Meal planning can be a little bit intimidating – sitting down, writing out what you and your family will eat for an entire week seems like a big mountain to climb, but it doesn’t have to be! Meal planning is a great way to feel more in control during the week and ensure your family is eating healthy meals. Meal planning also saves you money! When you know what you are going to eat each day, you don’t have to worry about hauling your family to a restaurant. Here are 5 reasons why you should give meal planning a try.
1. Saves Time
Meal planning saves time. When you know what you are going to cook each day, you can write a grocery list and zip right through the store. Gone are last-minute trips to the grocery store. When you know what you are cooking, one trip will get you everything you need. Planning what you and your family will have for dinner each night also saves you the guesswork. You can even put your non-perishable ingredients out on the counter before you leave for work, saving you a little bit of time before dinner. Planning your meals ahead of time also gives you a chance to get the whole family involved. Your children can learn to peel carrots or potatoes, stir what’s cooking on the stove, or even get inventive with spices. By planning ahead of time, you can make mealtime a family affair!
2. Saves Money
Planning your meals ahead of time definitely saves money. No more last-minute dashes to the store, no more trips through the drive-thru. When you have your menu planned for the entire week, you make one trip to the grocery store, purchase everything you need, and are done. Making your meals at home is much cheaper than going out to a restaurant. You can also plan what you are eating against what is on sale at your favorite grocery store. This can save you even more money!
3. It’s Healthier
When you cook at home you are in control of what your family eats. If you are health conscious, you can choose to cook recipes that are not just nutritious but also delicious! Your whole family will feel so much better when they are eating healthy meals regularly. Cooking at home also ensures that anyone with food sensitivities or allergies is safe. When you cook at home you know what is in your food and can rest easy knowing you are feeding your family nutrient-dense, whole foods.
4. More Variety
When you cook at home you get to decide how adventurous you want to eat. You can cook very different things every day to ensure no one is getting bored with their meals. The combinations of meals are endless when you cook from home. When you plan meals, you can also buy produce that is in season, giving a little more variety to everyone’s plate.
5. Less Food Waste
When you cook at home you waste less food. Leftovers can become the next night’s meal, or can be made into lunches for the whole family! You can even freeze leftovers and incorporate them into a meal in future weeks. When you meal plan you will only buy what you need, so you don’t have to worry about anything going to waste.
Meal planning is a great way to take back control of dinner time. When you organize your meals for the week, you take away the stress of what’s for dinner. Planning your meals ahead of time ensures you are eating healthy, delicious meals that your whole family will enjoy!