How to: Meal plan

I mentioned in my very first 'How to' post about cutting down on sugar that I would do a post on meal preparation - so here it is! Some of this is going to seem really simple but trust me, if you stick to these basic rules you'll find yourself without a bin full of unused food at the end of the week, a smaller waistline and spending less money despite getting better good.
The trick? Plain and simple - planning. And here's how....


I've spent so much time researching what I should eat, when I should eat it and what recipes I do actually want to make. Now I'm not a nutritionist but there's so much information out there on the internet; the best thing to do is find what works well for you and go and speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. Research for me is not just working out what food is good to put into my body and when but just experimenting is exciting recipes....healthy food does not have to be boring. My favourite go-to books for meal planning are Made by Madeline Shaw, Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward and Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach). Read through and research what you want to try.

Set aside a time to make your plan

I choose Saturday evenings as I usually do my food shop on a Sunday morning. I take a look in the freezer and cupboards and work out what we have and/or need to use up and start there.

Choose things with similar ingredients

This is something I try to change weekly, for example, I'm never going to get through a pot of yoghurt on my own and it's a shame to buy it for one meal and throw it away so I plan a couple of recipes where I need to use this ingredient and so on....

Make a shopping list and stick to it

Once you have all your meals planned out for the week write down all the ingredients you will need, include all your breakfast lunch and snacks! Most important, when you do your shop - stick to it! If you've planned everything out including snacks then there's no reason to need to buy those extra things.

Meal Prep

I'm not a huge fan of meal prepping - I really do like my ingredients fresh and there's something about leaving a stir fry in the fridge for 3 days and eating the same thing every day that just doesn't sit well with me. I know a lot of people don't always have time but with recipes like Joe's that only take 15 minutes I really do prefer to cook from scratch. The only thing I do prep is my lunch for the week. I usually make up 4 days worth of soup or a quinoa salad on a Sunday evening and then have a canteen bought lunch on Fridays (unpredictable lunch plan day!). I'll share some great recipes soon!

Use your freezer

If you're making quite a nice sized dish then put some away in the freezer rather than leaving the leftovers in the fridge. I also do this with meat and fish fillets when I buy them, I use half and freeze half but make sure you defrost everything fully before cooking.

Once you have done all of this (and it doesn't sound like that much work does it?) then put the meal plan on your fridge so you're not left forgetting to take things out the freezer  (e.g. frozen fruit for your breakfast or meat for tomorrow's dinner!). I love this marble effect weekly planner I got from Etsy - looks stylish in the kitchen and comes with 52 peal-away sheets.

Let me know your meal planning secrets!


  1. These are great tips!

  2. Cool :) Love your posts!

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  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing! x

  4. Great tips!

    Kisses, C.

  5. Awesome tips! I am so big on this because a lot of time I need meals on the go when I have class! Thanks for sharing :)

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  6. Great tips! Meal planning is not always easy, but so useful when you have a busy life! And it also helps us to stay healthy! We love your blog!

  7. This was super helpful! Research is the most important one for me :)

  8. Some really great ideas here, I think planning out your grocery list ahead of time is definitely necessary, and utilising the freezer would make things so much easier!

  9. Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing hun :)
    One question -- how did you make the clock thing appear on your macbook's screen? I've seen many instagramers do that and I think its super duper cool!!

    Keep up with your blog Arabella :)

    xoxo, Aldora

    1. Thank you :)

      The clock needs to be downloaded - it's called fliqlo (I think) so google that and you should be able to find a site to download from.


  10. oh these tips are so good. I have a meal plan since only shortly. yay

  11. Great post and I really love your images. Thanks for sharing about research and please stop by our to learn more about BOLD BOTANICALS.

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  12. These are such great tips, and exactly what I needed right now! I've not been able to meal plan properly and it's been driving me insane! Hopefully I can use your tips and actually do it the way it's supposed to be done!

  13. Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Thanks for the tips and recommendations! This was quite helpful for me actually! I am always looking for new ways to try and keep my healthy eating up to scratch! <3

    The Dazzle Guide

  15. I definitely cannot survive without a freezer. I like to bulk cook protein on the weekend and it helps me last throughout the week. Learned that from my dad, so genius! Thanks for these tips!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

  16. Great post. Very helpful. Meal planning is so important if you want to watch your diet. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Meal plans are something I enjoy doing, but given all of my food intolerance's and issues, I find it so hard. Thank you for sharing your tips!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

  18. Very great tips to keep your meal plans intact.


  19. Great tips
    Thanks for sharing

  20. These are really healthy tips :)

    I'm going to start trying to plan meals, and similar ones so I save on ingredients!



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