We’ve all been there.
It’s Sunday evening. The weekend has been crazy. You just got off work late and had to drive through McDonald’s for the third day in a row. You have had enough with fast food and wish you could figure out an alternative.
You decide to make a run to the grocery store and fix a few meals at home this week. But at this point, you’re so tired that planning out the details of a meal is just too much. It’s easier to put a list of the basic staples together to grab at the store and figure the rest out later.
But let’s be honest, that plan never ends well.
You end up walking up and down the aisles at the grocery store, aimlessly trying to figure out what you need. You find yourself trying to remember what you have on hand. You buy things that you don’t need, and you forget things that you do need.
And more often than not, you find yourself back at the store later in the week picking up something that you missed.
It’s frustrating. It’s stressful. And it wastes time, money, and energy.
Guess what – all of this can be avoided with one new habit: meal planning.
Now before you click away or write this off, hear us out… meal planning can have a lot of benefits to you and your family. And it doesn’t have to be difficult!
Here are just a few of the benefits of meal planning:
- Meal planning saves time.
We don’t need to tell you that time is a valuable resource. By taking the extra step to plan out your meals before going to the store, you will save time in the long run.
You’ll save time at the grocery store because you’ll have your full list built out and won’t have to spend time remembering what you need to get.
You’ll save time (and stress) at home because you’ll avoid the frustrating glare at all the food you bought with the realization that nothing sounds good together.
You can also save time at meals because you’ll know what is coming and can do some of the prep work ahead of time (like chopping up vegetables or measuring out ingredients).
2. Meal planning saves money.
If you plan out your meals and build your grocery list based on that plan, you’ll put an end to the guesswork at the store. You won’t buy random items for meals that you may or may not cook. You won’t buy extra items that you already had in your fridge or pantry. You’ll know exactly what you need before you ever walk into the store.
And, you’ll have the added benefit of not having a bunch of food that expires before you have a chance to use it. Again, you’re only buying food that you actually plan to eat.
3. Meal planning helps you eat healthier.
Losing track of time in the midst of a busy day, then looking at the clock and realizing it’s already time for dinner can result in those last-minute runs to the closest fast-food restaurant.
We love burgers and fries just as much as anyone. But we all know it’s not the healthiest option.
By planning out your meals for the week, you can think through healthy options that are easy, affordable, and that anyone can enjoy.
If you start meal planning on a weekly, biweekly, or even monthly basis, you’ll find that cooking, saving money, and eating healthy will get easier and easier. Most importantly, you’ll get back that valuable time with your family.
Are you ready to do this but not sure how to get started? We got you! Check out this simple step-by-step guide on how to get started with meal planning: “Where Do I Start…? Meal Planning”.
Know other benefits to meal planning? Have a question or topic you want us to cover? Share your ideas with the Health for Her community in the comments!