Meal Planning

Do you ever say to yourself, “I just can’t cook another meal?” You lack inspiration and energy? Right, now is the time to revise your thinking around daily cooking and throw in a little meal planning. I bet you plan your work day, your wardrobe, your kids’ schedules, your housework chores…do you plan your meals?

Use clever key recipes

The key to budget meal planning is to have a couple of key recipes in your arsenal. From there you can branch out and create some fun 30 minute meals. It is worth making a big batch of tomato sauce and storing suitable portions in your freezer. They can then become the base for a pasta sauce, pizza base, Chicken Parmesan or even a Bolognese. And if you make a double batch of a Bolognese Sauce Recipe, you can have it on spaghetti the one night and in a Lasagna the next. Are you getting the idea? Never just cook one meal! Every time you expend energy over your stove, think,”What other meal can I make from this one?”

Stretch your ingredients

Another thing with budget meal planning is to stretch your ingredients. You can treat the family to steak the one night but you can’t do that three nights in a row. So, take leftover steak and cut it really finely and transform it into a Beef Stir Fry Recipe or Thai Beef Recipe. The same goes for fish. Yes, you can have some nice fish fillets during the week – but use the leftovers for a luscious Fish Pie the next. We often think that we can’t afford good cuts of fish or meat but if you cook from scratch and avoid the take-outs, you will be amazed how far your budget will extend. The trick is to be clever with how you use the raw ingredients.

Put leftovers to good use

Here is another really smart idea. You can make a great Fruit Tart recipe with the end of summer berries. Make your own pastry cream which tastes better than any bought custard. But, you will say, “What about all the leftover egg whites? Where is the economy in that?” Have you ever eaten Angel Food Cake? What better way of using egg whites than to bake them in the form of this lighter-than-ever cake.

So, you see, a little smart thinking and healthy meal planning saves you time, money and your sanity!

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