Meal Planning Essentials

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I’ve mentioned before that I like to plan our meals in accordance with the veg box. If you’re already bored of said box, you’ll be glad to read that it won’t be featuring too much in this post! If you liked my purple beans, however, they’ll be making another appearance soon, so don’t worry. Rather than focussing on actual food items, the topic of today’s post will be Meal Planning Essentials, and I’m hoping to introduce you to my method and some of the products I use to make my life easier.

Meal Planning Essentials

My life-savers are two little notepads, manufactured by the masterminds at Knock Knock, who also make a whole lot of other fun things and who are definitely worth a click.

Grocery List

Firstly, I use their All Out Of pad to keep on top of groceries. We try to do only one shop a week to curb our spending, so it’s important that we always know what we need. By ticking off and writing down items that we run out of during the week, we save a good chunk of time that would otherwise be spent trying to figure out what exactly that ingredient was that we used up last Thursday. Then, when we’ve completed our week’s meal plan, we just add any items that we’ll need and hop off to the shop. Except we don’t really hop. It’s about a mile from our house, that would be quite a long way to hop.

Knock Knock Weekly Meal Plan

Then, every Sunday, we use this genius little pad to plan the entire week’s dinners, breakfasts, lunches and lunch boxes. As you can see, there’s room to write the date, designated chef (we take it in turns) and little boxes to tick whether you’ll be eating in, out or getting a takeaway. I feel like I should have said ‘cheeky takeaway’, but that word makes me want to vomit and I don’t think my laptop would appreciate that. Ew. Sorry. Anyway. It also places the main focus on dinners, so if you’re the type of family that has their main meal at lunch-time, you may have to grab a pen and change around the wording a bit, but that really shouldn’t be a problem. I particularly like the grab bag section, because I tend to forget to take packed lunches with me to uni and work, and then I end up either forking out lots of money on some sub-standard vegan option (e.g. crisps) or starving. Neither are ideal.

Meal Planning Essentials

When it’s time to do our meal plan, I like to sit down with both pads and ALL of my cookbooks, think about what produce we have in our veg box and figure out a schedule that will fit around our timetables and food cupboard. I know that the meal plan begins on Sundays and the Veg Box arrives on Thursdays, but I can just about summon enough flexibility to deal with that.

If you’re interested in the mentioned products, both the What To Eat and the All Out Of pads are available in the UK via Utility. They retail at £5.99 per pad, consisting of 60 pages each, meaning that they should last you a little over a year. Not too much to pay for a slightly more organised life, is it?

Do you meal plan? Do you use any helpers or are you organised enough to do it all yourself? I know I’m not…



  1. September 3, 2013 / 9:36 am

    I’m trying to meal plan to save money and make the most of my veg box. Those pads look good!

  2. September 3, 2013 / 9:49 am

    Those are so cute and I’m super impressed by your organising skills. My dude & I are nowhere near as organised!

    • September 3, 2013 / 9:59 am

      Haha thanks! I won’t claim that being organised didn’t take some getting used to… I’m terribly lazy!

  3. September 3, 2013 / 6:18 pm

    Impressive! I need a lot of help with meal planning. I made several attempts but I always fail.

    • September 3, 2013 / 8:10 pm

      I have no way to describe to you how many times I failed before I finally managed to plan meals.

  4. September 3, 2013 / 6:19 pm

    How have I never seen these before!?? Super useful now my second child is weaning. Genius!

    • September 3, 2013 / 8:10 pm

      They’re brilliant! I’m hoping it will make life much easier when I finally have children haha!

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