Meet the Meal Planner is a new feature on At Home With Mrs M, designed to introduce everyone to the people who get involved with Meal Planning Monday each week. This is each meal planners chance to tell us who they are, why and how they meal plan. I hope you enjoy this new item and feel free to leave a comment for the meal planner below!
Hi there and welcome to Meet the Meal Planner! It’s great to have you here. Lets start by introducing yourself. Please tell us a little more about who you are and all about your blog. (If you have one!)
Hi I’m Kirsty and I blog at hijackedbytwins.com. I am a stay at home mum with three children, 9 year old son and 2 year old twins. After my family my big love and passion is cooking and baking. I love creating new recipes and bakes. I regularly share a variety of recipes from cakes to bread, from main meals to desserts and plenty of stories about our lives.
Lets get down to business. I’d like to know you have been meal planning for and what inspired you to start?
I have been meal planning for 9 months now. I started to meal plan as a way to budget better on our food shopping. Plus I was fed up of it getting to tea time and not really knowing what to cook. Having a meal plan has saved us money and saved me the tea time stress of wondering what to feed everyone.
It’s time to start writing your meal plan for the week. What do you do first? Talk us through your planning.
The first thing I do is look at what I have got in the fridge and list the items that need using in date order. This enables me to see what needs to be used first and I can plan accordingly.
Where do you find your meal-planning inspiration? Do you have a list of go-to meals or do you like to get creative and mix it up?
We have our regular family favourites that I try to include. But I have recently signed up for a weekly meat subscription. Each week I get a different selection of high quality meat, I have found that this has challenged me to cook meats that I wouldn’t usually buy and has given us more of a variety.
What cookbooks do you use the most? Is there a website resource you would recommend to other meal-planners?
I have shelves full of cook books so it is really hard to say which I use the most. I tend not to stick to recipes too much as I like to change ingredients according to our own tastes. I do love Save With Jamie by Jamie Oliver for ideas for leftovers. I also use BBC Good Food magazine and online site a lot.
So you’ve got your meal plan ready…do you ever go off-plan or do you always stick to it rigidly?
I do try to stick to my meal plan as much as possible however we all know how life can sometimes take over. However I do find it easier when I have stuck to my meal plan.
What benefits have you seen from meal planning? Do you find it helps you to cut waste? Save money?
I have found that the amount of food that gets wasted has dramatically reduced. This is down to better planning and knowing use by dates on fresh produce. I have also found that it has saved us money on our weekly shop. Before I did a meal plan I would often find that I had ingredients missing and would do mid week shops which quickly mounted up!
Any top tips for meal planning?
Always check your use by dates of fresh produce and plan around what needs using first. Also make it enjoyable, try new dishes and challenge yourself. I believe that food should be enjoyable from the preparation to cooking and of course to eating.
And finally, purely because I am nosey, what kitchen utensil/gadget could you just not live without?
If I had to pick one gadget or utensil it would have to be my scales. I bake a lot so it is important that the quantities are correct. I also love my Kenwood Prospero as it has so many gadgets that make life a little easier.
Thanks to Kirsty for sharing her meal planning tips. Why not head over to her blog and find out what she’s been up to recently.
I’ll be back with another Meet the Meal Planner really soon! If you’re interested in being featured, get in touch!