Meal Planning & Meal Prep

Meal Planning & Meal Prep

I’ve now been meal planning for a month and I can say that I find the it enjoyable, efficient, and financially effective. 
For me, cooking for my family isn’t just about getting food on the table. I find it inspiring and an expression of creativity! I enjoy cooking and feeding my family!
Why meal plan & meal prep?
  • Save money - I have found the most noticeable benefit so far to be our weekly food bill which has halved since I began meal planning! Previously I would just buy items I thought I may use and unfortunately did not and these food items would expire and end up in the garbage bin!

  • Save time - It makes the food shop easier and you can get ahead with prepping ingredients you use often, potentially freezing some items for another day. 

  • Eat more variety - It’s easy to get into a food rut! Meal planning allows you to ensure you’re eating a variety of food every week and exposing your little ones to a range of textures and flavours.
Meal Planning Top Tips
1. Write out a meal plan & shopping list
Once I have written up my weekly meal plan, I write up my shopping list. I generally shop online as I find it easier and it stops me picking up extra things we don’t need!
2. Prep ingredients ahead of time
Some tasks are extremely repetitious in the kitchen. Chopping onions, mincing ginger, washing fruit and vegetables. Meal planning allows you to get ahead on the prep!
I wash and prep fruit and veg before putting it away so it can just be pulled out of the fridge when it’s needed.
I tend to boil sweet potatoes and cook quinoa in batch as it keeps well in the fridge.
Once every fortnight I mince garlic and ginger and freeze it into silicone ice cube trays, ready to pop out when needed. This saves so much time and I have the convenience of ready to use ingredients.
I like to store prepped food in glass containers so I can easily see everything and pull out what I need.
3. Think about leftovers and/or doubling up recipes
We eat leftovers a lot! Often lunch is leftovers from the night before or I freeze extra pancakes etc for another day.
If I am cooking a curry, I always make extra and pop some into the freezer for another day or in an emergency.
4. Keep your pantry stocked
Having a well stocked pantry and fresh and frozen produce at the ready helps to pull together quick and nutritious meals with ease.
Simple spices can go a long way in jazzing up recipes, creating a variety of flavours and exposing your family to new and interesting meals.
Buying items such as nuts, seeds, oils and spices in bulk is cost effective and they can easily be decanted into sealed jars/containers to maintain freshness and longevity. Frozen fruit and vegetables are also a great option as they are often cheaper, just as nutritious and as they last longer there is less waste!

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