Why meal planning isn’t just for boring bitches

So you want to save money? You want to stop spending on takeaways, eating out or buying ready meals? Want to claw back a bit of cash and lead a smoother life? Well you need meal planning. Yes, yes, I know – surely meal planning is only for boring bitches with too much time on their hand or little to no social life. Think again sugar tits we here at A Thrifty Mrs are firm meal plan lovers. Meal planning means I have more time, more money and more sanity plus it means I get to spend more time with my friends than faffing about wondering what to make for dinner only to break down and call for a takeaway when everyone is hungry and grumpy at 9.30pm.

aldi eggs

Meal planning is simple and can be done numerous ways but here are the ways which work best for us.
1. Go through your cupboard and make meals based on what you already have.
2. Write out a meal plan and decide your shopping list from there.
We sit down on a Sunday for a mere 15 minutes and write out a physical list, which we pop onto the fridge, of what we’ll be eating on which days and for which meals. We work out which days we won’t be home for supper or days we’ll be late. We’ll factor in meals which can do double duty as lunch the next day or frozen for a fast meal much later in the week.
I know some people like spontaneity and that’s fine, we’re happy to move things about a bit or switch out a spag bol to a chilli or chicken pasta to chicken wraps.
Food doesn’t get thrown away. Food doesn’t get taken out of the freezer only to never see the inside of a pan. We know where we stand, we’re able to make our meals fit into our budget and save money. There is no more fuss about what we’re eating and when, no spending half the evening deciding what to eat. Bish, bash, bosh – eat dinner and off out to socialise.
You don’t have to be old to meal plan – I was 25 when we started.
You don’t have to have children.
You don’t have to live with other people.
You don’t have to spend your evenings in doing nothing.
You don’t have to eat crap.
You don’t have to be a boring bitch to save money and get your life organised.

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If you want to save money and you still think meal planning is below you or just for boring people then I highly suggest you think again and give it a try. Try it for at least a month, a week is great but it won’t show you any real difference.
If you’re in real financial dire straits and still think meal planning is below you because you like spontaneity then I suggest you forget about living a spontaneous foodie life for a while and learn to meal plan, budget and make money and food stretch. It wasn’t the most fun for us to start with and people still sneer now but we have managed to save a lot of money and we feel a lot more organised.
Any idea where the notion that meal planning is for boring people came from?

You might also find useful:
How to spend less on food

TTFN,

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P.S. Do you meal plan?

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A Thrifty Mrs

El aka A Thrifty Mrs is a freelance journalist and founder of athriftymrs.com When not sharing thrifty tips and the best of British sales she enjoys trash TV, mooching around charity shops and trying out every mascara on the market.

Latest posts by A Thrifty Mrs (see all)

Comments

  1. I LOVE this post! Totally behind the message that it’s not for boring bitches- I started doing this when I was 14 (thanks to a messy divorce, I was thrust into the role of ‘grown up’) and I would never, ever have gotten us by without this. I still do it to this day, and the friends who sneer at me stop it soon enough when they see how much smaller my shopping budget is!
    Points to you, good madam, for standing up for meal planning!

  2. I often do meal plans – it makes eating so much cheaper, and as it’s just me I often purposefully make a few portions in one batch to freeze for when I’m feeling lazy. I also stopped eating out for lunch at work, and just buy five rolls and two packs of ham for the week. All of it together makes my eating so much cheaper, which means more money to spend on other things – things that are certainly not boring!

  3. I love meal planning – I do one shop a fortnight and don’t have to worry that we don’t have this or that. Plus, it makes budgeting, eating healthy etc so much easier.

    PS. My ALDI in Australia has the same floor tiles as yours!

  4. sometimes I do, but I should do it more.

    Gill

  5. I’m 18 and I do it! I used to throw so much food away before we started doing meal plans. I can’t remember the name of it but there is a website where you can type in the ingredients you have and it will give you different recipes that you can make with it. xx

  6. I love this! I’ve been trying to meal plan a lot recently. Mainly because we’d hum and ha about dinner then it would get late we’d be ravenous and I’d order take out then feel bad about ordering take out. Also we’d end up throwing out mince or chicken that was past use by bc we’d not got round to it. Madness.
    So we’ve been trying to meal plan to eat healthier and use what’s in our cupboards! I’m trying to find a laminated meal plan for the fridge( how sad am I?)
    I think meal planning and boring probably came from more austere times when rations had to be planned, doing it post war probably seemed very boring. Or it’s maybe considered a bit anal, I don’t know!

    Dp
    X

    http://Www.inanityandthegirl.com

  7. I do! But mainly because I’m not capable of cooking without a recipe in front of me, so I like to make sure I have everything I need. There’s nothing worse than peering into an empty cupboard and wondering WTF can I make? It’s definitely a money and time saver, and not boring at all.

  8. OH YES I MEAL PLAN and edit my shopping list to the hilt. Having spent crazy amounts of money on grocery shopping in the past my spending is now consistent month on month.
    Shopping in certain 4 letter word supermarkets as your pic suggests also helps keep me on the straight and narrow xo

  9. I do it every so often. Especially when its just me and the hubby. Now we live with his parents its a bit more difficult. I found it easiest when I lived on my own and had no-one else’s fussiness interfere. I’d often cook in bulk as well. Making enough stew/chilli/bolognese sauce to be frozen and just microwaved when I got home. I’d also divide chicken breasts into portions for myself rather than freezing a whole pack. Yes I still had the odd ready meal but I had budgeted for those. Its not hard and I actually enjoy knowing what I’m having all week, especially as I have a few issues with my stomach.

  10. I’m only 21 and I love to organise everything like dinners etc. I have endless lists of what needs to be done each day and countless reminders set on my phone. It doesn’t take much effort to be organised once you get used to it, but it makes a massive difference to your life and reduces stress!

  11. I meal plan to an extent – mainly to save money and keep sane. Even more so now I’m trying to eat healthier. What drives me mad is when I’ve planned a meal and just before it goes on boyfriend says “oh, I don’t really fancy that…” argh!

  12. I run workshops on reducing food waste and meal planning is essential! Many people waste food (over 20% of food in the home ends up in the bin)due to poor planning, buying too much, cooking too much or not storing leftovers correctly. We’re big fans of batch cooking easy things like curry, casseroles and pasta sauces in putting them in the freezer as a cheaper alternative to delivery pizza. And they taste wonderful on a freezing cold night!

  13. i meal plan …..my friends think its hilarious….but for me its one think once a week instead of having to think every day…its one shop…and its financial necessity!

  14. We have been planning our meals each week and writing lists for the last 3 years and its so much easier. It means we don’t wander around the store aimlessly, we use pretty much everything we buy, we buy less take aways and we can get straight on with cooking as soon as we get in. The fact that I have a cute heart shaped black board to hang it on helps. As for being boring.. We cook much more exciting meals, spend much less time food shopping or thinking about meals and regularly swap thing around or move things along a day to go out go out got a meal or spend time with friends. X

  15. This is a good idea – we have always had meal plans for as long as I can remember, and it alwaya avoids last minute panics! xo

  16. I shop online fortnightly and have rotational menus, it was initially to help me stick to the slimmig world
    Plan but I found it saved me heaps as I tried to reduce the total more and more and still stick to th plan. I’ve now got 4 menus that correlate to 4 Asda shopping lists (it’s the only organised thing I’ve eve done in my life) x

  17. Wow! I am totally impressed by what Thrifty has put together in this post. I can get so overwhelmed with meal planning, and I often grow weary. Right now, I want someone to plan my meals for me, but I want them to be good, wholesome, nutrient dense foods:d

  18. Hey,thanks to your original post involving this we be been meal planning for a few months now,in conjunction with our shopping list.We have Cath kidson shopping list and menu notpepadswhich are fridge mounted and used together to plan. I actually really enjoy it,but then I am an organisation Nazi.my favourite week has to be when I batch cooked lasagne and cottage pie!12 portions for the week just between those two!such a good feeling!xxx

  19. I didn’t know that people thought meal planning was boring?! I thought it was totally normal!

    I also think it depends on how well you can cook and how imaginative you are with the ingredients you have. I can conjure up all kinds of weird and wonderful combinations in my meals. I have to really, I write about food too!

    x

  20. Yes I do meal plan for lunch and tea. I think it’s more boring to have to eat a over-processed, bland meal served up by the canteen followed by a vending machine chocolate bar than a home-prepped meal you can pop in the microwave. It’s boring to have to sit in work wondering what you have in the fridge and trying to decide what you’re going to have for tea. Being organised free’s up your time, money and mind – not boring!!

  21. We have recently started meal planning again in our house & I struggled at first because I didn’t know what I’d want to eat next Thursday lunch time – I barely know what I want to eat for breakfast! But it does make a difference & I’ve found that I start to really look forward to what we’ve planned because you know it’s going to be a good meal rather than something cobbled together.

  22. My friends laughed when they found my meal planning notepad, but I felt nicely smug knowing that I now spend nearly £100 a month less on food now that I meal plan!

  23. I have been meal planning on and off (mainly on) for years now. I find that on the weeks I haven’t managed to plan anything for one reason or another I am completely thrown out. It tends to spiral into other areas making me feel generally disorganised. I do have kids and find that when they know the answer to “what’s for tea” they don’t bug me for treats or extras as they know what’s coming. Plus it helps us to keep our food bills low (around £350 for a family of 4 for the month), which is very helpful as I am currently out of work, although I am always looking at ways we can trim it down even further.

  24. No, but I know I should and it is not only because it saves money – it also saves a lot of waste.
    ♥nic

  25. “My name is Sonata and I meal plan ” There , I’ve said it !
    It’s only sensible , really , since it saves the awful rummaging in the back of the fridge for a vital ingredient .
    Of course , it always helps if then you actually take the shopping list with you ! Ahem .

  26. I’m 21 and started doing this when I started uni at 19. Being organised means that I not only have more money, but cook far more exciting things than my flatmates who live of beans and toast, pizza and baked potatoes. Who’s boring now?!

  27. I too love Meal planning! Especially since your original post on this! I’ve got CK Menu and shopping list pads which are fridge mounted and I cross reference both of them. A particularly favourite week was when I batch made lasagne and cottage pie, 12 portions outta that! My one annoyance is the size of my freezer limiting how much I can do that :( xxx

  28. “Think again sugar tits” – this got my day off to a great start :) We don’t meal plan as my husband does the cooking and has a knack for magicking up meals that I just do not. However, when he’s away, I do plan what I’ll be eating, or else I’d live off beans on toast!

  29. Meal planning seems quite natural to me; why would anyone buy random food? Much easier to buy food with meals in mind and check dates as to when you have said meals.

    I tend to plan ‘what meals we will have within the week’ being a little flexible about exact days.I buy fresh meat/fish/veg for 2-4 meals a week and use store cupboard/freezer food to cook the rest (then note what is used and replace it)- as in frozen veg, meat, fish not readymeals. This allows some flexibility, for example if the canteen at work has EVERYTHING tuna one day (as sometimes happens) I can move my tuna bake to the next day, but I still know everything will get used by the end of the week.

  30. I have a big family but have never got my head around meal planning. I am constantly forgetting to get something out of the freezer or not using something in the fridge which then goes out of its sell by date – this is very annoying if it is something like fresh meat. I struggle with ‘freezer management’ i.e. knowing what is in my freezer and not using what is already in it! I know how to cook, use left overs etc, but my supermarket shopping shop planning is shocking. Thanks for this post Mrs T

  31. We meal plan,

    After years of being bored to death with the what shall we have tonight conversation with myself and getting no ideas from anyone else in the house either, it was essential to my stress levels more than anything. We have also found that you can put in a few new receipes and try new things out too with planning and eat better too. I found I got stuck in a food rut before and did the same boring things. Meal planning rocks! And you can always switch what you have each day around within reason too.

    P x

  32. I LOVE meal planning! I have a spreadsheet of meal ideas (I have a carb-free husband and a son with severe food allergies so having a go to list means we don’t get stuck in a boring rut) and another spreadsheet with our days’ meals on. Then on that spreadsheet we also have a shopping list column, the top of which are all the things we get regularly. SO much easier than trying to hoof it!

  33. We’re getting back to it after getting completely disorganised over the summer. We tend to do a big monthly online shop for tins and cupboard supplies, and then buy our fresh bits weekly. Online shopping I am far less likely to impulse buy too :) we freeze all our fresh meat into portions as soon as its bought and then defrost for each meal. For our meal planning, we tend to put together all the meals for the week, but allow flexibility. We take things out to defrost the night before so if I fancy a really warming meal, we’ll choose the stew that day etc cos I can be a very mood based eater. But meal planning rules. Saves a damn fortune plus stops waste. And that means more cash for fun things? where’s the boringness in that?
    xxx

  34. Best post title ever! I love your writing style and the fact that you’re so honest and to the point. I don’t think meal planning means you’re boring, for us it means we have more interesting meals as it’s when I don’t plan ahead that we get to dinner time and I think crap what are we going to eat, oh let’s just have pasta (again). It does make it cheaper as you shop to the meal plan instead of chucking random items in the trolley, and we don’t waste food like we used to.

  35. Best post title ever! I love your writing style and the fact that you’re so honest and to the point. I don’t think meal planning means you’re boring, for us it means we have more interesting meals as it’s when I don’t plan ahead that we get to dinner time and I think crap what are we going to eat, oh let’s just have pasta (again). It does make it cheaper as you shop to the meal plan instead of chucking random items in the trolley, and we don’t waste food like we used to.

  36. Definitely want to start doing this since food is so expensive these days I just hate to see it wasted! Great post as always :)

  37. We started meal planning from when we moved in together. Admittedly, there are weeks where we don’t meal plan as well as others or eat more than we should, but we generally know what meals we can cook with some cupboard and freezer staples. I think one of the keys to meal planning is being a confident cook. If people have never cooked things from scratch before, they will find it hard. I found the Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food book quite good for basic recipes though, his recipes for the roast dinners and rogan josh are our favourites. He also shows you how many different things you can make with a packet of minced beef. Our freezer is hardly ever without some minced beef or bacon in it!

    It’d be interesting to see what a typical big shop for you looks like, could get some new thrifty tips for meal planning :)

    • I agree! J would love to know what mrs Thriftys food shop looks like! And I reeeeally want that JO book now! I am beginning to meal plan. We do a monthly shop each payday for cupboard foods and buy fresh bits throughout the month like milk or veg! Its really helped save time, the stress of trying to choose what were gonna have each night and definately saved us money! I just want to get even more efficient now!

  38. i would be lost without meal planning, even if i only plan a few days at least we know what we are doing. i would be grateful if you have any other sort of meal time tips, we have already tried the cutting meat out of meals and saved a nice bit of money xxxx

  39. I’d like to start meal planning but I don’t know where to start!!! I certainly don’t feel peoe are boring who do it, I just don’t know where/ how to start and frankly it feels overwhelming.
    Any tips appreciated. This is why I’m here. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed reading how organised systems can be with no clue where to start…
    Thanks

  40. Super tips as per usual thrifty. My sister meal plans and finds it very helpful for budgeting/organising the kids food intake etc.

    I find it difficult as the OH often has to work late at last minute notice and we often eat separately which sucks. I try to make meals that he can reheat when he gets in but it’s not ideal.

  41. I ALWAYS meal plan! I don’t know how I would survive Uni life without it :P That’s a good tip about going through your cupboards first though, have to remember that one :)

  42. We meal plan here – always have done. I also freezer any meat I buy and only get it out when its needed – I thought this was just common sense but seeing the TV scrimper programmes you realise it is not!!

  43. Love this post and I’m glad that you say it aloud: we are not boring bitches because we plan our meals! ;-) Love to plan ahead but it’s difficult with my boyfriend but we’re getting there. ;-)

  44. I started meal planning about 6 weeks ago when I got fed up of standing in front of the fridge at 5pm every day wondering what to cook for dinner. We were also chucking out a fair amount of out of date food that just didn’t get used up. Now, I spend about 5 minutes checking the fridge and cupboards to see what we have that could turn into a meal and what we are running low on. It works great, I can easily close the freezer door and I know exactly what’s in there. One week I saved £38 on my usual weekly shopping bill, which made us feel much better about treating ourselves to a meal out. If I can do it, anybody can as I’m really disorganised! x

  45. I’m 20 and currently planning to move in with my boyfriend and we’ve both agreed that once a week we are going to meal plan and make a list when we go food shopping simply because we know it’s healthier (stops us buying takeaways on lazy days) and it will save us money which can go towards our home. It’s definitely not for boring people – I can’t wait to do it!

    x

  46. I don’t meal plan per se, but writing a food blog, I keep very close tabs on what I have in stock. Keeping a well-stocked store cupboard goes hand-in-hand with meal planning, and I can always rustle up something quick and delicious without having to resort to takeaways.

    I always set myself a budget, and when I blog I tend to make enough to do a couple of dinners and a lunch so it always stretches further. I do long for the time when I have a freezer so I can plan more effectively and have meals prepared for those times you really don’t feel like cooking.

  47. Question: do you recommend swearing to heighten the pleasure and overall efficiency of meal planning? Because I love +*&(*& to swear and you seem pretty %$#(*&^ good at it yourself so it would be an added bonus if it did.

  48. Question: Would you recommend swearing to heighten the pleasure and overall efficiency of meal planning? I love to &%$#&*$ swear and you seem pretty $#@^&*( at it yourself along with the meal planning so I was curious.

  49. We don’t sit down and meal plan as such with notepads and so on, but even something simple like – shock horror! – looking in your cupboards and writing a list before you head out to the supermarket really helps. We then tend to plan our meals around what meat is on offer and go from there, and we don’t leave the store without having the next 5 or 6 meals in our basket. We always think of how many meals we can get out of, say, a roast chicken. Like, ok, we’ll have a roast one day and then make a risotto the next with the meat and left over veg. It’s not so much about saving money for us as not wasting food and making sure we eat something proper everyday. I’d rather be a boring bitch than eat pizza everyday which I’m sure my boyfriend would do, ha ha!

  50. I don’t meal plan simply because I’ve never felt organised enough to do so, but recently I really wanted to start because it makes me guilty when I see the amount of food that we waste because we never get round to eating it, and seeing as I work late most nights getting home and trying to decide what we have for dinner is the last thing I want. I’m not so bothered about saving money because I actually class food as a luxury item where I love to splash out on occasionally, which is probably a bit irresponsible but I just think I can save money elsewhere in my life.

  51. I don’t meal plan due to a massive lack of a steady budget but I do follow the rule of “make more than you’ll eat and FREEZE IT” which saves me SO MUCH MONEY because it means I’ve got something to eat later in the week and I’m not having to pop to the shops for something. It’s great, but I definitely think I’ll be meal planning once I’ve hit a financial plateau.

  52. I love planning for the week ahead. When I don’t, I get really annoyed with self during the week. It’s so much easier to know in advance what you plan to cook. And no, you don’t have to have children to do this. I did it before I was a mum, and I do it now. Though I am flexible, and will make changes if needs be. I print out pretty food planners (because you know, it can be pretty and practical), my planners end up with scribbles and arrows moving things along to another day, but I stick to what I’ve planned. It also helps when you do weekly shop to know what you have in your freezer and pantry.

    This is where I go to when I want to print out more meal planners. Pretty or practical, they have them both. http://byyourhands.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/organizing-meal-planning-ideas.html

  53. My husband and I kind of meal plan and do a monthly shop but just recently we’ve been doing our shopping weekly and planning what we’re going to have for dinner. We’re going to be moving house soon so we’re trying to use up things in our cupboards & freezer (that are still in date – amazing how much you have in your cupboards that are out of date) and because of this we’ve been planning our evening meals. I’m completely surprised by how much money we’ve saved in two weeks already. :) x

  54. I love planning my meals! I get a bit anal about it tbh and love going food shopping at the beginning of the week.
    Daniella x

    http://daniella-r.blogspot.co.uk/

  55. LOVE this post! Would love to see an example if you wouldn’t mind. I’ve got stuck in a rut!

  56. Great post! :0) I never used to plan and used to wander around the supermarket chucking random items in the trolley that did not even go together. I now do my main shopping online so I only order what we need for meals and pick up any fresh items from the shop as we need it.

  57. I nearly always meal plan. When we go shopping for meat, I split into meal-sized portions and freeze it and only take out what we need for the following day. That way we don’t waste a bunch of food even if we DO deviate from the plan.

    In fact, this week has worked out even cheaper still because all our meat was from the reduced yellow-sticker section of the local Asda. Half price meat! Yay!

  58. I do indeed meal plan. I got into it 2 years ago when I joined slimming world and it was one of their top suggestions. Saved me money and lost me 3 stone :) I still do it now :D

  59. I love meal planning, I think I’d go mad without it! I really enjoy researching new recipes and adding foods I don’t eat much of into the mix – I always try and cook one new thing a week, and it keeps it varied as well as (hopefully) improving my cooking skills! I find your blog so inspirational and packed full of great ideas, keep up the good work!

  60. I love a good meal plan. Always have :-)

  61. Another meal planner here! I do an online shop for the heavy stuff we get through loads of like juice, squash, sugar, cat food, tins etc.
    I plan for the month taking into account evenings out and the nights I cook and the ones my husband does when I’m in later than him from work.
    I love Pinterest too. It makes trying new things so much easier.
    We spend loads on food, I do by planning, but I should try and save more, less treaty snacks for the kids would be a good place to start!
    Lisa x

  62. I’m 19 and at uni, me and my housemates do all our food shopping together, and we always plan our meals. It’s so much easier and cheaper, plus it gives us a family feeling when you’re so far from home. We’re a family in ourselves now :)

  63. I begin meal planning after buying a large bag or two of seasonal fruit and veg. Then I add either fish, chicken, beans etc to the plan. Its so easy but delicious this way with masses of variety. I often cook in bulk to add to my trusty freezer and hey presto! we can often eat for ‘free’ when times are tough. Don’t forget to plan for breakfasts, puddings and snacks too. Glad you are feeling better Mrs Thrifty xx

  64. hmm, boring bitch, puts me in mind of someone………..

  65. hmm boring bitch who meal plans, puts me in mind of someone…………

  66. I love meal planning and no-one has ever accused me of being boring for doing so – maybe it’s my age!
    I agree that it saves money and also cuts waste as I never seem to have the random stuff left in the fridge any more.
    Great post!

  67. Yes, I do and I also have a list when I go shopping and stick to it (unless I get sidetracked with chocolate….) It works for me and I save money, yay!

  68. I meal plan and there is no way in hell I am a boring bitch. In fact I am so awesome I can shop for our ENTIRE week for around £25.
    I love meal planning. I love taking the guess work of an evening. It makes cooking less of a chore and ensures I always have the meat out defrosting!

  69. I love meal planning! My boyfriend does it more than me though as he is the one who cooks! In the past I did it a lot, although my ex really didn’t appreciate it and tried to get me to change the food…. that’s one of the reasons why he is an ex though!

  70. We love meal planning in our house. We started when we moved in together 5 months ago and through it we save loads of money, eat really well and healthily, and have a lot more free time in our evenings. When a week goes awry because of work or a weekend away, we really notice the financial and organisational strife it gets us in to. Meal planning is here to stay!

  71. oh the title just cracks me up. And the mention of Sugar Tits. Of course. :)

    We meal plan as a family of five (only recently started before the summer) and we now save £ 40 a week on groceries!! That’s HUGE for a family with small kiddo’s…

    x

  72. You sugar tits are my absolute favourite.

    I do meal plan most of the time but have the odd lazy week here and there.

    x

  73. I don’t meal plan rigidly but I think I’m going to have to start! My husband is recently redundant and I’ve just got myself a job after 12 years of being at home with the kids and I won’t be around as much to make sure we don’t all die of carb overload as we would if the Mr was left in charge.

  74. Pah! I laugh in the face of meal planning, doesn’t seem like there would be much room for variety, like Shirley Valentine with the chips and egg on Thursdays. Unless you would have every single ingredient on earth in a pantry, what would be the chances of picking up a recipe book and thinking, I’ll try that tonight? I don’t want to know what I’m having for dinner on Friday, life’s too short to meal plan :-)

    Great blog!
    X

  75. I am 63 and have never done a meal plan. I don’t have any children. I have lots of interesting hobbies. I live alone. I don’t eat crap. My rules for shopping are, price first, nutritional value, no meat. I make a meal out of whatever I have in, and I eat everything I buy. Doing it this way I can live very cheaply indeed. Meal planning works for some people but I like surprises.

  76. I have been doing this since I started university! It saves so much time and money. xx

  77. great tips – I’m awful at this

  78. I’m so glad you wrote about this! My husband receives a paycheck once a month, so we have our budgeted amount, plan the entire menu for the month and shop for only what we are having. We do restock bread and milk and the occasional icecream run, but for the most part we stick to our menu. My family thinks I’m nuts, but it works and it’s so nice to know what you’re having and no stress when meal time comes! Thanks again for the post!!

  79. I do understand why people rebel against the idea of meal planning – some people are reassured by knowing what’s going to happen, some feel constrained… both make sense to me, actually. So I suppose I’m mid-way, planning weekend meals around what’s growing in the garden/what’s in the freezer, but letting week day evenings go with the flow according to what my husband manages to scrounge before his work canteen throws it away (yes, I know, lucky us!) and what got left over from the weekend… it helps that three out of four of us eat at subsidised canteens for lunch, I realise. What I adore is that kind of ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ moment where I make something delicious out of a strange combination of whatever we happen to have. That’s why planning too much makes me feel constrained. I certainly don’t go buying random things – I have a very tightly-budgeted shopping list and we don’t throw food in the bin. But I just can’t stand the idea of dictating even my own life for the entire week. I think it’s possible to be thrifty and canny about meals in several ways – one of which is meal planning.

  80. I’ve been a meal planner for about 6 months now, as I do a lot of things in the evening and need to make sure I have something tasty and quick to heat up when I come in late. I also shop at Leeds market, which means I can’t nip in after work – I have to be organised otherwise I don’t have the right stuff in! I’ve satisfied my craving for foodie excitement by setting aside days where I don’t plan, where I might go out or go to my boyfriend’s for tea. That way I still ‘plan’ but it has flexibility. Couldn’t agree more on your post though – it’s not boring, it’s sensible, useful and you get to spend cash on other fun stuff :D

    Elly

  81. I friggin love to meal plan :) plus no one could be a boring bitch with Freeze pops in their trolley!Kayleigh x

  82. Its a great idea! :) xxx

    http://jeminixlife.blogspot.com

  83. I come from a meal planning family and me and my fella always plan our meals it not only helps with money but diet too I think, if you have a meal planned you are much less likely to grab an expensive takeway.

  84. I hope you see this in your 83 comments (lol your popular), I meal plan and it is such a brilliant idea. I wondered if you have read the book
    ‘ How to Feed Your Whole Family a Healthy, Balanced Diet With Very Little Money and Hardly Any Time, Even If You Have a tiny kitchen with only 3 saucepans, (one with an ill fitting lid) and no fancy gadgets Unless You Count the Garlic Crusher…’ by Gill Holcombe? It may be right up your thrifty street lol. Its very basic cooking, but not bad or bland. I have been dipping into for about 5 years and it has definitely saved me money.
    V
    xxx
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whole-Family-Healthy-Balanced-Little/dp/1905862156/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351253225&sr=8-1

  85. I plan! Its help me lose weight, save money and quite the opposite to those who sneer I utilise my cookbooks and very rarely have the same meal twice! Unlike the sneerers who rotate the same dull 9-10 meals!

  86. Meal planning is such a good idea! I hate coming in from work and not knowing what to make for dinner. My usual strategy is to make huge batches of basic tomato and vegetable sauce and keep portions in the freezer to use as a base for bolognese, lasagne and shepherd’s pie. Quick, cheap and easy. But I will definitely give this a go, thanks.

    http://www.agirlandherteacup.com

  87. Hey, I plan every meal & treat. i have found going on MySupermarket – planning my shop, printing the list and more importantly – Sticking to it! I have managed to go from £60+ per week to £35-£45 per week! x

  88. I meal plan but i usially get so stuck for ideas of what to make for meals and find myself making the same meals each week and it gets boring. Any tips on how to not get creative with meals?

  89. My meal planning has being happening for years now, I have recently “converted” a friend, who has been doing it for only 2 weeks and has already seen savings- less waste and actually having food left at the end of the week! I like/need to alternate nicer/more popular meals with cheapy meals to eke out the food budget. And I never plan anything for Saturdays..yet somehow no-one goes hungry

  90. Anonymous says:

    Is that Aldi?

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