Benefits of Meal Planning




Meal Planning is something I have done a lot in the past. Especially when my children were very young, and my husband had to travel a lot. If I wanted to reduce the stress of food shopping and meal prep, I had to be very well-organised. I have experience in first-hand the benefits of meal planning.

 

Juggling a career, being a wife and mother in addition to moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture helped me to realise the importance of meal preparation. This was also important for my family as they would not have to wait for a long period for me to prepare a meal.

 

One of the advantages was that I was able to order food online at the last minute and have it delivered on the next day. In Switzerland, you often have to wait a few days for an order to arrive. Now that my kids are older, I do not feel pressured because they are now able to prepare some meals by themselves. 🙂

 

Benefits of planning your meals

 

Healthier eating

Organising the week’s menu ahead of time allows you to include all the necessary ingredients for you and your family to eat healthy, and to avoid last-minute processed foods.

Money saving

Planning helps you to calculate how much money you are spending on food and how to avoid compulsive shopping. After writing your meal plan, write down the shopping list of the items that you need based on the meals you have planned.

Planning reduces stress

Not knowing what to cook causes stress, especially when you have kids! But if you have an organised meal plan, you don’t have to worry about searching for recipes or thinking about what to cook.

Time saving

We waste a lot of time thinking about what to cook and what to buy when we go to the supermarket (that’s me actually). With meal planning you can be more efficient with your time and reduce the number of times you have to go shopping.

Better portion control and avoid wasting food

By preparing what you will eat, you can control the amount of food you and your family will consume during the week, and avoid cooking larger amounts that will end up being wasted.

 

How to start planning your meals

 

  1. It starts with an easy to prepare menu
    Choose easy and healthy recipes that you can prepare without too much effort. Take time to find recipes that fit your needs and save them for a variety of options.
  2. Involve your family
    Ask your children and your partner what they want to eat during the week. This will give you more ideas and food choices, but remember to match their tastes to healthy choices. And keep it visible so everyone can see it, in this way everyone knows what to expect.
  3. amazon menu board
    Click on the image to see other boards like this one.

    Shop based on your planning
    Once you know what to make, write down the ingredients you don’t have in the pantry and that you need on your shopping list. Don’t buy foods that are not on your shopping list, so you can avoid making unhealthy choices.

  4. Set a schedule
    Choose the day and time you will spend cooking. You can divide the task into 1 or 2 days, depending on what suits you best. The important thing is to establish a routine so you don’t put off your plan.
  5. Invest in good containers
    Having good quality, practical containers allows you to use your refrigerator space strategically and helps you keep frozen food longer.
  6. Be flexible with yourself
    If the plan you prepared didn’t go as well as you expected, don’t worry. Take some time to see what didn’t work and next time improve the process and adapt it to your needs and those of your family.

 

I love this last point. Now that my kids are a little older and eat with friends more often, I have leftover food that I can turn into another meal. That was the case with the beans, where I made beans with tortillas for the next day. Today we’ll be eating the leftover lentils I made yesterday; I mixed them with other delicious stuff and it’s a new dish!

 

What are your best meal planning tips? Did you know about the benefits of meal planning? Let me know on Facebook!

Subscribe to my newsletter or leave a comment below!

Post a Comment