Last week I bought the ingredients to follow the delightful Audrey’s DIY meal plan from http://www.kitchenfairy.co.uk/ . The tarragon Roast Chicken was divinity itself, and the noodle stir fry was wonderful, but then things went wrong. The shop hadn’t delivered a couple of key ingredients, and frankly I didn’t fancy the other things on the right evenings. But that said, it did inspire me to get back into meal planning. And it does save money. I’m convinced of that. Taking the leftovers of one meal and incorporating them into the next is something we’ve rarely done, mostly because there’s rarely leftovers to pass on, but also because I haven’t felt inspired to turn a chunk of beef into anything other than sandwich content.
But today I sat down, went through 2 of my favourite cookbooks, noted up a few recipes that I’ve either tried or wanted to try, and wrote my shopping list accordingly. I’ve planned 6 evening meals, alot of chicken, because a roast chicken followed by a stir fry seems a nice, easy and sensible way to do things in these early stages of planning.
The thing is, when I started my journey of intuitive eating, a big part of it was legalising all food, and eating what I wanted, when I wanted. Meal planning couldn’t feature in this stage as I would see it as restrictive and diety. But now, having legalised and made peace with food, I can look at meal planning as not only an economical advantage, but also an efficient way of keeping on top of atleast one aspect of being Mum! But I’ve also made allowances for the nights when what’s on the plan, isn’t actually what I want, or what anyone else wants. For this to work, there has to be flexibility.
But if you’re one of the most disorganised mothers around (like me), and finances are tight (as they are for nearly all these days), and if you’ve never sat down and gone through your cookbooks for inspiration and ideas, and you’re bored with the staple spag bol, pizza and fish fingers and chips, then I heartily recommend giving meal planning a go. Have a look through and write down recipes that catch your eye. Then look at what meals you can put side by side, incorporating part of one meal into another (like my roast chicken one evening followed by a stir fry the next).
I don’t promise to suddenly become supermum, it’s been 8 years and I’ve still not managed that one.