It took me the better part of a year into marriage and a well formatted template before I truly appreciated the wonder that is meal planning.
I had heard time and time again that it actually saved money and time, but just couldn’t find the gumption to actually start sticking to a system of meal planning, which seemed more like it would be a hassle then a help.
A good many months into my routine of meal planning now though and I am fully able to say that it does indeed save money, time and you, or your spouse, from asking the frustrating question, ‘What’s for dinner?’
Money Saving: Justin and I shop week by week at this point, a good system for now though possibly not forever. Before our meal planning routine was in place we would head to the grocery store with a few meals in mind that we wanted to make during the week but not much else to guide us. This system actually caused us to buy too many things that couldn’t coordinate to make good meals throughout the week and more things that were snacky and less filling. So not only were we spending too much money, but too much money on the wrong things. These days I go in with a list and come out with quality ingredients for good meals that I know will be nutritious and keep us full.
Time Saving: I thought it would be so terrible to have to sit down and plan out what meals we were going to eat a week at a time, but it turns out that it actually takes less than 20 minutes, isn’t nearly as boring as you might think, and it makes going into the week so much less stressful because your mind is not frantically trying to coordinate meals throughout each new day!
Frustration Saving: It’s amazing how encouraging it is to be able to come home with a plan already in place for meals. You wouldn’t think it would make such a difference, but with the bit of planning ahead it truly allows your mind to rest during the week knowing you’ve done the work needed to structure your days before they become busy and you become tired of making meals let alone planning them out.
I formatted the print out I use to meal plan myself in PowerPoint so I could have complete control over the structure of it.
(you can find it here | Meal Planning | if you’d like to try it out yourself!)
If you have so far resisted the process of meal planning I would encourage you to find the little things that might help you try it out for yourself, building the right template, making a budget goal that requires you to spend less on groceries, making lists of breakfasts, lunches and dinners you’ve been meaning to incorporate more into your diet, etc. and really see how it could benefit both your budget and your time!