On the whole I think I’ve been managing pretty well at meal planning. I’ve been getting a plan made every week, and mostly sticking to it. I’m quite happy that I’m feeding my family varied and healthy meals. I still need to do some work around my own eating – the geekdaddy and I have some snacking habits we need to address, and I still get drawn to sugary things far too easily. But in general, I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
But it’s still a chore. It takes me a long time to put the meal plan together, usually surrounded by recipe books. This doesn’t come naturally to me at all, and I must confess that when it’s time to put together the plan I have to grit my teeth and get on with it.
So this week I’m trying something different…
I first heard of menus4mums a couple of years ago. It’s a meal planning service where you pay a small fee and receive a family friendly meal plan for the week with all the recipes you need along with a shopping list of what you need to buy. At the time I loved the idea, but I was following the Slimming World eating plan and didn’t know if the recipes would fit with that or not, so I didn’t try the service. However yesterday I was about to start my meal planning process, with the typical “oh, no, it’s that time again” feeling, and I remembered the site, and decided to see how expensive it was.
One of the compromises I can make as a working mother is that I can afford to pay for some services, especially if they save me time. When I discovered that I could get four weeks of meal plans for £6.95 I decided it was worth a try, and signed up. Other longer-term subscription options are available which make the service cheaper per week, but I won’t commit to 6 or 12 months of something without trying it first.
My first impressions of the service are very good. The meal plan gives you five days of meals, complete recipes for each one and a shopping list which also has suggestions of which supermarkets currently have good deals on the ingredients. All the meals look easy to prepare, and a lot of them are quick to prepare as well. There’s also an attempt to make things that will do multiple meals (for example this week I’ll cook a batch of chilli con carne which will then be used as a taco filling later in the week). It’s all geared around a family of four, but I found it easy to halve the quantities of the meals I plan to make for just the geekdaddy and myself. I must say it made the meal planning process much less painful than usual, and I think it’s also saved me some money on my weekly shop too. All the recipes look healthy, and are all cooked from scratch, which fits very well with the way I want to feed my family. It also looks like there’s going to be one fish recipe each week, which will be good for me, as I don’t eat enough fish. I’ll let you know how the meals actually taste next week.
So here’s what we’re going to be eating this week:
Monday: Meat pies (the last of my farmer’s market purchases from a few weeks ago
Tuesday: Mediterranean Prawn Supper
Wednesday: Creamy chicken pasta
Thursday: Chilli con Carne
Friday: Pork ragu (from the freezer) with pasta
Saturday: Chilli tacos
You can find more Meal Planning Monday posts over at At Home with Mrs M - why not head over there and see what other people are eating this week?
This is not a sponsored post. I have paid my own money for a menus4mums subscription.