I’m a meal planner by heart. And, I guess, kind of by trade too?
Not everyone is and everyone who is not … get ready to learn how because I am ready to teach you the benefits of meal planning and how it can make you healthier (YES! Healthier) person.
Does Meal Planning Work?
I haven’t always been a meal planner. It has been a learned skill, trial by fire if you will.
But now, I’m a self-proclaimed expert on meal planning using leftovers, how to do meal planning and yes, I am happy to even share what I consider to be the disadvantages of meal planning because there are those, too.
For starters, the biggest question of all: does meal planning work?
For sure you don’t think I’ll tell you “no”, do you??
Nope, I sure won’t!
Meal planning works. In a world where there are feelings of anxiety everywhere, the quick fix is medicine to calm these hard to handle feelings.
But what if I told you that getting ahold of the food and time that your family has could help calm a lot of the anxieties you harbor?
Meal planning not only makes you feel more organized but also more in control. In a time where we feel like we have little to no control over much, this feels darn good.
Six Meal Planning Benefits
1. Save Money
It’s no lie that when you go to the grocery store (or gas station, or dollar store, etc) you’ll spend more money when you shop hungry. You’ll end up buying things that sound good at the time, but aren’t good for your wallet or your gut health.
So, when you meal plan and focus on sticking to the meal plan that you’ve designed for the week(s) you will undoubtedly save money. I 100% guarantee.
Plus, you’ll know what you’re planning on making for the week so you know exactly what to buy for those lunches, dinners and snacks.
Plus, did you know that the average American household averages $3,000 per year eating out? Yikes! I’m sure you’d rather put that money somewhere else, right?
Don’t worry, I would never say never to your favorite pizza place. But, accidentally doing takeout 2-3 times a week adds up quick!
2. Save Time
We can always make more money, but we can never make more time. It’s a fact, Jack!
When you spend the 30 minutes per week(s) meal planning, you know exactly what the plan is for the week and you don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what you can work up, or what kind of takeout everyone can agree on. It’s easy as that.
While I’m not a fan of meal plans “done for you” I am a huge fan of perfecting meal planning for the stage of life that you are in.
3. Stress Less
I eluded to this earlier, but this is one of the biggest reasons that I menu plan.
I don’t have the space in my head to wonder what will be for dinner day after day. I have about 30 minutes per week to figure out what the entire week will consist of and that’s the only time I spend on it. There are even weeks where I have my groceries delivered because there are things that are more important on my list that week to get done.
And, you know what? Stress kills, so eliminating that stress is worth it for me.
I don’t do that every week, but there are weeks where I allow myself this pass.
4. Waste Less
Do you feel like you’re throwing food out constantly? You’re not alone. 40% of food is wasted in America and the average family throws away $2,200 worth of food every single year. I think that number is actually pretty low.
Whether it’s the leftovers from the pizza that didn’t get eaten, or veggies that went bad from the week, when you plan for meals, you also do what’s called meal planng using leftovers so at the end of the week, there is literally nothing left, except for condiments (winning!)
5. Be Flexible
You might feel like menu planning locks you into things that you don’t want to be locked into. Let that idea go! There is no reason why chicken lasagna (for example) can’t be moved to the next night if your friends invite you out for dinner tonight.
You might even find that you’re more flexible because when you meal plan, you have more control over the situation.
6. Stay Healthy
There’s no doubt that a club sandwich that you make at home is going to be more healthy than the club sandwich at your local diner. And salads at restaurants, don’t even get me started with the lack of nutritional value in them. Just calling a spade a spade.
You can always eat healthier at home since you see exactly what goes into a meal.
Alright, sound off! What did I miss!