January is easily the worst month of the year. Everyone is on the comedown from December’s festivities and with the grey dull weather and everyone watching the purse after indulging at Christmas, it can be a somewhat bleak time.
I am re-joining Slimming World today after a very naughty few months and along with trying to lose the weight I’ve managed to put on over Christmas, but aside to the fact that I am wanting to lose weight I really want to be more frugal with our food shop.
We easily spend over £100 a week on food yet never seem to actually have anything to eat. Slimming World definitely helps me be more organised, but being the only one in a family of four following it, it’s not always suitable. Charlie is a notoriously fussy eater therefore all my meals can’t be adapted for him so I can easily end up cooking numerous meals every night.
I can now try to be more organised thanks to the lovely folk at AO.com who sent me this Linx 8″ 32gb Wifi tablet to try out and hopefully help me stay motivated, focused and organised. The tablet has Windows 10 built-in, so it will also come in handy for my blogging on the go. I usually stay for Slimming World groups so I can do a spot of blogging on my tablet, whilst waiting for the meeting to start. I can also download the official SW app to it too which enables me to track my weight loss journey. I love how small and lightweight it is, meaning it can easily be popped in my handbag for when I am out and about on the go.
I find Pinterest the best resource to find healthy meals and have a whole board dedicated to weight loss ideas, tips, hints and recipes. My new tablet will enable me to browse of an evening when the kids are in bed as I can use the Pinterest app and save my ideas. I also like to do my online shop so the in-built WiFi will enable me to shop in bed – the dream!
Some lovely bloggers also helped me out and gave me some really useful tips on how to meal plan successfully.
Blogger Tips for Meal Planning
Write it all down and the list of ingredients needed then do an online shop straight away with everything on the list that way you won’t get distracted – Lianne, www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk
Definitely take an inventory of what you have – fridge, freezer and pantry – so that you have a reference point of things you DON’T need to buy when you do your shopping. – Emma, http://themoneywhisperer.co.uk
Meal planning is a weekly must for us! We stick to a small budget, so I need to meal plan to make sure we’re getting the most for our money. I sit down once a week, go through cookbooks/check online recipes and write a list of meals, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner. I then check what we already have in stock before writing a list of things we need. Sophia – http://www.tattooedtealady.com
If I go food shopping or even to a supermarket when hungry, any plan we have always goes out the window. It’s fatal! – Emma, Readyfreddiego.com
I chose to do a meal plan for six week for variety. For each week, I chose three quick and easy freshly cooked recipes that were out of my comfort zone. Then added in one batch cook in and then added in one or two old favourites. Added in simple lunches and breakfasts and snacks then made a shopping lists for each week distributing the household items across the weeks to spread the cost. Then I turned them into weekly shopping lists and laminated them, popped them in a folder and laminated all the recipe cards and put them in behind the weekly shop. I do my shops online and save them as shopping lists. Once you’ve done six weeks, it’s so quick and easy. It makes it easier to stick to as you don’t have to think about what you’re having for tea and it saves lots of money. the variety keeps it interesting. – Jemma, www.havekidswilltraveluk.com
Use leftovers wisely. If you roasted a chicken on a Sunday then chuck the carcass in a pot with veg to make soup. Use any leftover meat on Monday. There are so many fantastic recipes available that utilise leftovers. Cat – http://www.pushingthemoon.com/tips-for-meal-planning-on-a-budget
I currently have a list of 35 tried and tested meals we love – some slow cooker, some quick and easy, some that I can bulk cook and some that take longer but are nice for weekend treats or dinner parties. I have all the recipes and ingredients printed out or bookmarked in recipe books and use the list to do a weekly meal plan which I write on our wall planner. Doing it this way takes all the stress out of choosing meals and doing the shopping as everything is there for me. It means when I have a bit more time, I can do a bulk cook for stuff to go in the freezer for those nights we’re busy/can’t be bothered to cook. I started this two months ago and it’s working really well for us, saving us time and money – perfect with a newborn due in a few weeks! – Abi, www.somethingaboutbaby.co.uk
Choose meals you really like that way you’ll want to cook and eat them. – Debbie, Www.myboysclub.co.uk
Write your meal plan at the start of the week and stick to it, this will help you determine exactly what food you need to buy as well. Sticking to a meal plan takes away all that stress of ‘what to have for dinner tonight’ – Claire, http://thepramshed.co.uk
I am ready for success and have recharged my batteries. I know that meal planning is the key to success for leading a more organised and healthier lifestyle. If there’s nothing but crisps to eat – then how can I expect to try to stick to plan! These tips are brilliant and are definitely what I am going to be following. Wish me luck as I start my journey again in a quest to meal plan successfully and keep on the plan.
Disclosure: We were sent the tablet pictured for the purpose of this post.