Meal planning is a highly underrated task to do each week, but the benefits will actually surprise you. A few years ago, we began planning our dinners every day of the week, and it has made such a difference in our lives. I can’t imagine regularly “winging it” ever again.
Here are some of the ways meal planning can improve your health and finances, save you time, help you stay sane, and strengthen your relationships.
Meal planning is great because it can improve your overall health. By choosing healthy meals and buying the groceries to make those meals, you are more obligated to cook those meals and therefore eat healthily. Not only will pre-planning healthy dinners each day of the week improve your personal health, but it will also improve the health of your family as well.
You can choose meals that align with your goals, for example, doing a meatless Monday each week, or having a salad with dinner each day. Whatever your intention is, planning ahead and being prepared in advance, will make it much easier to stick to it.
If you wing your dinners every day, you will likely be tired at the end of the workday, and opt for something unhealthy like fast food or a frozen pizza. By meal planning a healthy meal, you can buy the required ingredients ahead of time as well as do any meal prep in advance to set yourself up for success during the week.
If improving your health doesn’t have you convinced, what about when I tell you it improves your finances? According to RTS, The average American family of four throws out $1,600 a year in produce. That’s a lot of money! if you put $1,600 into an investment account with an average of 7% return, in 20 years you’d have over $65,000!!!
When you go to the grocery store without a plan, and you buy random produce and ingredients, the likelihood of those items going bad and getting wasted is very high.
When you pre-plan your meals, and you know exactly what ingredients you need for each meal, the amount of waste you’ll produce is much less, therefore saving you an average of $1,600 each year or $65,000 in 20 years, depending on how you look at it.
In addition, it is significantly cheaper to eat at home than to order food for delivery. Without a plan, ordering a meal through DoorDash is very tempting. Over time though, your bank account will suffer as ordering in is 3-4x more expensive than cooking a meal at home.
Another way meal planning can improve your life is by saving you time. When you have a plan and know exactly what meals you’re eating for dinner each night, you can work in advance, as well as save time. You will not spend time staring in your fridge and pantry, trying to see which ingredients you have and contemplating what you can cook with those ingredients.
Meal planning will keep you ahead of schedule, so you know exactly what meal to cook, which ingredients to use, and how much time it will take. It’s crazy how a 30 minute or less task on a Sunday can literally end up saving you hours throughout the week!
By meal planning each week, you can also keep the family involved. By asking your husband and kids what they think of the meals you selected, and for help with meal planning, everyone will have a say. You can post the meal plan so everyone can see what is for dinner each night, that way they don’t have to ask you 20 times and drive you crazy. Even better though, everyone can approve of the meals so you don’t have to slave away at a meal just to have someone tell you they don’t like it or want something else.
Meal planning and keeping the whole family on the same page will save you a lot of sanity and energy and ultimately keep everyone happy, which is the main goal, isn’t it?
When you put intention into planning your dinners for the week, you are communicating to your family that dinner time is important. Traditionally, gathering around the table for dinner has been a really important ritual for families. With everyone’s busy schedules, it’s nice to dedicate this time to reconnecting and catching up about each other’s days and lives.
When you are intentional about meal planning and cooking a healthy meal for your family, you’ll probably want everyone to eat it together and enjoy it as a family. I’m not saying ordering pizza every once in a while during a movie isn’t a fun thing to do, but doing it regularly probably isn’t going to strengthen your family.
Meal planning ahead of time and dedicating dinner time as family time will ultimately strengthen your relationships with your kids and partner.
dig in to the latest posts
Stay up-to-date on the latest steals and sale events. Get monthly updates on blog posts, new favorite products, giveaways and so much more. You can unsubscribe anytime!
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|