You can download the free meal plan template printable for your family with this LINK
Do you come home after work undecided what to eat for dinner?
Are you constantly rushing from work to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner? Ordering takeout, which isn’t good for your budget and waistlines, because not knowing what to eat for dinner?
Before I started meal planning I would go the local grocery store and I would fill up the cart with a bunch of random food that I thought we would eat that week. Once I got home I was always looking for inspiration what to prepare for dinner, trying to put ingredients together to prepare a meal, ending going back to the grocery store because of missing one of the ingredients.
I wanted to prepare healthy meals for my family that are balanced are diverse, so I started to plan my meals a week ahead.
Why meal planning?
Save your precious time!
Of course you need to invest some time to plan out your meals, once a week, approximately 15 minutes. But at the end if it prevents you one ride to the grocery store, it will pay you dividends in extra time. I plan my meals for the upcoming week on Friday nights or Saturday mornings. On Saturdays or Sundays I do one big grocery shop for the week ahead and if often somewhere in the middle of the week a smaller shop to buy some fresh products like milk and bread. No more daily visits to the grocery store where you wander the aisles looking for meal inspiration!
Eating more balanced and healthier
Since I became a mom this is one of the most important reasons for meal planning. We want our kids to eat meals that are balanced, filling and healthy. One of the advantages of meal planning is that you can create highly varied menus for yourself and your family.
Do you have a weekly or monthly food budget? Meal planning allows people to stick to their food budget instead of buying food that you don’t need.
Try new things
Sometimes planning out your meals can get a little monotonous because of sticking to recipes that you already have memorized because you’ve made them so often. Since I started meal planning I have committed to try out at least 1 or 2 new recipes each week. If the new recipe is a success, we’ll add it on the list of favourite meals.
Every day at around 5 p.m. I would wrestle with the dilemma “what’s for dinner tonight?” At work I would be unable to see the contents of our fridge, ending with two options: hit the grocery store on the way home of ordering takeout. Having already a plan for your dinner will reduce this stress because you know you already have the ingredients at home.
How to pick the right meal for your meal plan?
Have a look at your schedule for the coming week and decide what to eat when. When your child has swim class it is not the right day to try a new complex recipe, but instead choose meals you know by heart. If I foresee a busy day, I like to prepare a casserole meal the night before, so soon that I got home I can take it out the fridge and put it in the oven.