Winging it with a meal plan!

You like winging it in your kitchen. You want to meal plan but you hate recipes! No problem.

Meal planning with no recipe

Meal planning is about more than recipes, it is about a lifestyle change. Simplifying your life and making time for you to spend doing what you prefer. It also saves you money.

My Meal Plan
Meal plans don’t have to have a recipe

In a previous blog post we looked at themed meal plans and that is where not following a recipe will fit in. Dinner Theme Meal Planning

Your meal plan template allows you to go to the store and use your imagination for ingredients.

Using a template

If you step into a store with the idea in mind that your main meal ingredient is chicken, you then can decide while in the store or in your pantry what other ingredients you will be adding to make this into a healthy balanced meal.

 

You don’t need to only plan your main ingredient; you can even plan your cuisine. An example of this is Mexican + Meat. Now you can go to the store knowing you want to buy meat and spicy/tomato ingredients.

This method allows you to make use of specials, as well as not buying too much and having it sit in your kitchen and go to waste.

While this is a method I do not think I could use successfully in my home I do think that it would be very successful for single people, college/varsity students and possibly stay at home moms (as an excuse to get out of the house possibly?).

Singles

For single people meal planning can be a little tedious and most have a fairly fluid social life.

This means if you meal plan for more than a week in advance you will likely have food going to waste. Just having your template can work not only for meal planning, but also for your social life.

For example if you have Fish on your template for a certain night, then you can use this to help decide on a restaurant if you are going out for dinner. It can also be used to decide whether it is canned tuna or perfectly seared tuna steaks, whichever you have time for.

College/Varsity

For college/varsity students living either in an apartment with other students or on campus where you only have limited way to prepare foods, then this method will also help with budgeting and saving money.

Having a template and being able to use that to decide on your ingredients will be a big part of your life. Students living in res will usually only have a kettle and microwave and this can to a certain extent limit your options, go online and search for ideas to help you.

Going online to look for microwave recipes will help. Instant noodles are very versatile as a base for some great meals. These can definitely be bought in advance and then dressed up, with ingredients bought fresh on the day.

Choose your flavor of noodle and then add. For example choose a fish flavoured instant noodle meal and add some salmon off cuts and a tablespoon of cream cheese for a delicious supper.

Instant noodles
Buying instant noodles and dressing them up with fresh ingredients is a great way to budget your food bills

For those sharing, it will definitely help you with your food budgets.

Stay at home moms

Staying at home to raise your children is an amazing thing to be able to do. If you are the type of mom who wants to stay at home, and if your finances allow you this option.

There does come a time, however, when even the most dedicated moms need to get out. Going to the mall and buying your groceries can fulfill this need two fold. The first is retail therapy without feeling guilty for spending money; the second is feeding your family nourishing meals.

Shopping without a recipe can allow you to choose ingredients that are versatile in terms of the ages of each family member.

I love hearing how people go about deciding what’s for dinner, so why not let me know how you decided and what methods work best for you?

Published by

Adrienne

I am a working mom, married with four kids and trying to get in control of my life. I blog about budgeting, household management and menu planning, This is a South African blog, aimed at South African families. I am an Orthodox Jew, so there will definitely be posts on organising and budgeting an planning meals for Jewish Holidays

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