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How Do You Meal Plan??

I've never done it before and I don't really know where to start.

Do you have firm favourites that you cook every week or do you just look through SW mags or recipe books to get some inspiration??

I think my problem is that I don't have much imagination in the kitchen so any meal ideas I come up with are a bit, well, boring really!!

I need to get back to class next week and I need to start planning ahead but I really have no idea how to!!

How do you do it?

thanks :D x
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Well after my first group last week, i went home armed with my books and planned out my meals and what i would need to buy and went out and bought it and then cooked and frooze down said meals.

This week(tomorrow ^_^), picking up the green and the curry book and then after group going to take myself off to spoonys for a coffee and plan my menus and then go shop as thursdays are a free day for me lol.


Better to Drink your Syns
I used to do one large weekly grocery shop, and only call in during the week for fresh items that we would run short of.
This would normally mean that the vast majority of my meals were planned for me, as I would have to eat whatever meat or poultry I had bought in date order, but this also meant that we were eating much and much the same foods, and not always what I wanted to eat.
So, since christmas I have been shopping for two days at a time and three on a Friday.
I find that it is far easier to incorporate new meal ideas, particularly with the family's comings and goings etc.
Normally the night before I go shopping I check the fridge contents, and if there is something that needs to be used up, I look at magazines or recipe books for inspiration and if I need to get anything to accompany it.
I find this is working well for me and the family, but If time doesn't allow so many visits to the supermarket, it would be difficult.
Write it all down

I write everything I like down under "types" heading, so Chinese, Italian, British/comfort and desserts along with the pg in which recipe book. These are all things I've made and know I like or that I'd like to try. I basically went through all my SW recipe books and my file of recipes torn from the mags and just made up lists.

I have a meal plan template on the computer for 7 day, columns for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks then the syns and what I had for HEx A's and B's that day. It took a little while to set everything up but now all I have to do is look at the list and pick a few meals, put them into my plan and fill in other stuff around them like breakfast and snacks. :)

Here's my meal list if that sounds a bit garbled, it's actually pretty simple lol :p



Silver Member
I plan a week in advance, sundays are my plan day and i shop on a monday.
I have meals that are family favourites, but try not to have them 2 weeks running. I love cooking, so experiment with old favourites to SW them.
I also look through what i have in already and make meals out of what i have.

There was a program on UK food this last week, called Economy Gastronomy, the food isnt SW, but the principles are the same. They say to invest in a bedrock meal eg a roast chicken, eat that on a sunday, then use the left overs to make say a chicken curry and the carcas for a chicken and veg soup, tumbledown meals through the week.
My weekly timetable also dictates what we have, i teach late 3 nights a week, so i plan meals i can cook at lunch and leave to reheat when i get back in. and i try to include a new recipe in the week too.
I start by thinking about what I want to eat, what's easy and what is quick to cook and easy to adapt to be SW friendly.

I also like the magazine for recipes, and this month is a particularly good month for recipes.

I also like looking at other non-SW recipes and see how I can adapt them, most are really easy to make healthy.

I also find staying to class is brilliant for ideas.


Always comes back to MMs!
Yes, plan plan plan, it really is the key to a successful week.

I start with my 7 meals which are usually fave SW meals (never the same 2 weeks running though), new meals out of the mag, or adapted recipes from either my Ready Steady Cook Book or the BBC Good Food website (switching creamy stuff for creme fraiche or fromage frais, using HEXA cheese or milk, HEXBs if needed and always, always Frylight for oil). I always grab some extra stuff like Passata, Peppers, Spinach or Broccoli to throw into my meals as well to get the superfree in for the Extra Easy plan.

I then write down all the ingredients needed to make my lunches for work... so any potatoes for jackets, tuna, baked beans, laughing cows, extra light philly, small wholemeal rolls, lean meat, pasta... plus whatever I fancy for my my B choices that week - ALPEN LIGHTS for my brek and afternoon snacks / Humous / Ryvitas...

Then I add all my free food / superfree food for snacks, like Mullerlights or Activia yogs, Grapes, Melon, Carrot Sticks, Crabsticks...

Then the syns! Fudges or Curly Whirlies, Quavers/French Fries/Sunbites and a bottle of wine to have over the week.

Works for me, its important to have snacks and superfree/free at the ready for when the hungry times hit!

Oh wow, you're all reeeallly organised aren't you!! Gosh I'm really impressed with your planning techniques - and just a bit scared too, I've never been organised in my life! (well up to now at least)!

OK well I'm hoping to get back to class on Monday so if I can spend the next few days planning and then do my shopping on Monday, I should be getting there at least!!

Thanks very much for all your input so far - I say so far because no doubt there'll be 120 questions to follow once I actually get started! (sorry)! x
I do tend to fall back on my faves - curry, pasta bake, chips, roast meals - but I try to cook at least one new thing a week so I am always discovering new "favourites" to add to my stock. I use a table which I fill in every week after WI on Monday eve (attached in case it's any use to others).


Wow, thanks for all the great tips!
I have a index card per meal with the ingredients at the front, cooking instructions on the back, also a note if green/red day and number of syns. Before my weekly shopping I pull out what I might fancy ("might" as I'm more often than not do not stick to the plan ;)), write down what I need to buy plus all my "basics" (pasta, fruit, veg, yoghurt etc). And I always have frozen stuff at home, e.g. rice/peas/sweetcorn which makes a lovely lunch with half a tin of baked beans when I'm not particularly organised one day.
Some great tips here, i definately might try and start really planning ahead.
I'm quite a repetitive eater. Every morning during the week I have 2 slices of Nimble Bread spread with 3 Laughing Cow Light triangles (1 and a half on each slice)

Mid morning I always have 2 clementines

For lunch I always have a bowl of homemade veg or superspeed soup (I make a batch of this up once a week)

I would have another piece of fruit in the afternoon.

When I get home, general favorites of mine are Chili Con Carne, Spag Bol, Jacket Potato with salad and cottage cheese, SW quiche, Chicken Stir fry, Sweet Potato Wedges, etc.

Sometimes if I've made enough, I will bring leftovers from dinner into work for lunch the next day to give me a break from soup.

This works for me because I can be quite selfish as I only have myself to cook for most of the time.

The only change is at the weekend, when I have a Slimming World fry for brekkie (Quorn sausages, poached egg, grilled tomatoes and toast)


Strutting her stuff
But how long can you go on having the same thing day in day out? It would get very boring very quickly. Also variety is really important ino making sure the weight continues to come off in the long-term. Your body can get used to the routine and you need to keep changing things to challenge it. An athlete training for an even doesn't do the same trinaing routine all the time, they might do circuits one time and weights the next, and it's the same with food.

Isn't it funny how people think differently - I cook for one too but I use that as an excuse to do all sorts of different meals because I don't have to consider anyone else, rather than choose the same all the time. :D
I dont plan ahead much, i just tend to make sure a good shopping list is done with the basics, small loaf wholemeal bread, mullers, fruit, veggies, quorn, pasta, rice, spuds..and so on. Then i just tend to plan each day as it comes. Seems to work okay for me so far. If i wanted to create a new dish then planning in advance would be done! I just tend to think about what to make for my tea when i walk home from work, then get on with it!

Yeah I do get bored after a while and then move onto something else. Before I joined SW I used to be very samey too, now I'm just more aware of what I eat and make better choices.

I do change the ingredients of the soup on a weekly basis but I love having it because it's always packed with veg and apart from being SW friendly, it gives me a boost of my portions of fruit and veg per day quota :D
I eat the same thing every day.. it's nice food and I enjoy it, and makes shopping a heck of a lot easier.. ( I still manage to forget to buy eggs sometimes though.. :) )..


Silver Member
I eat the same thing every day.. it's nice food and I enjoy it, and makes shopping a heck of a lot easier.. ( I still manage to forget to buy eggs sometimes though.. :) )..
OMG, id get soooooooooo bored. i have something different every day and never a evening meal 2 weeks running.


Strutting her stuff
I eat the same thing every day.. it's nice food and I enjoy it, and makes shopping a heck of a lot easier.. ( I still manage to forget to buy eggs sometimes though.. :) )..
Maybe in the short-term but surely it's not sustainable long-term? I'm 10 years down the line and I think not. :)

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