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One of the biggest things I can do to promote calm and peace in my life is plan out my meals. Not knowing what to fix for our meals is one of my top stressors, especially on the days I have to work or we have family activities. When I have a plan for the week, however, I am much more calm and relaxed, which makes it easier to maintain a good attitude!
Not sure menu planning is for you? Here are a few of the benefits it can offer you:
Benefits of Menu Planning
- It saves you time.
Sure, it takes a little time up front to plan your week, but it saves you time in the long run, and at the times when you need it most. Having a good plan eliminates the need for last-minute dashes to the store, searches through your pantry and fridge at 5:00, and long waits for defrosting or prep work. You can plan for your busiest nights, and you can do all your preparation work when you are more available. Planning ahead also allows you to cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers for a later date, which is more time-efficient than cooking individual meals.
- It saves you money.
There are many reasons menu planning saves you money. Having a plan for dinner means you will eat out less. You will have less need for prepackaged meals, which are more costly than their homemade alternatives. You will always have the groceries you need, cutting down on the number of trips to the store. This saves you money on gas and means fewer opportunities for impulse buys. You will also waste less food because you’ll have a plan for everything. And the biggest way it saves you money is that you can plan around sales!
- It promotes healthier eating.
As previously stated, having a plan for dinner will lead to fewer trips through the drive-thru or to a restaurant, where healthy choices are usually harder to come by. Planning out your week will also help you be intentional about your choices. You won’t be as tempted to settle for something quick at the expense of nutrition, and you will eat a wider variety of meals if you plan for it.
- It saves your sanity!
Figuring out what we’re going to eat at the last minute is a major source of stress for me. Part of that may be my personality – I am a person who likes to have a plan! But I think figuring out the “What’s for dinner?” question is a struggle for women across the board. Taking a few minutes at the start of the week to figure out the next week’s meal plan is a great way to lessen your stress and keep a smile on your face!
Menu planning doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, and the more you do it, the easier it will get. Find a system that works for you and go for it! You won’t be sorry when 5:00 rolls around and you already know what’s for dinner!
If you’re totally new to meal planning and need some help getting started, you can read about my system here! I love meal planning, and I can teach you how to love it, too!
If you enjoyed this post, you will also want to read:
- How to Create a Fabulous Meal Plan That Works For You
- Agh! It’s 5:00 and I Don’t Have a Plan for Dinner!
- 10 Simple But Delicious Ways to Prepare Asparagus