Look, I know the mere mention of meal planning is pretty yawn-worthy to a lot of people but don't check out just yet ok?
There are so many bloggers who have organised, carefully thought out, purposeful daily plans. I'm not going to pretend to be one of them but I am trying really hard to tame the anarchy around here and that is why I am writing this Finding Organisation series, my last post was on how I streamlined breakfast just in case you are interested.
So my brain started re-ticking on the subject of meal planning when I read this post by This Little Port. It got me thinking of how I had been doing it all wrong. My past attempts had been all about organisation and budgeting so of course I had passed out from boredom before I even found a pen, it's also likely that I saw something shiny and decided to feed that to my family for dinner. Gabby's post reminded me how much more fun cooking dinner would be if I just got my shit together and put a little bit of fore thought into it. Instead of blah, blah, blah, lasagna, blah blah, reading catalogues for specials blah, blah. Her post was all, cookbooks, farmers markets, rahdy-rah, Mexican food and I realised it wasn't just meal planning I was doing wrong. It was dinner.
I have talked before about choosing happy, practicing gratitude and consciously changing my attitude towards the boring stuff that comes along with tiny-human-life so when I realised that I had put food in that category - I felt a bit sad. Food's not boring, it's like one of my favourite things. Ever. So yeah, meal planning is my new hobby, and cooking dinner is not the most annoying part of my day anymore. Also I have heaps of great cookbooks and lots of fancy cookware that I can now justify owning.
Why I started meal planning, weeeeell, as my long winded, slightly ranty-pants intro says, I had lost my mojo and was feeding my family really average meals. Our grocery bill was outrageous and I still never had any food in the house, I was nipping to the shops about a million times a week and I wasn't cooking any of the amazing recipes I was pinning, cutting and hording. I also wasn't spending enough time at the beach or seeing friends or rolling around on the grass getting chicken poo in my hair, I actually wasn't spending any time at all doing the latter.
My little plan, We have more eggs than we know what to do with, thanks to our three ladies, Bessie, Bock and Roxy so one night a week is eggs on toast AKA Brinner night. On the weekends we wing it, so I only need to plan four dinners. Out of those four I try to do one $5 dinner (inspired by Fatmumslim) the other three are chosen from my Pinterest boards or cookbooks. I don't lock anything in, I just have the four dinners on hand and I cook whatever I feel like. Casholoa, So far I am saving money because I am only buying what we need and we are throwing out heaps less. Also the Brinner and $5 dinners nights are leaving a bit of wiggle room so we can buy more expensive cuts of meat or seafood when the fancy strikes.
Some stuff you can use to meal plan, well actually, all you need is a pen and paper but if you want to get fancy you can grab this Dinner Planner from Kikki-K for $14.95 or you can use this cool free printable meal planner from Elephantshoe. Both of them are just dinner planners because I'm all about baby steps and planning more than one meal a day would give me some sort of panic attack. The Organised Housewife is where you should head if you are looking for more detailed planning stuff. I'm more of a disorganised-ADD-creative-toddler-wrangler but she has heaps of great tips, recipes and plans available - her site is so rad.