Do you often find yourself at 5:00 scrambling to figure out what’s for dinner? Do you have the pizza shop on speed dial? Does prepackaged food take up more room in your refrigerator than real, fresh ingredients? If so, a long time tried and true trick of meal planning might be the answer to your mealtime woes.
I have to admit, I fought meal planning for many years. I’d tackle the task for a week or two scribbling our meal list for the week on the back of used envelopes, scraps of paper or on a dry erase board. I’d follow it for a few days then find I forgot to purchase ingredients for the next days meal or lose my envelope which I wrote everything on so I’d just end up bagging the whole idea all together. I’d serve cereal or PB & J sandwiches on nights when there wasn’t anything else in the house. I quickly found out that flying by the seat of my pants just doesn’t work.
I believe everyone has the right to real fresh foods at every meal. That will not happen unless you have, and stick to, a plan. You’ll hear me say over and over again that meal planning is absolutely ESSENTIAL in making a real food lifestyle work. Let’s look at 5 reasons you need to start meal planning…today!
- Saves you time
A great benefit to meal planning is the time you will save during the week. I am able to prep and prepare for many meals in advance by just looking at what’s coming up on the calendar. Building in meals such as those prepared in a crock pot or eating up leftovers definitely helps to feel you are not constantly in the kitchen.
- Saves you money
In my post Real Food on a Budget, I gave you some tips on how to make a real food life possible within the confines of your grocery budget. Buying only what you will need for the week eliminates impulse purchases at the grocery store or last minute take out when you don’t know what to eat for meals.
- Eat healthier meals
This goes without saying, but whether you are a real food expert or just starting out, having a plan in place will keep you from buying convenience foods over real, fresh ingredients. Without a doubt, if there is no plan in place, you will probably choose foods that do nothing for your health just because they seem quick and easy.
- No waste
I really try to cut down on waste whenever possible. So with meal planning I am able to plan my purchases and buy only what I know we need for that week. Leftovers are planned into the week as well so nothing gets shoved to the back of the refrigerator to be found months later. Eek!
- Less stress
Before meal planning, without a doubt, one of the most stressful times for me was the dinner hour. My kids and husband come home from school and work hungry, and I’d have nothing planned, nothing defrosted and no ingredients that went together to form any type of proper dish. Having a written plan takes the uncertainty out of dinner time. I know which recipe to look at, what ingredients to use and how long it will take me to prepare the meal. Easy peasy!
Plan to Eat – Meal Planning Made Simple
It is our top priority to bring to you the best products and tools that will help you make a real food lifestyle possible in this busy, unreal world. There is a lot of confusing information out there, lots of companies to research and it takes a lot of time to figure it all out. My goal is to bring you only the best resources to help you along the way.
Because we are so passionate about the importance of meal planning, we have partnered with Plan to Eat. A simple, affordable organizational tool that makes meal time a breeze. All you do is copy recipes you love from the internet or input your own favorite family recipes yourself. Drag and drop them to your calendar and it will automatically create a shopping list for you. I have tried many methods of meal planning, and often fought the process because of the overwhelming burden of it hanging over my head each week. But, with Plan to Eat I find it so easy and it’s no longer a task I hate!
Use our link to try it for FREE for 30 days. After 30 days, if you love it, you can sign up for as little as $3.25/month. Having tried many different methods in the past that have failed miserably, I am confident you will find Plan to Eat to be a resource that actually works!
If you choose to sign up, either now or later, please do so through our affiliate link by clicking the image below.
Until next time, keep it real.
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