I spotted this nifty little tear off meal planner pad in John Lewis today. It has space for writing your meals from each day of the week, with separate spaces for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Another fabulous idea from JL. For those not in the UK, John Lewis is the most delightful department store imaginable. One day when I am rich, I will decorate my entire home from there, and fill my cupboards with the clothes and crockery. I will also go there for coffee and cake for a rest from my shopping sprees. (Dear John Lewis, I swoon at 99% of your products, and will graciously accept a sponsorship deal should you offer one).
So back to the meal planner………4 reasons why planning your meals is a winner!
- You will eat more healthily – if you plan what you are going to eat when you are in a sensible frame of mind, you will choose more logically, plan better more balanced meals and snacks, and have the ingredients in the fridge/freezer/cupboard. No dashes through McDonald’s Drive Thru’ or a desperate online order to Domino’s (and no stuffing half a loaf of bread and butter in your gob because your blood sugar levels are so low you might pass out). By having healthy snacks for the week sorted, you are less likely to resort to crisps/chocolate/cake/biscuits etc. which will just make you feel bleurghhhh, lethargic and guilty.
- You will save money – if you have your list of meals and snacks and know the ingredients, you can make a shopping list. There will be no need to fling ‘just in case’ purchases in to your shopping trolley, and there is less likely to be waste. When you know what ingredients you need (and you have the time) you can even use a website such as Mysupermarket to compare prices across the supermarkets to get the cheapest deal.
- You will eat more variety – find yourself trying to think of something imaginative to do with pasta three nights on the trot? By planning your meals, you will be more conscious of how often you are having things and make more effort to change things up. e.g. Monday chilli & rice, Tuesday potatoes & salmon, Wednesday tuna pasta, Thursday quinoa Superfood Salad, Friday pizza, Saturday chicken fajita wraps, Sunday eggs & toast. All with a great big serving of veggies or salad of course!!
- You will be less stressed – trying to decide what to make for a meal at the last minute can be stressful when you are rushing frantically home from work and hungry. To add to the pressure, you may have children squabbling because they’re famished too (mine are irritable little monsters when they are hungry,
as am I). If you have a plan in place, an immense amount of pressure is removed. For the extra busy days, you could even prepare a meal in advance e.g. chilli and rice, that just needs to be reheated in the microwave.
So I am going to put my money where my mouth is, and get planning. As well as the John Lewis paper version, there are lots of menu planners online. This is a good from Tesco if you need meal inspiration……it even gives you the shopping list!