One of the things I have always struggled with is meal planning – I have always found it time consuming and boring. I never know what to cook, recipes have so many ingredients, most of which I haven’t got and I get bored with the same ol’, same ol’ I always do.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to love cooking, but now it is more of a chore and I definitely don’t enjoy it. However, to do well with my budget and to keep paying off my debt, it is important that I get a handle on it, as we are wasting a lot of money on takeaways.
So I began checking out how other people do it and came across a Goddess called Suzanne Mulholland, commonly known as “The Batch Lady”. Truly, this woman has changed my life.
Now I love a slow-cooker meal where you can chuck everything in it and walk away, I hate having to stir and check and add a bit here or there. Why waste time doing all that when there are more important things to be doing (like catching up on an episode of ‘Greys Anatomy’ for instance!). Seriously, whoever invented the slow cooker, hats off to you sir!
So starting this weekend I have decided to plan for next week in earnest. As I mentioned in a previous post, I start a new job on Monday, so being organised is important. The first thing I did was an inventory of what we have in the freezer – that was enlightening! After throwing out about 10% that has been in there for 365 years and just looked, well, nasty, I had a list of stuff. I also organised it into meat, fish, vegetables, rice, pre-cooked meals, fruit and bread/milk so it will be easier to see at a glance and grab what I need. I have two freezers, a small fridge/freezer in the kitchen and a stand-alone freezer in the conservatory, so loads of room, thank goodness.
This is the plan:
- Take an inventory of what I have in my freezers and cupboards.
- Go to ‘The Batch Lady’ website (details below) and plan my meals for the week.
- Make a shopping list of everything I need and mark off what I already have.
- Prepare the meals as instructed.
- Check the list every night and get everything out of the freezer ready for the next day’s meals.
So I’m well on my way, the stock take is done and I’m ready to decide what we’re having. If you haven’t heard of ‘The Batch Lady’, then check her out here – https://www.thebatchlady.com/
she is also on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thebatchlady/,
Pinterest – https://pin.it/pjpxq3uv5xpouk
and Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thebatchlady/.
I can’t recommend her enough (Think I may have a little crush here, lol).
So I have now planned my meals. I looked at her menu plans and it seems she hasn’t done any in a while, but I thought I would browse through them to see what I liked and this is what I came up with:
We already have some Spag Bols & Chicken Curry in the freezer from previous meals, so that has helped me ease in gradually and I love cooking a Sunday Roast, so that is fine. The rest are sooooo simple, just chuck them into the freezer bag and pull out ready to cook that day (or you can cook and freeze depending on the meal, even easier). Here are links to the recipes if you want them:
Fish Pie – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhUfxNVp7tE
Hasselback Chicken – https://youtu.be/NmdSVT2jtPY
Enchiladas – https://youtu.be/qaSEUozvz8Q
I also want to make sure that I have enough bread/wraps and fillings for lunches, so I have added all the ingredients for these four meals (less what I already have) and the lunches onto my shopping list and I will be going out tomorrow.
So now I just need to prepare the meals, put them in the freezer and hey-presto, dinners all sorted. I can’t wait to get going, there are literally 4-5 ingredients in each of these meals and because there is only two of us, I will be making enough to feed 4 people, so can freeze two meals from each for another week – win-win.
So, what meals are you planning to do and how do you prepare for the week ahead to avoid those takeaways? Let me know won’t you?
If you like the ziplock bags and the baggie holders, check out the ‘Useful Links‘ page to see where I got them from.
Until next time.