Why We Stopped Meal Planning

I’ve raved about meal planning, I love it. I really do. I love the organising, I love the planning and I love knowing what I need to buy. But recently I have found that it wasn’t working for us.

We’ve started buying our meat from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) monthly membership, and because of this I began doing a monthly grocery shop. I’ve been getting fresh food once a week or fortnight as we needed it. But apart from the fruit and veg I tend to only be at the supermarket once a month.

I wrote a couple of monthly meal plans, but to be honest they just weren’t working for us. It’d take me so long to go through and imagine enough meals for the month. Then once I had done that, it’d be rare that we’d refer to it during the month.

With the new shopping has come a new way of eating. We are greatly reducing our carbohydrate consumption and are focusing much heavier on eating veggies and a small amount of meat with most meals. This helps with the monthly grocery shop because really I need to top up on are a some gluten free pasta, nuts and seeds, oils, butter, yoghurt, milk and some tinned tomatoes and legumes.

Throughout the month I have been inspired to pick up my cookbooks, mostly using Simplicious*, I Quit Sugar For Life*, I Quit Sugar Slow Cooker Cookbook* (I’m not quitting sugar, just love the easy, delicious, healthy recipes). And often I’m thinking a few days in advance about dinner, grabbing meat out of our deep freezer to defrost a few days in advance. But usually dinner ends up being mostly roast veggies or a salad with a small about of meat. We will often share two steaks between the three of us and have left overs to add to a toasted cheese sandwich the following day.

Rarely do I feel the frustrations I once did about ‘what’s for dinner’, I’ve re-found my joy for cooking and Elliot will often help me in the early afternoon to get dinner prepared. I’m lucky and thankful to have the time to spend in the kitchen with my little one.

I should also mention that we’re still sticking to our budget, but are now stretching $400 over the month. If the money runs out, we go without and just use what we have at home.

Tell me do you meal plan? Monthly? Weekly? Fortnightly? Do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

6 thoughts on “Why We Stopped Meal Planning

  1. I don’t meal plan in the “x meal this day” sense. It doesn’t work for us. But we make roughly the same meals each fortnight & I know how much to buy in our fortnightly grocery shop; it’s just a sense to me, not written.

  2. When our kids were at home, I meal planned every single week. We were on a budget and doing that helped us to stay on it. Now that it’s just my husband and I, my meal planning is much more casual. When family and or the holidays come, I resort back to meal planning. Helps keep the stress down. As far as having enough meals to pull from, in addition to our favorites, I was and currently still try about one or two new recipes a week. I use the MealBoard App which contains recipes I’ve tried and those to be tried.

  3. I don’t plan full meals unless I have new recipes to try or a new to me ingredient plus my brain can’t think that far ahead lol. I cook with whatever I have in the freezer with whatever comes in my fruit and veg box. We’re eating alot less meat than normal but we didn’t have much meat before that. I usually cook 500g mince to 1kg veggies and same for slow cook meals. We have upped our broth consumption and eggs though. And like you we have increased our veggie intake.

  4. Love you say deep freeze i have mentioned this in other posts and people think i have two heads they dont understand what a deep freeze is

  5. I am still meal planning. These days I just choose a cookbook and pick three or so things from it, then I do a couple of meat and three veg dishes – which could be a small portion of meat/beans or tofu/tempeh in our house. Then something simple like a rice dish or a pasta. Harlan (1-year-old) is still learning about food, so i really have to think about what we eat. We only eat meat 1-2 a week the rest is veg and loads of whole grains.
    We did a big buy of meat a long time ago but it didn’t suit us. We eat more veggies than meat, so now we just get it fresh when we need. But I found that was a big deterrent for me coming up with meals. because I felt I had to get rid fo the meat in the freezer.
    FYI I am practically living out of My Darling Lemon thymes books. – BOTH OF THEM!!!!

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