Take a look at all the reasons to meal plan – and all the benefits you get. Looking at these will help you to decide if it’s worth it for you (and I think you may be swayed when you read them all!)
Meal planning is one of those things that you don’t really want to do, because it feels like it will take too much time and effort – but actually it can be a game changer when it comes to less stress and work in the kitchen each day.
Whenever I meal plan in my own home, I notice a difference to how easy things get – so I highly recommend trying it. Whether you choose to plan just one of the meals each day, or them all, you’re sure to reap the rewards.
If you’re still not sure if it’s for you, then this is the post to read – as here you’ll find all the reasons why you should think about meal planning for your own family, and I can’t wait to see which benefit means the most to you – so here we go…
The 7 Benefits of Meal Planning:
#1 – Meal Planning Takes Away Indecision
There’s nothing more frustrating than opening all the kitchen cupboards to see what you have – waiting for inspiration to hit as to what to cook – only nothing stands out!
Indecision wastes time, and allows for procrastination – never a good thing.
Time you spend thinking about what to cook could actually have been spent cooking meal and getting it done so that you can spend more time afterwards doing something else that you want to do.
It’s too easy to fill time with unnecessary things, and think we don’t have time for the important things…
Having a meal plan means that you can go more on autopilot – the thinking and planning has already been done and you should have the right ingredients and time to create the meal you need to. It’s much easier this way I’m sure you’ll agree!
#2 – You Make Less Bad Choices
Having no clear plan for meals often leads us to make bad choices with what we eat.
Takeaways or ready meals seem to be a quicker option and can easily become habits if we’re not careful, and actually there are many meals that are just as quick and easy but a lot healthier for you that can be made in the same amount of time.
Meal planning removes the need to make a choice when you’re hungry and/or tired, and planning up front with a clear head means you are more likely to try and plan healthier foods most of the time – with a few treat meals in there as well of course ;o)
#3 – It Provides More Balance
Have you ever found yourself looking back at the weeks meals you’ve eaten only to realise that you have pretty much eaten the same thing every night?……
In itself this isn’t all that bad, but meal planning means you are more likely to be able to create a more balanced week of food as you are thinking about it up front and can see any repetitions before they actually happen.
Even though each meal you eat may be really healthy, if you only look at one meal at a time (which will happen if you don’t meal plan), then you can all too easily lose sight of the bigger picture and create a less balanced diet as a result.
#4 – You Get More Variety
Contrary to popular belief that meal planning can be a very boring way to eat, it can actually encourage variety.
Seeing what you are eating for the next week/month written down can alert you to any patterns of bad habits you may want to change, and often can give you the push to try new things or change things round a little more often, which can only be a good thing!
#5 – There’s Less Food Waste & More Money Saved
If you can create meal plans that use food wisely (what you already have, leftovers, freezing batches of food etc…) then you will start to see a natural reduction in how much food you waste.
Buying only what you need for your meals that are already planned out, and not being swayed by bulk special offers, can avoid throwing out lots of food you haven’t been able to eat in time (before the expiry date) – which will also save money over time.
#6 – Less Arguing!
Most families won’t naturally always agree on what they all want to eat at any given point – and therefore arguing can all too easily occur as a result.
Taking away the discussion of what people want to eat every night by planning meals will create a much calmer environment automatically.
TIP – You could get the family involved in creating the meal plan, by maybe having one evening designated as each persons choice, or listing their favourite meals which you can include in your plans over time. As everyone can see that they are going to have some meals of their own and they are being listened to, then it will (hopefully) help them to compromise over other nights food.
#7 – You Get To Go Seasonal
In season items are usually more cost effective, so having meal plans based on the season you are in will naturally save you some money. It also creates natural updates which will refresh meals based on the type of food you will want to eat at that time of year.
i.e. in summer you will want salads, cold foods, BBQs etc…, and winter would contain more stews, soups and warming meals.
So – are you tempted to try meal planning now that you have seen all the benefits of meal planning?
Just the fact that you can save money, time, energy, stress, and hassles wins me over every time!