There are so many reasons to meal plan! If you are a subscriber, you know that I am always blogging about the importance and benefits of meal planning! I am kinda crazy when it comes to meal planning- because I want to save a lot of money on groceries. It is totally possible to make delicious food or a tight budget- even if you are on a low carb diet! Here are 5 reasons to meal plan!
How Often Should You Meal Plan?
I recommend that you Meal Plan at least a week if you have to grocery shop once a week, an additional meal plan ‘session’ if plans changed or if you needed to go grocery shopping 3 or 5 days after your first few dinners. To avoid being bored with a meal plan, I have created a rotation of 40+ dinners that I pick for my meal plans.
Five Reasons to Meal Plan
Reason #1: A Healthier Diet
By planning in advance, you are giving yourself the opportunity to cook very healthy meals like turkey tacos, Cornish hens, pork chops and mashed potatoes with green beans. Generally speaking, dinners take 30-60 minutes to make. If you can’t make up your mind, you might end up in the drive-thru at Taco Bell or McDonald’s. Do yourself a favor and opt for a routine.
Reason #2: A Happy Wallet
If you write all the items that you need for your meals and stick to the grocery list, you will put fewer items in the cart and spend less time at the store. Both of which save you money. Avoid cans of soups if you can- a happy wallet from meal planning starts with fewer junk/processed foods.
Reason #3: Less Stress
I buy my meat from Costco and package them individually. It makes it faster to defrost and easier to make dinners. Meal Planning saves time because I am already telling myself what I am going to make for dinner that night. I think it saves me an hour each night by not having to think about dinner, collecting ingredients and then making dinner. If I meal plan, those items are collected and ‘scheduled’ and all I need to do is start cooking.
Reason #4: Fuller Meals
My ‘basic plate’ looks like this: meat, starch and veggies. If I meal plan ahead of time, I afford myself more time to ensure that we get a better meal than something simple and that doesn’t keep us full for long. My meal plan rotations have dinners that are really easy to mix and match dinner ideas with Affordable Side Dishes– the best opportunity to keep a plate of dinner $5 or less.
If I didn’t meal plan, I could potential throw together chicken breasts and corn- but if I meal plan, then I can come up with something like beef stew and fresh homemade bread!
Reason #5: Time to Experiment
I have been able to experiment with recipes a lot because of meal planning. When I am going through my list of dinners for the week, I like to ask myself What can I try this week? Or I give myself a day in the week to try something random. That is one of the ways I manage to give you all my recipes! And that is how I ended up with my chicken quinoa soup!
Final Thoughts on Reasons to Meal Plan
There you have it: five essential reasons to spend at least once a week meal planning for your dinners. Other things to consider for a meal plan are your breakfast and lunches. I don’t often spend time doing that because I usually have leftovers, salad, or tuna and crackers for lunch; and I have the same things for breakfast nearly everyday (Premier Protein shakes).