Meal planning is my favourite hobby. I admin this used to be shopping, but I don’t do that much anymore (read hardly ever) but I love choosing new recipes to try and meals to make.
I find planning our meals for the seven days in the week, helps me stay ‘on plan’ with Slimming World, resists the temptation of takeaways because we look forward to the variety of meals within the week and food shops are so much more cost effective. So how do I tackle this?
We do our food shop on a Saturday afternoon so I start by looking through my recipe books for new recipes to try or ones I can adapt with food we already have in. My go-to’s are Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients, Slimming World Fakeaways and Joe Wicks Lean in 15.
I have a couple of recipes that are tried and tested and I like to find new recipes to try to expand our repertoire. Generally we have 1 veggie meal a week, 1 fish dish and then 5 meat dishes. I do want to start having a couple more veggie meals to switch it up and find new ways to use veggies in food.
I like to have a ‘fakeaway’ on a Friday and Saturday night so we don’t feel like we’re missing out and I get so much inspo from the SW instagram accounts that we can often have an Indian/Chinese/Mexican inspired meal that tastes naughty whilst being packed with lots of veg and very little syns.
Once I’ve selected the 7 meals we’re having – Saturday to Friday, I start to write up my shopping list. Checking what we need for the weeks recipes and seeing what we have in the freezer/cupboards already.
Writing a list stops me picking up unnecessary bits under the guise of ‘oh we might have this’ and our food shop total is now under £40 at Aldi. We shop for 7 evening meals, lunches and snacks for two, which I think is pretty decent.
Keeping a food diary is something I try to stick to for Slimming World, however since we’ve started choosing meals and only buying what we need for the week I’ve found this isn’t as necessary. When choosing our recipes, I make little swaps for ingredients that are more SW friendly, i.e cream for creme fraiche or olive oil for frylite, so I generally have an idea of the syn value and I’m much more aware of what I’m eating.