sandwich
- Omelet Sandwich
- Salmon curry
- Dhal curry
- Pumpkin curry
- Chicken Meatloaf
- Brown Gravy
- Healthy zucchini and potato wedges
Day 6 FRIDAY
- Long beans
- Fried sprats
- Cucumber Salad
- Its FRIDAY! Dinner’s from out!!!
Day 7 SATURDAY
- Banana Pancakes with maple syrup and strawberries
- Fried Fish
- Beetroot curry
- Dhal curry
- Stir-friend Spinach
- Thalana Batu
- Friend Vegetable Noodles
- Chicken stir-fried (leftovers for lunch tomorrow)
Now that a week’s meal plan. Once your meals are planned, work backwards and write out a grocery list. Against the listed items, cross reference and write the amount of each vegetable/meat/fish you would need. Once the meals are planned you’ll know how much of chicken wings, breasts, drumsticks or the different kinds of fish you would need as well. You’ll also know whether for example you need to buy pumpkin for 2 meals or one, and so on!!
Now……. this post was a bit of rushed job! It’s midterm break and I’m off on holiday tomorrow 🙂 so once I’m back will write out a month’s meal plan so everyone can refer 🙂
Till Next time!
Happy Midterm Break :))!!!!!!