Some great ideas for me here, thanks everyone!
One last shameless bump to see if I get any more responses
I meal plan usually - I have been a bit slack lately - but this thread has re inspired me. I usually do one week at a time - 6 or 7 dinner meals depending on if we have plans to go out. Without meal planning I have found that we have been going out to dinner a lot more which is not good for our budget.
I usually try to include a vegetarian meal or 2, a mince meal, one red meat (pork in our house) and the rest chicken.
I usually work out my meals depending on what we already have and try not to repeat them too often otherwise we get sick of them or don't end up cooking them. I also try to use ingredients more than once - especially things like potatoes (so I can buy a big bag cheaper) or herbs. I also list the salad ingredients and veg I plan on using so I don't end up with lots of wastage.
Our weeks menu (inspired by some on here )
Spinach, bacon and feta impossible pie with roasted pumpkin, feta, red onion and rocket salad.
Weber roast chicken with roast potatoes, carrots and peas with naan bread
Nepalese chicken curry with rice, raita and naan bread
Gluten free gnocchi with pesto
Grilled chicken breast with homemade oven chips and garlic mushroom sauce
Turkey shepherds pie with steamed beans and broccoli
Spinach, chicken and broccoli cheesy pasta bake.
Oh, CookingMonster's post (great name btw!) just made me think, our meals are generally vegetarian. We used to eat meat (generally seafood) maybe once every few weeks...although that has increased since our daughter started eating solids. We probably have 1 or 2 meals with meat/seafood a week. When we do have meat, it's generally very small amounts to add flavour/texture/protein to a meal, so it still works out very cheap.
It depends what you want to get out of meal planning, but if saving money is one aim then I'd highly recommend looking at more vego meals.A lot of people I know who eat a lot of meat do so because they base a meal around it, and are stuck for ideas otherwise. Anything that is a combined dish (like...stir fries, curries etc. rather than fish & chips) usually works well without any meat, and lentils/chickpeas/other legumes are great in just about anything where you might use mince. If you get dried lentils, for example, you can make a MASSIVE daal (lentil curry essentially) for about $3. When my partner makes daal, it usually makes about 5 or 6 meals for the two of us, served with rice.
Bumping up for more ideas...about to do a meal plan and grocery shop and am soooo stuck!!
Pregnant for the first-time?
Not sure where to start? We can help!