Meal Planning My Way

When you have done something for a long time, and it comes naturally to you, you can fail to see the benefit it may bring others by talking about it.

You just presume everyone does it your way, or their way. Or any way at all.

But that isn’t always the case.

For example I’ve always been a bit haphazard with my make-up routine. Or lack of it. It’s kind of ‘all or nothing’.

I saw this on Facebook the other day, shared by a friend, and it really made me laugh. The truth is so funny.

makeup homeless

If a night out, or special event, was on the cards, I’d find a good gap of time to spend and do my make-up thoroughly. But an everyday routine just never came together – although I have recently got it sussed at the grand old age of 40 (now 41) – thanks to Zoella. Have you met Zoella yet? I love her. As do my kids.

The strange thing about the clip below is Zoella jokes it will be a ‘What’s in my fridge’ video. Cue Twilight Zone theme tune…

Zoella Make Up Tutorial

When I asked for help to improve Food Waste Friday (see my video here) it reminded me that just because I know what I am doing, do you?

Hand on heart, I sincerely believe that the secret weapon to reducing the food we waste is in effective meal-planning. ย Meal-planning is something I have done ever since I moved into my firstย home at 25. Why? No idea. It just seemed a natural thing to do.

One of my house-warming gifts from my Mom was a kitchen chalkboard. What better use for it than to become a menu board.

Today I’m not going to give you a long list of all the things you need to do to meal-plan, or suggest you download an app. Rather I’m going to recommend that in doing it my way, it consist of one main ingredient;

Communication.

This is where all effective planning begins in my opinion.

If you read my blog regularly you will already know I am a huge advocate of family communication. This blog post explains.

We have a weekly meeting, most weeks. This is where it all starts.

I know our family diary for the forthcoming week. Sensibly this meeting tends to take place on a Thursday. The night before my Friday routine.

After I have completed my Food Waste Friday/No Waste Tastes Great routine, I plan our meals from Saturday-Thursday for the week coming. And then write the grocery list.

Our meal plan looks like this currently:

001

I then simply jot down on a sheet of paper the items I need to make those meals.

This I do in sections – it kind of follows my path round the store that I am going to.

003

This week it was Aldi as I needed to do just one shop in one location. I have recently started shopping at the local farm shop much more and on those weeks my grocery list is structured a little differently – but I’ll blog about that separately as it’s a subject in it’s own right.

There is no great science behind the planning, nor secret formula. The success of meal-planning lies in just doing it, until you get used to doing it, and until you get a system that works for you. Make it too complicated or time-consuming and you won’t do it – that’s one thing I know for sure. There are weeks I forget items, and have to go and grab things at the last minute, that’s human nature. But as long as 80% of the time it’s working out then I really cannot ask for more.

Remember perfect is the enemy of done.

If you want to read a more in-depth outline of how to meal plan from start to finish I do haveย The Simple Guide To Meal Planning.

Again however I’d suggest don’t worry about the semantics – Just do it. Have a go.

A bit like the way I took Zoella’s make-up advise and adapted it to what I needed, and to fit my life. Aka condensed it to a 2 minute routine, after all I’ve Kids to get to school!

Meal plan YOUR way.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Live and Learn June 22, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Planning the the key to success for almost everything!

    • Diane June 22, 2015, 3:31 pm

      I just watched a Zoella video – that’s a lot of work! I guess I don’t understand why such a beautiful girl needs to put all of that stuff on herself. I’m 62, and I’ve never put that much gunk on my face. No time, no patience.

      • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 10:00 pm

        It is rather full on isn’t it? I reckon it’s not her everyday routine! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Agree!

  • Live and Learn June 22, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Planning the the key to success for almost everything!

    • Diane June 22, 2015, 3:31 pm

      I just watched a Zoella video – that’s a lot of work! I guess I don’t understand why such a beautiful girl needs to put all of that stuff on herself. I’m 62, and I’ve never put that much gunk on my face. No time, no patience.

      • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 10:00 pm

        It is rather full on isn’t it? I reckon it’s not her everyday routine! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Agree!

  • Sharron June 22, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Wow haven’t been around for while love the blogs new layout! I have meal planned (and shopped) for the next 28 days i should only need fresh stuff. That’s the plan anyway. At our family meeting (although its not that formal, it’s usually a monday night over our dinner when no one’s got commitments) we all decided that Florida should be on for 2016, i explained that yeah it cud be done but a serious case of belt tightening should be done. Everyone agreed. ยฃ250 to feed us 6 and 2 cats for 28 day eeekkkk!!! Now i know it may be tight and the kids have assured me that they will not quip over ‘snackright’ crisps instead of walkers and there’s no room whatsoever for waste. I’ll let you know how i get on ๐Ÿ™‚ Zoella…. oh my… my daughter is obsessed and this is where i should confess to a full face of make-up, everyday, all day. I won’t open the door without it on. I know.

    ‘ To not plan, is planning to fail’

    Love Sharron x

    • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 9:59 pm

      I’ve had a post brewing for a while and your comment has confirmed I need to write it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sharron June 22, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Wow haven’t been around for while love the blogs new layout! I have meal planned (and shopped) for the next 28 days i should only need fresh stuff. That’s the plan anyway. At our family meeting (although its not that formal, it’s usually a monday night over our dinner when no one’s got commitments) we all decided that Florida should be on for 2016, i explained that yeah it cud be done but a serious case of belt tightening should be done. Everyone agreed. ยฃ250 to feed us 6 and 2 cats for 28 day eeekkkk!!! Now i know it may be tight and the kids have assured me that they will not quip over ‘snackright’ crisps instead of walkers and there’s no room whatsoever for waste. I’ll let you know how i get on ๐Ÿ™‚ Zoella…. oh my… my daughter is obsessed and this is where i should confess to a full face of make-up, everyday, all day. I won’t open the door without it on. I know.

    ‘ To not plan, is planning to fail’

    Love Sharron x

    • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 9:59 pm

      I’ve had a post brewing for a while and your comment has confirmed I need to write it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sharron June 22, 2015, 3:01 pm

    Jo i have just left a reply on your ask for help post. I swear i wrote along reply, perhaps i didn’t press the comment button ๐Ÿ™ anyhow my tuppence worth is there
    Sharron x

  • Sharron June 22, 2015, 3:01 pm

    Jo i have just left a reply on your ask for help post. I swear i wrote along reply, perhaps i didn’t press the comment button ๐Ÿ™ anyhow my tuppence worth is there
    Sharron x

  • Amy June 22, 2015, 8:55 pm

    I also write my shopping list in the order that of the path I take around the store. It’s great I know which aisles I can skip. I find it really odd writing a list for when I am going shopping in an unfamiliar store.

    • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 10:01 pm

      I tend to stick to what I know when grocery shopping. Aldi and Farm shop (occasionally Sainsburys…)

  • Amy June 22, 2015, 8:55 pm

    I also write my shopping list in the order that of the path I take around the store. It’s great I know which aisles I can skip. I find it really odd writing a list for when I am going shopping in an unfamiliar store.

    • Simply Being Mum June 22, 2015, 10:01 pm

      I tend to stick to what I know when grocery shopping. Aldi and Farm shop (occasionally Sainsburys…)

  • Clare Arthur June 24, 2015, 2:12 am

    With my parents moving last week, I deviated quite a long way from my meal plan (takeaways…) and you would not believe how much food waste I had this week!!! Seriously, my whole vegetable bin in the fridge had to go in the rubbish!!! But it was worth it to help pack and move everything!
    I have a shopping list laid out like the layout of my supermarket. It makes it so much easier to get the groceries done quickly!
    This week should be back to normal in my house, so we are back to the menu plan ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Simply Being Mum June 26, 2015, 9:48 am

      Its when the routine goes out the window I notice how much more I waste. But it’s that we get back on the saddle and plod on after that counts!

  • Clare Arthur June 24, 2015, 2:12 am

    With my parents moving last week, I deviated quite a long way from my meal plan (takeaways…) and you would not believe how much food waste I had this week!!! Seriously, my whole vegetable bin in the fridge had to go in the rubbish!!! But it was worth it to help pack and move everything!
    I have a shopping list laid out like the layout of my supermarket. It makes it so much easier to get the groceries done quickly!
    This week should be back to normal in my house, so we are back to the menu plan ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Simply Being Mum June 26, 2015, 9:48 am

      Its when the routine goes out the window I notice how much more I waste. But it’s that we get back on the saddle and plod on after that counts!

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