I still had some potatoes and carrots left over but they are still fine for being used up this week. Potatoes can get used as a basis for a soup, to top a casserole/shepherds pie or sometimes I make potato pizza. Carrots are great made into a soup too. I’ve recently started making these yummy carrot flapjacks that are great as a savoury snack, picnic item or to have with some salad for lunch (my 1 1/2 year old loves them too). Leftover carrots can also be a good excuse to make some carrot cake
Meal planning definitely has some advantages and I enjoyed some of those last week:
- No time wasted trying to think of what to cook in the evening (especially nice after a tiring day).
- More thought goes into your meals when you plan in advance so you’re likely to choose healthier options than you would if you were deciding on the spot.
- Saves you money, as you cook with what you have rather than going out to buy more ingredients.
- Cuts down on your trips to the supermarket.
- Generally makes you feel more organised and gives you one less thing to think about.
As someone not used to meal planning for a whole week ahead, it was not without its small challenges. My meals didn’t always use as much of a particular vegetable as I had anticipated. Whilst the vegetables still didn’t get wasted, I could have done a better job at judging quantities for meals. One evening, I just didn’t feel like making the dish I had chosen for that night, too much preparation or something. It was ok, as I just swapped with another night’s meal but I guess you can avoid this by focusing more on quick, easy recipes for weekday evenings. I’m sure meal planning gets easier with practice.
Whilst I’m not sure that I would meal plan every week, I am keen to try it out for another week or so. I can see how it could be helpful if you know you have a particularly busy week coming up. My reason for doing it was to minimise food waste and it achieved that aim and made me more aware of creating meals based around the fresh ingredients we have at home, rather than picking a meal and then cooking with only some of those ingredients.
Do you meal plan? If so, how do you think it helps you? What are you best tricks for using up leftover foods?