Monday, 23 January 2017

LIFE ON A BUDGET - GUEST POST - MEAL PLANNING


This year one of my goals is to be much savvier with our money, to better manage our finances and to have some sort of savings.  With that in mind, I'm running a 'Life on a Budget' series.  The series kicked off with my 'Surviving January' post.  Today I have a guest post all about meal planning and how you too can save on your weekly shop.

Today's guest post is by the lovely Kim of OddHogg blog, be sure to go check her out.





I'm Kim - wife to JHogg and mummy to Piglet, born in February 2017. We live in the north east of Scotland with our pooch. I document our lives over on OddHogg.

Shortly before falling pregnant with Piglet I lost my job in the oil and gas industry. Once we discovered we had a baby on the way we made the decision that I would not return to work. Of course that is only possible if you can afford it, so for us we decided to make sure we changed our lifestyle slightly so we could stay within a tighter budget.

The biggest change for me was to start meal planning. When I was working we use to go and do a food shop together at the weekend with no real purpose. We would write a "list", but there was not much thought put into it. We'd randomly buy items that may or may not create a meal one night as well as tossing in extra items that we saw on a whim. The result was that we'd usually end up having to pop to the corner shop to get something we had missed, and typically having quite a lot of wasted food.

Since we started meal planning our food waste is almost nil. We buy what we need and utilise them fully, It not only saves us money but it also saves me time throughout the week as I don't have to come up with a new meal idea every day.

I won't lie it can be a bit weird getting started, but once you've been at it a few weeks it becomes second nature. There are a few things you can do to make meal planning easier:
  1. Write a recipe list - I have a master list of all the meals we enjoy. We have them categorised so when I am creating the meal plan for the week I try to pick something from each category. It means we avoid too much repetition and can really mix things up. If we see something new we want to try for dinner we just add it to the list.
  2. Get everyone's input - If you have kids this is where they come in. If everyone has one night where they get to pick the meal then it will save arguments in the long run. Fussy eaters might not be getting what they want the rest of the nights, but one day a week the decision is theirs.
  3. Use up leftovers - This is our biggest money saver. I choose meals which can share ingredients. If you are buying chicken and veggies to make fajitas on Monday, plan a veggie pasta bake for another night. It saves any of your half used veg going to waste.
  4. Order online - Once you've got your meal plan sorted you can write your shopping list. To stop you straying too far from the list you can then order your shopping online. We don't have ours delivered as I'm reluctant to pay delivery charges, so I do click and collect for the next day.
  5. Stick at it - I find it best if we do the meal plan at the same time every week, usually a Saturday morning. That way I can sort the online order over the weekend to collect on Monday. It doesn't matter when you do it, just be consistent and it will soon become part of your routine.
Do you think you would give it a go? I share my meal plans every week if you're looking for some meal inspiration.

Good luck, let us know in the comments if you're going to start to meal plan.

Kim x
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