Meal planning is a hot topic these days. Some people swear by it, while others find it to be a complete waste of time. So, does meal planning actually work? Let’s take a look at the benefits of meal planning to see if it’s right for you.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning is a practice of creating a plan to map out regular meals. It consists of deciding when, where and what to eat in advance. Meal planners take into account nutrition goals as well as budget, storage and allergies. It can also involve prepping ingredients while saving time and money in the long run.
Does meal planning save money?
Meal planning makes it easier to buy groceries in bulk and stop impulse buys. By following a plan and knowing what you need for meals in advance, you also prevent wasted trips to the grocery store and the purchasing of items you won’t actually end up using. Additionally, with a good meal plan, you won’t have to rely on takeaway when you realise there’s nothing to make for dinner.
Does meal planning save time?
Many of us are busy and pressed for time, so it makes sense to ask if meal planning really saves us any precious minutes. The truth is that yes, meal planning can definitely save you time in the long run, even if it means finding the time to sit down and organise yourself first. When you plan out your meals ahead of time, it eliminates grocery store runs for forgotten ingredients or frantically trying to decide what to cook in the evening before dinner.
With proper meal planning, you can make a shopping list for all your necessary ingredients, write out your weekly recipes, and even bake or prep food ahead of time so that when you’re ready to cook all you need to do is heat it up and enjoy. Meal planning may take a little effort up front but once you get into the groove of things you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed and prepared your week can be.
How to get started with meal planning
First, start by creating a list of all the meals you would like to eat in a week and when you will eat each meal. Keep in mind what other activities you have on certain days and save the elaborate meals for the days that aren’t too busy.
Once you have your meal plan set out, start writing down the ingredients you need to make each recipe.
To make it easier, use our free meal plan and grocery list template.
Meal planning can be an effective way to save time and money, while also helping you make healthier choices and take the stress out of dinner time. It requires some effort in the beginning but once you get into the swing of things it will become second nature.