Even though I work from home, I still meal plan. I like that I have ingredients or items prepped for when I need something to eat ASAP and I don’t have to think about what to cook for dinner.
Meal planning has a number of benefits but I think quite a few people believe meal planning means you’re eating the same meals all week such as dry chicken and overcooked broccoli. While this works for some people, it’s not for me!
Here are some benefits;
1.How Meal planning can save you time
When you prepare your meal plan and write up your shopping list you will save time at the supermarket. No more standing in front of the shelves and wondering what to buy and what are you going to make with the ingredients.
If you do your shopping at a supermarket as opposed to smaller specialised shops/Farmers’ Market, it’s good to write the shopping list as the supermarket is laid out, aisle by aisle. For my local supermarket it’s; household, toiletries, chilled aisle, tins and packets. Therefore I write my list as I would be walking around the aisles.
If you choose to prepare some of your meals and snacks when you get home from the supermarket this also saves you time. You can prepare breakfasts such as overnight oats or chia pudding for the week ahead, saving time in the mornings. Portion out fruits and/or vegetables for snacks. Make some smoothie packs - put your smoothie ingredients except the liquid into ziplock storage bags and store in the freezer, just add contents to your blender when you come to make the smoothie along with liquid of choice and blend.
Additionally having salad items such as greens, herbs, vegetables washed and in the fridge ready also saves time when coming to make a meal.
2. Meal Planning Can Save You Money
As you’re only buying what you need for the plan you won’t be spending money on ingredients that you don’t need or won’t get used.
As you will have an organised list with you when shopping you will less likely to reach for convenience foods. Or be attracted by those ‘3 for 2’ or ‘buy 1 get 1 free’ offers…which are not always value for money but a very good marketing ploy!
Additionally, as you will have a plan of what you’re cooking and the ingredients in the fridge/pantry and possibly prepped, you are less likely to call a takeaway.
3. Meal planning can help you Eat More Healthfully
Making a meal plan will mean cooking from scratch a majority of the time and this puts you in charge of what you are eating. From salt to sugar, you have control of how much you add to the dish.
Meal plans are also a great visual so you can see how much fruit, vegetables, wholegrain etc you are consuming over the week. Meal plans allow you to balance your meals and snacks more.
And as you may have prepped some snacks such as fruits or vegetable sticks and a dip you’ll be more likely to grab those when you need a snack as they’re prepped.
4. Meal planning means Less Food Waste
Before you start drawing up your meal plan shop your cupboards/fridge/freezer and see what ingredients you have that need to be used. Try and work these ingredients into your meal plan. For instance if you have some red pepper that is getting a bit wrinkly you could make a breakfast bake or if you have some herbs you could make a pesto for a pasta dish one evening.
Another benefit of meal planning is you’ll only buying what you need so there’ll be less likely of fresh produce going soggy. Therefore less food ending up in the compost or in the bin which also saves money too!
These are just a few of the many benefits to meal planning.
Learn more about my Bespoke Meal Plans and Guides.