Meal planning is something I do every week, it is now just part of our routine. However, for many, it is still something they don’t really do and just go with the week when it comes to the meals each week. For some people they are put off by the effort they think may be involved and for others, it could be that they just are unsure as to how to meal plan.
Either way though, taking a little time out each week or month for your meal planning can save you so much time and effort in the long run. I couldn’t imagine now not doing our meal plans.
Simple ways meal planning can help
- Budget – Doing a meal plan can save you so much money in the long run. Do you ever find yourself in the supermarket, unsure what to have for meals that week and just grabbing anything. Then a few days later seeing it in the fridge and it is out of date so goes in the bin as no one wanted it? By planning your meals, whether this is weekly, fortnightly or monthly, you will find your budget will be much healthier throughout the year and you will be able to save money on food as a family.
- Stress levels – I’m not sure about your household, however, my household all eat different things. By doing my weekly meal plan I get that balance between us all where we can all enjoy dinner without my stress levels skyrocketing. After a busy day working, the last thing I want to be doing is stressing over dinner.
- Food waste – Do you ever find yourself with food leftover at the end of the week? I was always picking up a bag of carrots thinking we needed them for dinner, then getting home and realising we already had last weeks carrots still in the fridge. By planning your weekly meals, life is just a little bit easier to manage and waste should be minimal as you can only pick up what you need (also helping with the budget!).
- Decisions made – I was forever standing in front of the cupboards, dithering over what meal we would be having and falling into the same trap of the same meals every day. By making this decision earlier in the week, when I get home after a busy day, I don’t need to think. I can just get on with making dinner, without the planning needed. Trust me, if life is busy, this does wonder for making your life a little less hectic in the evenings.
- Everyone can get involved – If your family are fussy, this works well to encourage everyone to get involved. I always as the kids what they fancy on the meal plan this week. This way when it comes to their night, they will ensure they clear their plate. But, they are also encouraged to try other meals that everyone else has picked to broaden their taste buds a little.
When I started meal planning, it was just simply to save my sanity a little each night. Then came the savings on our monthly budget, this alone was enough to keep us going. It has not only saved us money though, but we have also noticed a big difference in the food we have in the house. No longer do we have cupboards full of stuff because it was on offer for buy one, get one free. It is now more about what we will use in the coming weeks that we have in the cupboard, saving money and food waste.
What is your top meal planning tip?