Meal Planning is definitely something I should do more of. I’m lucky that my family will eat (almost) anything I put in front of them and therefore meal planning should be easy. This is the theory anyway, the reality is that I rarely make time to do this, instead having a vague idea of what we’re going to have the following week and ordering the ingredients on a Sunday night, ready for Monday’s delivery (I am a creature of habit! Also, I work on Mondays so it means if I get the food sent to our house, I don’t have to put it away!)
With January being the month of resolutions, meal planning is one of them and here are my six reasons why:
There will always be food in the house
Even though most people only plan for one meal a day, meal planning tends to mean that you’re more organised with the food shop in general and there is always food in the house.
It will stop you bingeing on junk food
This is one of the most valuable points: if you have planned meals and have all the ingredients for them, it is quicker and easier to cook at home than it is to jump on just-eat and wait for food to be delivered. You’ll also feel better for saving the money, calories and the wait time.
Meal planning saves money
Lots of money! There is no comparison whatsoever between the cost of cooking at home and eating out/having food delivered.
Even if you don’t do these things very often, having a clear, concise plan of what to eat each day, tends to make you shop better; when stocking up on food you will easily recognise things that you don’t need (cookies anyone?) and shop in quantities relevant to the period you are shopping for.
As most people stick to their weekly meal plan (something about having it written down, means sticking to it), less food goes to waste as everything purchased is accounted for.
When you have a clear idea as to what’s for dinner it makes it much quicker to organise and cook than when you randomly decide on the day. Knowing in advance what you’re having means you are more likely to prep the dishes the night/morning before having them and make sure that you have everything you need before you start cooking. Through a bit of trial and error you also know which dishes are going to take longer to cook or need more time to prep and add this into your meal plan accordingly.
Health, Health, Health
Even if you can’t afford the best quality food, just knowing that you have cooked everything from scratch and therefore have avoided added salts and processed products, makes it healthier than the alternatives. Meal planning is great for budgeting and makes the most out of what you can afford and how healthy you would like your food to be.
Nothing will make you feel more organised than this
Nothing makes me feel better than a clean house, dinner on the table (before 10pm) and then having some time
in the pub to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hankering after the life of a 1950s housewife, I just like things to be ordered and the more ordered they are, the better I feel because it means there isn’t a long list of things I still have to do. Having meals planned, shopped for, prepped and then cooked takes the headache out of hitting the kitchen at the end of a long work day and wondering what the hell we’re going to eat?