Over the past few months we’ve been doing really well with organising our meal plan and food shop better, spending less money and wasting less. The ultimate goal was to save money and eat healthier which worked but after a while we really did get bored.
I found that sometimes I didn’t even feel hungry for dinner and would turn to snacks instead which is totally counterproductive. I think a lot of families do the same, we tend to stick to the same reliable recipes but you can quickly feel uninspired.
In an effort to shake up our meal plan I tried browsing Pinterest and flicking through recipe books we already had at home. We did have some success but quickly went back to old favourites after one too many rejected meals.
The trouble with Pinterest is so many recipes use ‘American’ measurements or you have to give yourself RSI scrolling past adverts and endless photos to get to the method which irritates me no end! Plus let’s face it, cook books are lovely for a browse but they tend to feature recipes with lots of ingredients or steps that just aren’t practical for a busy family. Perhaps I’m just buying the wrong books.
From there I turned to Instagram – which was largely a flop with the exception of one account that has really inspired and reinvigorated our mealtimes. Today We Cooked is the most fabulous collection of family friendly vegetarian food. I love how the whole family get involved – this is something that really helped us to get out of our rut.
Luisa now joins in making dinner at least three times a week and she’s becoming much more adventurous, trying new things and suggesting meals herself. We even bought these child friendly tools which she loves and really work.
By far the best way to keep your dinner interesting is to remember you’re the boss of the meal plan. Don’t make it in the carpark of Tesco or when you’re hungry, trust me! Sit down with your children or partner and ask everyone to make some suggestions and try to add in two new meals every week. A really easy way to try something new without taking big risks is to use the Hello Fresh Recipe Matchmaker Tool. It only takes a couple of clicks to suggest some new recipies based on your likes and the recipes are really easy to follow. You don’t even need to buy their recipe boxes!
Another idea Matt had to mix up mealtime was to use more fresh herbs and spices. Not only are they packed-full of goodness, they are tasty and can help lift an entire dish, bringing out the best in other ingredients as well as brightening up the kitchen. Win Win.
So in summary, we wanted to be more organised – planning meals to save money and eat healthier. It did work but boredom set in so we went back to the drawing board and now the whole family are budding chefs! Well… most of the time, we still have the odd oven pizza but nobodies perfect right 🙂