Friday, 30 August 2013

How I meal plan

One of the things I do to save our family money is meal plan. I'm really pleased with the results so far. I meal plan every Friday morning because Fridays are when the kiddo and I go to the market to get fresh fruits and veggies, spices, and sometimes bread. I usually plan our family dinners, as well as the kiddo's lunches. This is how I meal plan: 

1. Take an inventory of what we already have. Our fridge is pretty small, and the extra freezer we have is really not enough. I always freeze the veg that we buy at the market, so the first thing I do is look at what we have left over from the previous week. Because our fridge and freezer space is limited, there is usually not much left over. I look at the meat that we have, as well as pantry items. 

2. I look at the meal plan from the previous week. Did we make everything I planned on? Do we still have the ingredients to reuse some of those things. 

3. I have a look through a recipe book that my hubby bought me a few years ago for New Year (Новый Год).

4. Have a look online/pinterest for things I wanted to try. 

5.I write down the meals and list all of the ingredients with my list of meals that I hang on the fridge. As I go, I make a list of what I need to get from the market. 

* I also try to incorporate left overs into meal planning by specifically picking which meals I will make bigger. I loooooveeeeee just being able to warm up some food because it leaves an extra twenty minutes in my day to play with my kiddo :) 

So that's it. It's pretty simple, but it really works. I have really been pleased with freezing our veggies, which we started doing a few months ago. We used to really waste a lot of veg because things would not get used straight away, or we would not want to chop carrots or other veg each day when cooking dinner. Freezing has helped with saving money in that we have less waste, but also with convenience because we are able to pull out a bag of veg, toss some into whatever pan we are using. It's easy, especially during the week when I have  so much to get done. 

Before I go, here's what's on the list for this upcoming week: 

1. Barbecue at hubby's work today! (we're going to go on a boat ride, too! Really looking forward to it!) 
2. Mexican lasagna 
3. Broccoli and cauliflower bake
4. Thyme roasted beets and steaks
5. Broccoli pilaf (with ground meat in it). *make left overs* 
6. Left overs
7.'stampot'. This is mashed potatoes with a kinds of stuff in it. This will consist of potatoes from my mother in law's garden, bacon, green onion, garlic. We will have some kind of meat on the side that I prepare in a slow cooker. Salad on the side to get some extra veg. 

The kiddo will eat most of this, as well. The only thing I'm not sure about is number seven, so I may give him left overs from one of his lunches, which will be veggie patties, but I'm not sure. 

Well, that's all for now! Thanks for visiting!