Meal planning and shopping

In many ways having a baby hasn’t changed much of how my husband and I live our daily lives and in other ways everything is different.

One of the biggest differences was how we prepared our meals. When I was working full time we would tend to do a small daily shop. We’d go past the store on our way home from work and pick up the necessary fresh goodies for dinner.

Then I got pregnant and this became even more of a habit because I never knew what I was in the mood to eat or what would make me feel sick that day.

Now that Willow is here getting out of the house is more of a production. I find that too many outings mess with her routine, being out too long is a disaster and getting anything done is ten times harder.

So we had to rethink our strategy. We turned to good old meal planning. In the spirit of full disclosure I don’t do the cooking in my house (I cook very seldom and under great duress. I am not good at it, I don’t enjoy it, and I have a tendency to destroy perfectly good food.) That said, my husband reckons I’m a fussy eater and makes me plan for and buy all the meals and he cooks it.

What works for us is shopping every three days or so. I go through our freezer and fridge to see what we have on hand, what needs to be used up and what will be an easy meal to throw together. I then discuss the options with Hubby and together we plan a brief menu that includes a protein and veg for each day. I then see what needs to be added for lunches (will I eat left overs, make sandwiches etc.) and make sure I have what I need for breakfast (Hubby doesn’t eat breakfast).

Once the plan is more or less worked out I head to the shops to get what we need. I also have a chalk board in my kitchen for people to write down when we’ve finished basics like milk and sugar. This is also where the finished cleaning supplies get written up.

Willow and I try to stick as close to the list as possible when we’re out shopping. I find that this system is making sure we use up all the food we buy (I hate throwing away something that’s gone off because I forgot it was there. It’s a huge pet peeve for me.) This method is also great because we are getting more variety in what we eat and we are eating healthier.

I’m sure this habit will stand us in good stead as Willow gets older and when any siblings come along. It really helps me to have a list as I find I’m more focused and just get what we need. I’m a great one for grabbing things just because they look interesting and then they never get used.

Shopping smarter and eating healthier means I am feeling really good at the moment. My house isn’t full of crappy junk food anymore and I can tell in how my jeans fit, how my skin looks and how I feel overall.

Do you meal plan? Have you got any t6ricks I should try? I would love to hear them!

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