Sometimes when someone suggests meal planning it is the last thing that you actually want to do, but actually, it is a really good idea and in my opinion, can really change your life! If you don’t believe me then read on and see if you agree then, or maybe you subconsciously meal plan but just don’t write it down? After reading this I am sure you will reconsider and write up a meal plan for next week!
1. If you meal plan you will save money
By meal planning you will buy less and because you know in advance what you need you will be able to shop at the cheaper supermarkets for the items you need. It is so easy when you plan a meal at the last minute on the way home from work to pop into a petrol station and grab something quick or a corner shop which so often are more expensive! It might not seem like much but all these little bits add up! A few pounds a week saved might not sound much but £100-150 at the end of the year suddenly sounds great doesn’t it! If you are trying to save money there are so many other ideas you could try too.
2. It is much healthier
When we plan meals in advance we see them written down and we can see if they are a good choice. Let’s face it who would write down that breakfast should be a quick bar of chocolate followed by a sandwich and pastry bought in a rush for lunch and then a ready meal that was the easiest thing we could see after a busy day in the shop? By planning, we can think of quick meals that are healthy and quickly see if we have remembered to include vegetables.
3. Less Headaches
Ok, this isn’t quite right however if the kids need to ask less often “what’s for tea?” then this surely will result in fewer headaches! Kids always want to know what is for tea and this way they can see for themselves (you could do pictures for younger children unable to read) leaving you to enjoy some peace!
4. Your diet will be more varied
By planning in advance you can make that conscious effort to try a new recipe that you like the sound of on a day you have a bit more time whilst saving the quick meals for a busy day. Without meal planning, it is so easy to fall into the trap of having the same meals all the time. A repetitive diet is a boring diet and no one wants that do they!
5. It saves time
Those few minutes every day hunting the fridge and freezer, opening the cupboards hoping a meal will pop out and then potentially popping to the shop for something could all be saved. By spending 15 minutes once a week (possibly not even that!) you could save time and stress every day and just walk into the kitchen, get the ingredients out and make a meal. Not to mention the time saved wandering the shops looking for inspiration and ideas of what to cook, in and out in so much less time with a list based on that week’s meal plan! Cooking meals like this Jamaican beef stew in a slow cooker saves even more time!
6. Less overeating
By only buying what you need it is much less likely that you will overeat because you will be less likely to “use things up” by eating more than you need! If you are thinking “oh this doesn’t apply to me” just remember when was the last time you looked at something in the fridge and thought that it would be a shame to waste it so you ate it? Whether that is a bit of fruit or a cream cake it doesn’t matter either way, it was something you did not want or need you only ate it to save putting it in the bin, but if you didn’t buy it this would never have been an issue would it?
7. More family time
By planning meals, you are more likely to sit down all together for a family meal rather than cooking different things for you and the kids because “it’s all we have in”. The meals you plan can be meals that you all enjoy and the time saved in deciding what to eat and popping out for last-minute bits of shopping means you can have more time as a family eating that bit earlier and enjoying time together. Either that or you can spend that extra time pestering the kids to do their homework or tidy their bedroom! Whichever it maybe you are still spending more time with your family and we all love family time, don’t we? Mostly anyway!
More you may find helpful
To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss and Exercise section.
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