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I will readily admit that I have tried to get into the habit of meal planning for a long time. It hasn’t worked out. At all. Ever. But, I’ve recently started looking at my life – working full-time, blogging, selling Pampered Chef, and being my daughter’s default parent – and searching for ways to make it a little bit easier.
Enter: Meal planning
Let’s be honest, meal planning is a pain in the butt. It forces us to think ahead when most of us are having trouble remembering what day it is.
That said, the time and effort are completely worth it. Quite frankly, anything that makes my weeknights easier is worth considering.
Saves time. Once you get in the habit, meal planning takes about 30 minutes a week, maybe a bit more if you’ve got a really complicated schedule. Spending 30 minutes once a week is a lot better than wasting 30 minutes a night trying to figure out what to make, then searching to see if you have the ingredients.
Saves money. Between buying things you don’t have a real use for – then throwing them out because they went bad – and extra trips to the grocery store, meal planning can create very real financial savings. To save even more, use your grocery store circular to help create your plan.
Saves your sanity. Do you cringe when you hear the question, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” I certainly do, because I have no idea what the answer is. When I plan my meals, I can just check my menu and respond. Easy peasy.
Saves your health. Think about your go-to oh-crap-it’s-dinner-and-I-don’t-have-anything-planned food. Chicken nuggets, pasta, cereal. All fine occasionally, but not something you want to eat every night. By planning your meals you avoid the brain-drain of weeknights and can keep your family’s health on track.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to plan your meals, here’s my method. I made a weekly meal plan sheet and put it in a nice frame. I can write on the glass with dry erase marker each week and it’s nice enough to leave out as a reminder.
Want one? Download a copy of mine for free!
Do you plan your meals? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!