One of the greatest tools I have been using lately is meal planning for an entire week at a time. It helps me in so many ways including: being more organized, saving time and money, and sticking to my nutritional plan.
1. Being more organized. One of my biggest questions or dilemmas used to always be “what am I going to make for dinner?”. Now I know exactly what I’m going to have for dinner and I have all the ingredients ready so I don’t have to stress about it. And when I am not stressed, I am a much happier momma.
2. Saving time. By taking a few minutes and making a meal plan, it allows me to be more organized throughout the week. I can pre make or prepare a few things ahead of time on the weekends to make my weeknights go a little smoother. For example, I will make a big batch of brown rice or quinoa that I can use all week. I also include the cookbook and page number of the recipe on my meal plan so I know right where to find it.
3. Saving money. When making my meal plan, I try to double some of the supper items so that I have enough for leftovers for lunch the following day. Knowing exactly what I’m going to cook all week makes my grocery shopping so much easier and cheaper. I can coordinate meals that use the same products throughout the week and buy some of the ingredients in bulk. I also try to make the best use of my produce ensuring that it doesn’t go bad before I plan on using it. I use a free shopper app on my iPhone to make my grocery list for my meals so when I go to the store it’s quick and painless. I don’t end up spending a bunch of money on food that will end up being wasted by the end of the week.
4. Staying on my nutritional plan. Although I love saving time and I love saving money, staying on track with my healthy eating is the number one reason I make a meal plan. By taking the time to make a meal plan and get the proper groceries each week, I help to ensure that I stick to my nutritional plan. I am a lot more likely to eat something healthy if it is ready and available instead of grabbing chips or a cookie. My meal plan helps to keep me in line with my nutritional goals for the week.
Do you make a meal plan? If so, do you have any tips or suggestions you like to share?
If you’re not already making a meal plan, I challenge you to do it for one month and see how much easier your life is.