Meal Plan

A few months ago after I returned from my trip to visit my friends and family in Zambia I decided to make a change in my life. I got tired of spending almost £30 every week to buy ready meals for the week since I could not be bothered to cook. I now spend about £30 a month of food and since it’s just me its a good amount. I buy meats in bulk and buy fresh veggies every week for my salads which I surprisely eat daily to accompany all my foods or by themselves.

My meal planning is pretty simple since it is just me, myself and I. I spend a few minutes every month and decide what meats I want to eat and sometimes what other veggies I want to try out and that’s it. I do not have a specific day during the week when I cook loads of food and freeze them, for me it all depends on my mood and level of work plus how much energy I am left with when I return from work.
I have made my meal planning as painless as I possibly can, I cook my favourite delicacies and I cook these in huge amounts to last me a week or two. And I have days where I feel like eating cereal or having my jacket potato with cheese and sauce for me it’s really simples.
My favourite all time recipe to pull out is my chilli beef recipe, I can not remember the last time I bought ready cooked chilli or chilli beef con carne or anything along those lines as I really do believe mine tastes much better than the store bought. I will share a few steps but I am not that great at explaining recipes so I hope the pictures will be enough but if not when I do get a chance I will update this post with the recipe details. 
Step 1: Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and fry onions until tender then add mince until brown

Step 2: Add  tomatoes, spices (and as much chilli as you want) and cook for 3 minutes then add tomato puree and water and cook for 10 minutes

Step 3: Add the beans (this is optional) and cook for 2 minutes

Step 4: Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes

Done

I portion my food out into small lunch boxes and carry one to work. I made a salad to go with this chilli beef

Portion control is very important so I usually use this size ball to measure.

Because I do not want my meals to look dull I always switch it up, I sometimes have the chilli beef with nachos, yoghurt and cheese. It’s so delicious you really should try it if not done so already.

So how do you do your meal planning?
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  • Great job on your meal planning and money saving efforts! It is not easy to do. I think that your chili looks fantastic. It is supposed to ice over here in Dallas tomorrow so now I know what I will be serving for dinner to keep my family warm, full, and happy! Xo

  • Your chili looks delicious…I could almost smell it through the computer screen. I made chili some last week, and then portion it out in 5-6 equal servings… and it is quite filling. I love topping it with sour cream, and sometimes, sliced block cheddar cheese.

  • Can never go wrong with Chilli beef and if you have a slow cooker then you can do different recipes for your family. I love chicken but hardly ever make it as I am loving my chilli beef more this winter.

  • Thanks Freya and hope you too one day start your own, you can start it slowly cook when you feel like it not when it feels like a chore.

  • I think this could be adapted to a vegan meal obviously removing the beef and just having nice veggies.

  • I hope you manage to start it and I am glad to have inspired you. Thanks

  • I hardly ever have leftovers and when I do they become my breakfast. I think you guys are doing it just fine x

  • The part of the UK I am in is very expensive but I have learnt ways to buy good foods for less

  • Thanks glad it is easy to follow i love making it but never even think about how i am doing it as i switch it up every time i cook

  • It is absolutely awesome to cook my own meals and then dont have to worry about it all week

  • I'm trying to think if that much would actually be enough for one person to eat for a week in the states, I guess all those items would. But I got 4 crazy monsters who love to eat, so though I still less around $100 a week. I have yet to try to meal plan it, because its pretty simple, we eat chicken every night. The microwave is broken, so I really have no way to heat it up again, unless I used the oven. But this chilli looks amazing! I love simple eating and simple cooking! Cant go wrong with that.

  • I buy ready meals myself most of the time but I really want to cook more myself. Meal planning sound like a great and effective idea, I think I will try it out. Your Chili Beef looks delicious, I will definitely try out that recipe.

  • It sounds like your meal planning is going well for you! I don't know what I would do at grocery stores without a meal plan. Buy everything, I guess. 😉 I love chili, especially during the winter. I'm vegan, so I'd leave out the meat, but it's still hearty with tons of beans and veggies! 🙂

  • This is such a great idea of a way to save plus you have meals already cooked. I have been wanting to start a better meal planning system for myself as well. Thanks for your inspiration, I hope to start my own meal planning now.

  • This looks so good! I'm not sure how we can save or even make more food than we do. Usually we have a bit of leftovers but not enough for doing this. I need bigger pots I think! I love make a head, and switching things up a bit. Such a great idea!

  • 30 pounds a month on food is incredible!! We spent that almost weekly (granted that's for two people). The UK is so incredibly expensive, though I guess the grocery stores aren't. I like that you don't have to worry about quick thinking of ideas for dinner though– that happens to us almost daily!

  • The recipe is clearly written and for sure it will be easy to follow as well. This is great for lunch or snack in the office. It look delicious and I feel like wanting to eat that right now. 🙂

  • I was the same way as you – but I have since swapped ways of picking up easy-to-go meals. First because it was costly, secondly it didn't help my waist line, and last – I want to be healthier this year because I would love to have a child some day. Love that you're now meal planning – doesn't it feel awesome knowing what's on the dinner table in advance, instead of scrounging for ideas?