- Each week includes only 5 planned meals, with weekends left free for going out for meals, or having a take away (I already like the sound of that!)
- List 20 meals that you and your family enjoy.
- Choose 5 meals per week from your list, balancing the week with variety (chicken one day, pasta another etc).
- Add a matching side dish to each meal (potatoes, salad, greens)
- Choose a desert or started for each meal - try and keep it healthy for the majority of meals
- Then make your shopping list based on the ingredients of a week's worth of meals.
The other handy thing to use, is to have a 'master' shopping list. To have a master shopping list you need to do the following:
- Look through your cupboards, fridge and freezer for things you buy regularly and write them down (including those things that you might have run out of already)
- Categorise your list more or less as supermarkets have isles. So you would have a fruit section, condiments, cleaning products, laundry, pet supplies and so forth)
- You can then divide your list into things you need weekly, and things you only need monthly.
- Print off, or make copies of your list
- Before you head off to the supermarket for your monthly or weekly shop, you can quickly skim the cupboards to see what's missing or running out, and highlight them on your list so that you know what to buy.
I like the idea of combining these two methods. Using the list of 20 meals to establish an ingredients list, and adding that to a master shopping list. I'm definitely going to give these methods a try.
Have you got a good way of planning your family's meals? Do share your tips with us!
While I'm on about shopping, I know every one's trying to be greener by using less plastic bags, so I thought I'd share some of these re-usable bag finds...
Left to right
Row 2: A fold away lightweight shopper from reusablebags; Such a sweet toddler sized shopper, so go on let the kids help too, this one is made by Me a bee; a cleverly recycled shopper made from used sails by Branch.
Row 3: A stylish cotton canvas bag made by Mr.PS; These Cambodian Recycled Rice Bags come in these fabulous colours and are from Firebox.com; a market bag that's lightweight and comfortable to carry from Reusablebags.