If you are looking to cut down on your food spending and take some of the stress out of the eternal “what’s for dinner” question, download our FREE weekly meal plan. A few minutes of planning can save you a ton of time during the week!
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When I started meal planning, I couldn’t believe the difference to our weekly food budget! We noticeably spent less, and we were eating much better. Taking a few minutes to plan also encouraged me to try new meals and stop relying on convenient choices and quick fixes.
If you have never tried meal planning, it really is worth a go – you will love the feeling of satisfaction when you know that exactly what you need is in the fridge and ready to go!
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How to Create a Weekly Meal Plan
Start by taking a few minutes each week to look through your fridge, freezer and cupboards to see what you have. Then pick some meals that use up your fresh ingredients and fill them in on the weekly meal plan.
I like to sit down with a few cookbooks and pick out favourite meals or new recipes to try, and add them to the plan. Don’t forget to think about lunch boxes, snacks, weekend breakfasts and baking so you don’t have to make a return trip to the supermarket for any forgotten items.
On days when I know we have activities or will be home late, I try to use my slow cooker or plan ahead and have leftovers waiting to be transformed into another tasty meal. It’s days like these that are usually my downfall, and it ends up being a scramble to throw something together.
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The other interesting thing I discovered when I started using a weekly meal plan was that I could see at a glance whether we were eating too much or too little of something – not enough vegetables, too much meat or pasta, very little fish, and so on.
I started aiming for at least a few meatless meals throughout the week. I also make bigger batches of some dinners so that there are planned leftover nights. With a new slant, the same dinner can be transformed into something else – leftover chilli can become a topping for baked potatoes, leftover chicken casserole can become a chicken pie, extra veggies can be made into soup, etc.
You can download your free weekly meal plan here, ready to go for you to fill in your family’s meals. Don’t forget to let us know how you get on!
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Do you find making a weekly meal plan helps you to stay on track? What other tips do you have? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!