Honestly? I don’t meal plan because I’m too lazy. And meal planners laugh and go ‘that’s the point. Meal planning makes your life easier.’ DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT LAZY MEANS?
It’s not just that though. I never know what I want for tea. Also I work weird hours that can change at a moment’s notice, meaning that I can eat at work. I’m not going to pass that up because the food at work is cooked by professional cookers. Chefs! That’s the right word.
I still think we manage pretty well though, and we still sometimes do a bit of meal prep that makes sure we use up the food we’ve got. We’re also pretty boring when it comes to food, so end up eating the same things all the time. I have no problem with this.
So what do we do instead of making a meal plan?
We pretty much make sure everything’s ready to be cooked/eaten.
I chop cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, celery and anything else salady and pop it in Tupperware containers (I know that doesn’t sound lazy, but I get round this by making sure we have salad on a Monday night – it doesn’t take much effort to chop all the ingredients rather than just what we need right then).
We stick to the same meals.
Pasta, risotto, baked potatoes, sandwiches. Yes, we switch up the sauces and things, but basically, we eat similar things day to day. That may be too boring to you, but this works for us because we work long erratic hours and are absolute pigs, and if the food is going to be quick and easy, we’re going to go to the shop and buy something else.
We also have no problem eating similar things twice in a row. For example, we had tacos on Monday night, and then had the same chilli filling with baked potatoes on Tuesday. It was delicious. I’d have had it again on Wednesday, but we ate it all.
THERE ARE NO RULES.
If you want to have mashed potato every damn night for the rest of your life I SALUTE YOU.
Make sure we always have certain things in the cupboard.
I’ve gone through these things in this post, so I won’t go through them again, but it’s nothing ground breaking. We’ve found (through mucho trial and error) what works for us. Even if you always make sure you’re packing hummus and crackers, that’s cool. I buy punnets of grapes, then take them all of the vine and put them in a bowl, because it makes me 4519% more likely to eat them. I’m afraid I can’t tell you what to do(unless you can live on as many sandwiches as we do) – I can only tell you that after a few missed shots, you’ll find out whatever you need to have in your pantry when you’re hungry and tired and can whip up in ten minutes. Gnocchi is GREAT thing to have when you want something carby actually – rather than boiling it, just fry it until golden in oil and you get the most delicious chip/roast potato hybrids.
Omg, that’s what I fancy right now, brb.
Spend a lot of time on pinterest.
Tis where I found the gnocchi ‘recipe’, and that’s saved us from getting a takeaway more than once. I also learned about blending a pack of silken tofu with a big bar of melted dark chocolate and a couple of drops of vanilla extract. OMG it’s the most delicious dessert ever, like a light, non-sickly Angel Delight (remember that?) that’s FULL of protein.
Do I have another tip that means you can meal plan without actually having to meal plan? 5 would be better than 4…
Here we go, inspiration has struck.
Set ourselves up for success.
Don’t go thinking you’ll be a fancy chef and be trying new recipes every night and the like. Stick to what you know until you have your routine down and then add some new things in. Trust me, grocery shopping effectively is WAY more of a learning curve than I ever anticipated it was going to me.
I wish I’d done the first food shop I ever did as a student online (we didn’t have that option then though) because I think I could have learned quicker where the hell all my money was going and what I really needed to buy. I mean, I remember putting potatoes back because I wanted cookies and couldn’t afford both.
I don’t really subscribe to the whole not shopping when you’re hungry thing, because it’s impossible to get right. Yes, I buy more when I’m hungry, but if I’m full then I buy nothing and end up having to do another shop later in the week. Nightmare. Again, shopping online is the key here, because how hungry you are won’t affect your shopping (unless you can get it delivered reeeeally quickly).
I hope you can glean at least one nugget of useful information out of this post. If you have anything to add pop it downstairs in the comments, I’d love to hear from you 🙂