Earlier in my series the 31 Days to Clean Eating, Meal Planning and Prep I briefly discussed What Meal Planning? was. Today I share with you how meal planning saved my sanity. Yes, you heard right, my sanity. Feeding a family every week with healthy, home-cooked meals is hard work. On top of that you add in work, extra curricular activities, and homework, and meal planning can become nonexistent. I am not a master meal planner yet, but I have less gray hair since starting the process.
Meal Planning is Smart
Meal Planning Makes for Less Stress
When I meal plan, it translates to less stress, especially around dinner time. There are no more last minute “what am I going to make?” episodes, which all seem to lead to eating out.
Meal Planning Saves Time
One thing I love about meal planning is when you do it right it saves you time during your busy week. All that time spent stressed out about what you will make is gone. It allows you to have a plan, and that plan results in a greater ability to create healthier meals for your family.
Meal Planning Gives More Family Time
As mentioned, when I meal plan it saves me the time otherwise fraught with worry and stress. It frees quality time with my family. Instead of slaving in the kitchen as a result of poor planning, with meal planning I make my food faster or even have it prepared ahead of time because I planned well. This precious time is released to me, and I can sit with my kids with a book or take them to the park with their bikes.
Meal Planning Saves You Money
Since I have been a meal planner I have shaved nearly $400 of our historically high grocery bill. I only buy what is on my list, which is based upon my meal planning. Meal planning gives me control over my budget, and this planning also allows me to shop around for sales without feeling rushed to buy. Generally, I make a major bulk of my shopping twice a month, and then in between that I shop only for perishable stables that won’t freeze or last awhile in the pantry. This is one reason I love meal planning, because who doesn’t love to save money to spend on other things besides food?!
Meal Planning Allows You To Waste Less
Have you ever gone grocery shopping and bought all kinds of good produce with the best of intentions, but because you were tired on that certain night and ordered in or ate out you let good food go bad? I have done it many times, but now that I meal plan that hardly ever happens anymore. With meal planning you only buy what you need, and usually, unless some emergency comes up, I stick to what I planned.
There is no right or wrong way to meal planning, except if you do nothing at all. Meal planning is so helpful to my family, and it is not as hard as you might think. Tomorrow I will share with you a Meal Prep Monday post that will give you an idea what meal prepping entails, and also show you a few examples of my past meal preps.