Today I wanted to share with you the benefits of Meal Planning, why I meal plan and why you may benefit from meal planning too! Many people believe meal planning is stressful and too time consuming, but I am telling you once you start doing it, meal planning will actually make your life less stressful, save you time and save you money!!
Why You Benefit from Meal Planning
- When you have a plan you are not scrambling when you walk in the door at the end of a long day of school, activities or work with tired hangry children (or significant others) trying to decide what to make with what you bought at the grocery store. The meal is already almost done (thanks to a slow cooker) or prepped and just has to be cooked off. You are less stressed when things are chaotic because you have one less thing to think about because you had a plan!
- If you have younger children we all know that nap time is very precious and that time flies by during the week. We don’t want to waste that time looking through the fridge and recipes trying to figure out what you are making that night. Do that while you are relaxing having a glass of wine at night 🙂 If you do it all at once upfront it will save you the scrambling time and the stress that comes from scrambling.
- We all hate wasting food and money. When you plan things out it makes food shopping much easier because you know exactly what you need which saves you time because you are not pondering in the store or online. It saves you money because you are less likely to over buy because you know exactly what you need. And you will have less waste!
- When you meal plan and have a pantry list it saves you some (I still forget sometimes) of those extra trips to the store because you had the list of ingredients you needed for all of the recipes you were making that week. Not having to do those extra trips saves you a lot of time and stress!
Meal Planning Can Be Flexible
Now I know you are going to say but things change my husband may not come home or we were having a fun play date and decided to grab pizza and then the food is wasted. For these reasons I try and plan to buy for 3-4 meals and then plan a flex/freezer/pantry/leftovers day meal. Every family is different but be realistic on how many days you think you will eat out or order in and allocate days for those and then allocate one day that is a flex day.
The flex day allows for days to change. If you went out on Tuesday and planned to cook – cook that meal on your flex day. If you cooked all the meals that you were planning too and don’t want to eat out have a protein and a veggie in the freezer and pair it with a pasta or rice that is easy. You can have a recipe ready for this flex day or decide that day for that one. When the weather is nice I like to have a marinated meat in the freezer so I don’t have to think of a recipe. Things change and days change and you can move things around it doesn’t have to be rigid.
SO start meal planning today – I really think you will benefit in the long run and it will save you time, money and stress! If you need help please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message! Click here to download my blank menu or here for a very basic menu outline to help you get started. If you are feeling ambitious and want to lunch plan as well hop you can download my lunch menu but signing up for my email list on the bottom of my page.