Monday, 4 April 2011

Meal Planning Monday

I think that one of the most sensible things a frugal foodie can do is make a weekly meal plan.

I realise that there are arguments against it. It’s not exactly spontaneous to have a list of meals pinned (or, rather, magneted) up on the side of the microwave. It doesn’t exactly scream “Free spirit lives here”. And what happens if the meal plan says chicken but your heart says fish?

But the alternative is to end up wandering round the supermarket with a slightly dazed expression, picking up random items, and condemning yourself to a Masterchef style invention test when you get home. And having to go back to the supermarket the next day to do it all over again.

Gentle reader, I have been there, and it is not a happy place. And so now I meal plan. I mean, I can be reasonably flexible – if I want Thursday’s dinner on Tuesday then that’s ok (wild and crazy, huh?) But, aside from the obvious logistical and financial advantages, it also is the best way to manage my points. Dinner tends to be the high point (no pun intended) of my eating day, therefore, I work out what I’m having and plan everything else around it. If I know it’s going to be a bit points heavy, then it makes sense that I’ll have a lighter lunch. Whether you’re a Weight Watcher or not, that’s just common sense.

So from now on, I’m going to try and include the odd weekly meal planning post in this blog. This idea is not mine – it is blatantly stolen borrowed from Mrs M whose blog I recently stumbled across. Given all the inspiration and tips I’ve picked up from looking at other people’s meal plans, I thought that it would be nice to contribute myself.

This week we’re trying to eat down the contents of the freezer, so it can have its annual (is that shameful?) defrost and clean. Hence the meals are based around what we have unearthed in there.

In no particular order:

Sweet chilli chicken stir fry with rice noodles

Broccoli and blue cheese soup

Cajun pork steaks with rice and peas

Coley curry – loosely based on Jamie’s coley korma recipe, but using some home made curry paste that we found lurking in the middle drawer of the freezer

Roasted butternut squash with gnocchi in sage butter

Crispy skinned chicken breast with lemon couscous

Spaghetti carbonara – I’m a bit of a purist and tend to use this recipe because it doesn’t include cream. I like my carbonara to be a simple bacon and egg concoction. With Parmesan. And butter.


  1. Ooooh good work, I love reading about food... Definitely gives me ideas as to what to have myself. I am food obsessed so any chat about it is appreciated!

    I think Planning is the way forward, I need to get into the habit of that myself.


  2. Love the sound of the broccoli and blue cheese soup and the lemon cous cous! Might have to try those myself. Thanks for joining in!

  3. I'm so with you on carbonara - can't bear it if it's essentially a plate of cream. The butternut gnocchi sounds particularly yummy.

    I agree on food plans - it's a bit tedious but I find spontaneous (read: panic) choices are invariably diasterous. And stressful.


  4. Hey! It's so nice to read that your approach to mealplanning is quite similar to mine, trying to keep an eye on my weight but without loosing the fun and pleasure of eating. Love it! Lokking forward to read your plans ;-)

  5. A great blog and some lovely ideas. I'm doing the foodie vs weightwatchers battle too. Will be popping back for more ideas !