• Dola

How To Plan & Prep Meals For The Week. 5 steps to help you budget and save more.

Hi guys, I hope your week has had some interesting highlights and if not we can blame it on the weather. That's easier. *wink*. Mine has had a mix of high points and low moments but we keep moving. Today I thought I'd share a few tips on how I'm able to plan our meals and groceries weekly in a way that allows me to be organised, stay on the budget and hopefully save a bit more in the process.

The Apps


With technology these days, there's so much you can do with your phone and on the go. I'm very traditional in the fact that I like to physically write everything down but lately I've been using some apps and I must say its making it so much easier to just tap in the details. Growing up, my mum wrote everything down in her book and when it was my turn to go into town to do the shopping, she'd hand me the book; everything highlighted with the prices she'd normally buy them so she could track changes in market prices.


I couldn't even sneak in some extra biscuits because every item was accounted for in the budget lol. Knowing mum, I'm pretty sure she still has her books.





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The video above is an app called 'Shopping UK,' and is available to download on your iOS. Here I'm showing you briefly how you can easily add items to a list, categorise them and tick them off once you've bought them. It's really simple to use and I like that I'm able to cross out items from the list, split them into meal times and share the list with hubby if he needs to help me out with the groceries anytime.


The Shops

This is relative to everyone. I like to compare prices and brands from time to time and so I narrow down to three shops I'd go to. Factors such as offers, variety and deliveries usually influence my choice of stores because I tend to do most of my shopping online and I like to be able to get my deliveries on time with as many offers as possible.

Recently, I collaborated with a company called Gopuff Uk and what I love about this online store is that you get your delivery within 25mins. its so cool! They've only just launched here in the UK with deliveries in selected locations so please check to see if they're able to deliver to you.

Source- @dolasjournal

The Organisation

The next step is to categorise your items into dry food cupboard, chilled foods and laundry products. As I've always mentioned, using organisers really do make a difference because they help you see everything you have at first glance which means you can easily spot when you run out of something. This way you can plan and budget for it in the coming week/month. Check out some of the organisers I use around my home here.


Source- @dolasjournal


Source- @dolasjournal

The Meal Prep

When we first got married many years ago, I enjoyed cooking and wanted to dazzle hubby with my variety of freshly cooked meals. Whilst that worked and I got the occasional cuddles and warm hugs lol, I was constantly exhausted. then came my DD and I had to juggle being a mom too?? That freshly cooked meal everyday luxury just wasn't going to work.

Naturally I sought advice from mum and my sister. They taught me how to do it and I can tell you meal prepping saves lives! lol


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If I'm honest, I may not always write our meals down every week because that can be tasking, but it is a good idea to have it either on your phone or in your cabinet wall. I'd prep our meals usually on the weekend and it'll include the same meals for lunch and dinner for three days at a time and I portion them into containers to go in the freezer.

  1. What I mean is, there could be three bowls each of pasta, rice, stew and okra which we'll alternate for lunch and dinner throughout the week. There are many food safe containers to help you get started. Check out the lead-free glass containers I use to prep my meals here


Source- @dolasjournal

The Budget Sheet


Here's a combination of weekly chilled food essentials for an average of two weeks This is only a guide to show you how creating a routine sheet can help you budget week after week. You are able to see how you're spending and make decisions for the coming weeks and month. Excel is a good tool to use and you can download it on your mobile phone for quick access, add more fields and update on the go.


A simple budget list could look like this. The prices reflected here were culled from Asda.com

Fridge/Chilled food

Last week £

All Consumed

This week £

All Consumed

saving £

Eggs 30pk

£3.00

No

Na

No

Na

Fresh Milk 8days+

£1.30

yes

£1.15*

Yes

£0.15

Apples 6pk

£1.29

No

£0.95*

Yes

£0.34

Frozen Mixed vegetables 1kg

£0.89

No

Na

No

Na

Lean Beef Mince 1kg

£5.30

Yes

£5.00*

No

£0.30

Yogurt 4pk

£2.00

Yes

£1.25*

Yes

£0.75

french fries 900g

£2.39

No

Na

No

Na

Juice 1.4ltr

£3.30

Yes

£3.30*

Yes

£0.00

Butter 750g

£5.85

No

Na

No

Na

Frozen Diced chicken 600g

£3.60

Yes

£3.60

Yes

£0.00

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Key

*

Here prices have been reduced as a result of ongoing store deals and roll back offers

Na

This means you haven't needed to restock the item yet

Here, I'm showing how the smallest saving can potentially add up in the long run, the only way to be able to track this is to see it which is why these tools work. Again, this is not an extensive list, I've only used a mix of food items that last longer as compared to the ones that go by quickly for reference. it all depends on your family size.


I hope these tips help you get started and I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments section.


As always, I'm sending you love and light and I'll see you in my next post. Don't forget to hit that subscribe button at the bottom of this screen so you don't miss my future posts.

Also, you can see what I get up to daily on my Instagram @dolasjournal @dolashsc


xoxo

Dola