The Power of Meal Planning

This may sound familiar to you: after an extremely long day of meetings, fire drills, and general workplace drama, its now time to put on your best face and come home to your starving kids and actually put together a meal.  Or maybe its your spouses turn this time but as a caveat, you now have car pool duty and need to take 6 other kids home from baseball practice.  Or maybe you look around and it’s just you with no extra person to help do anything! 

Well, if you’re reading this and finding yourself in these words then this blog may help you. 

Lately, I’ve discovered something great in Meal Planning.  I know this isn’t a new concept but honestly, I couldn’t believe the power it has in major life areas such as—your personal health, finances, and your time.  I can’t think of too many changes you can implement to help in those major areas all at once.

 

So here's how meal planning works:

  • Brainstorm a list of foods you and your family love 
  • Take this list of foods and create actual meals 
  • Take those meals and assign them into days for the upcoming week
  • From your meal planning list, combine these into a full grocery list or if desired, understand where these meals will come from (online, ready made, etc)

 

If you alternate cooking with a partner or roommate, you can also assign days to each other, so all of this becomes easier.

 

Now, here are the top reasons why meal planning will tremendously benefit you and your family:

  1. Develop Healthier Eating habits - if you are on a special diet the last thing you need is to eat in the moment and let your emotions drive your meal decisions.  Being intentional about what you eat and writing it down will cause you to stay on track at a higher rate than making last minute eating decisions.  Click here to checkout The Energy Blog for easy meal planning ideas to help you stay on track.   If you need help understanding the power of writing your meal plan, click here for the Success Journal by Stacia Pierce.
  2. Eat what you Love instead of what you Dislike – by making a list of the meals you love, eating becomes more fun and enjoyable.  Even if you’re on a special meal plan or diet, you can still eat exciting and tasteful foods. 
  3. You will Save on your Grocery Bill – rather than grocery shopping aimlessly down the aisles picking up anything that looks appetizing, let meal planning drive your list so you don’t buy foods you don’t or shouldn’t eat. 
  4. You will have more time – immediately I noticed that I could actually cook for two, three, and at times four meals all at once depending on the menu.  For example, spaghetti causes me to actively stand over the stove and prepare, but broiled or baked chicken could go into the oven to cook at the same time.   Then I could actually get three or more meals out of this plan: spaghetti, grilled chicken breast with brown rice and veggies, or other sides, plus I could use the chicken breast in a big salad or with quesadillas.  If I cooked all of those meals separately, I would spend significantly more time doing so.  You’ll want to ensure to have proper Tupperware and freezer bags to keep your foods properly preserved.
  5. No more drab dinners - everyone enjoys!  I’ve had my share of boring meals that I threw together based on miscellaneous left overs in the fridge.   A quick 15-30 minutes to plan can pay major dividends all week when you’re happy about the meals you’ve prepared.  Whether you purchase every ingredient, or buy partially prepared meals, the important fact is that each week you plan out what to eat and let that plan feed your grocery list.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, comment below on the exciting meals your family enjoys.