We’re sharing 3 reasons to start meal planning today, plus a FREE Simple Meal Planning Guide. Meal planning can feel complicated, time-consuming, and overwhelming. These overwhelming thoughts alone can stop you from even getting started with meal planning.
Do you meal plan? If you’re anything like me, I never meal planned. I always thought meals needed to be fancy or super healthy, so I was never really interested in it. Until one Sunday afternoon, I sat down and just did it. I wrote down all of our meals and snacks for the week, and couldn’t believe how simple it was. Ever since that one Sunday afternoon that we started meal planning, we’ve kept with it and never looked back. We wish we would’ve started sooner.
To say that meal planning is a huge stress reliever in our household is an understatement. Meal planning has had such a positive impact in our daily lives, and the fact that we can do it under 20 minutes is the icing on the cake. We went from wondering what’s for dinner every night, to having peace of mind knowing all of our meals are planned, and we have all the ingredients we need.
Here are 3 reasons to start meal planning today. All it takes is just 20 minutes or less per week.
1. SIMPLE MEAL PLANNING WILL SAVE YOU MONEY
Before meal planning, we’d shop for what we thought we needed, but didn’t have any specific meals in mind. It’s as if we had a standing grocery list. However, after spending all that money on groceries, we were still left wondering what we were going to eat for dinner.
Meal planning has changed our shopping habits and drastically reduced our grocery spending. We come up with a plan for the week, based on what we already have at home. We take a look at what’s in the fridge, freezer and pantry, and choose our meals based on what’s available.
For example, if we have frozen ground beef in the freezer, we’ll include spaghetti or tacos for dinner one night. Using what we already have cuts down on what we need to buy. In turn, we spend much less on groceries. After we’ve filled in all of our meals for the week, we then make our grocery list for the things we need to complete our meals.
2. SIMPLE MEAL PLANNING GIVES YOU PEACE OF MIND
Prior to meal planning, every evening around 5pm, we’d ask ourselves what we were going to eat for dinner that night. After about 30 minutes of not coming up with anything, we’d opt for the fast and easy option – take out. I didn’t realize that one of the most positive impacts of meal planning would be the calm evenings already knowing that we had a plan for dinner, and we had the groceries we needed. No more one-off shopping trips to the grocery store. We knew what we were going to eat that night, and meal planning took the daily guesswork out of it. Not to mention, it eliminated the extra spending on take out after already having spent money on groceries.
3. SIMPLE MEAL PLANNING WILL SAVE YOU TIME
Lastly, meal planning allowed us to implement a weekly routine of going to the grocery store one time per week. Prior to this, we’d grocery shop two to three times per week which meant higher grocery bills and picking up things that we didn’t necessarily need or plan for.
Because I knew when I’d be going grocery shopping, it would eliminate any extra trips during the week. Hence, saving me time and money. I’ve made it a routine to go to the grocery store once a week and to Costco every other week. Depending on our inventory levels, I could sometimes visit Costco once every three weeks. This helps us to stay on track with our monthly grocery budget. If you’re interested in reading about whether or not buying in bulk is right for you, check out this article.
When I started meal planning, I had no idea how much it would change the overall environment of our home, and I definitely didn’t think I’d actually enjoy grocery shopping. Who knew that sitting down for 20 minutes per week to plan out our meals could save so much time and money, and provide peace of mind on a daily basis.
Download our FREE Simple Meal Planning Guide today.
We’d love to hear if you meal plan and how it’s impacted you and your family!