Sometimes I find one of the most difficult things to do as an adult is decide what I’m having for lunches for the week and also what I’m having for dinner. Trying to come up with ideas (particularly quick and easy mid-week ideas) is one of the most mentally taxing decisions I have to make on a weekly basis. Sometimes finding inspiration for budget friendly, healthy and easy meals is like staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike.
I don’t know why such basic decisions are so difficult. Perhaps it’s because there are too many options or because there aren’t enough and it’s difficult to find variety. Maybe it’s because it’s hard to find palatable recipes that are actually quick and easy for during the week (we’ve all been there when a recipe says it’s a 15 minute meal and yet 40 minutes later you still haven’t eaten).
However, I’m currently about a week into a six week plan to eat down the fridge, freezer and pantry. This essentially means that I’m drawing inspiration from ingredients I already have, rather than standing overwhelmed in the middle of the supermarket. So far, I’ve found meal planning significantly easier since I’m restricting myself to limited ingredients. It’s forcing me to be creative, helping me to come up with fresh ideas as well as saving money.
This week for lunches I’ve used a bag of frozen veggie balls I had in the freezer along with a side of paprika potatoes. These were all items I had lying around (and the potatoes weren’t going to last much longer!).
I asked my boyfriend what we should have for dinner one night this week, which unsurprisingly was met with an ‘I don’t know’. So, I went through the pantry and found a packet of dried shiitake mushrooms that needed to be used. So, we decided to make mushroom risotto seeing as we have the shiitake mushrooms, stock and aborio rice. All we needed to buy was some enoki mushrooms!
I’ve written a couple of other times about shopping your own pantry first. But I’ve found this hasn’t only helped save money, it makes decision making so much easier!!
Do you have trouble deciding what’s for dinner?