Meal Planning by a hot mess Mum

Meal Plan - they said! It'll be fun - they said. You'll be so organised - they said. You'll save so much time - they said. It was NOT fun, I was NOT organised and I didn't save ANY time!!

As a part of living frugally, Meal Planning plays an important role in saving money and planning ahead ….. or so I’m told by other Mum bloggers.

Look, I’m a hot mess Mum.  I’ve made peace with that and sometimes I even enjoy it.  Meal Planning does not sound like something that:

A)  will suit my lifestyle, or most importantly

B)  will interest me!

But, I’ll give it a whirl anyway.  Hey, if it can save me money and the time of staring off into the distance for an hour each day trying to figure out what to have for dinner, I’m all for it.

First, I need to get prepared.  If I’ve learned anything off Pinterest it’s that you must have fancy paper and dedicated lists to be organised. Off to Kmart, I trot, kids in tow to pick up the most essential supplies for my Meal Planning journey – a fancy notepad to write on …..

Oh, and I’d better grab a pen while I’m here as well.

I’m excited, I’m going to have a beautiful list of healthy food and snacks carefully planned, written out and shopped for. The kids are going to look at it every day and know exactly what’s for dinner and be excited for the meal to come.  Everything is going to be homemade, from scratch because that’s what happens when you meal plan, you have extra time to cook!!!!

Ok, kiddies are asleep, it’s time to get organised……

Monday – Breakfast

Ummmm, cereal.  What kind of cereal ….. hmmmm, whatever is on special.

Monday – Lunch

Ummmm, sandwich, the kids always have sandwiches (see, I already meal plan in my head anyway!!!).  What kind of sandwich ….. I’ll work that out when I go shopping as well – sandwich meat of some kind.

Monday – Dinner

Meat and veg of some kind. I’ll see what’s on special at the supermarket and then fill this in later.

Continue this pattern for the rest of the week!

Shopping day………

Am I organised with a list of things to buy from my meal plan?  No.

Have I saved money – also no.

What was the purpose of my meal plan – no idea!!

No, hang on, I did sort out snacks.  I have snacks for the week carefully written out and planned.  So that’s a start.

Fast-forward to Sunday.

Open the pantry and look at the snack box.  Oh, my, god – the biscuits are gone, who ate the biscuits???? “I did Mum” pipes up my innocent 8-year-old “You can’t eat them today, we’re scheduled to eat them on Tuesday” I shriek back….

Blank stare at me from 8 year old…..

I stare back after hearing what just came out of my mouth…..

Silence from the rest of the kids.

Yeah, we’re not doing this anymore, this is not us.

Hey – at least we tried!

Help me, parents, do you meal plan?  Where am I going wrong?

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  • I do a kind of reverse meal plan. I go grocery shopping and buy whatever I like. Then I make a list of the meats I have on hand and the number of meals I will get out of each. I normally buy a 24 pack of sausages, which provides us with 5 meals. Then I make up what we are going to eat based on what is available. I also have a pretty standard list of what meal I can make from what meat.

  • I make a weekly meal plan. To get recipe ideas, I browse my favorite Facebook food groups and pages and then list what’s on the menu from Monday to Sunday. Then I list all the needed ingredients in our grocery list. That way, we don’t have to buy something we don’t need.

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