The new year is well on its way, and I’ve finally started to set my annual goals. One of them is to be more organized… which always seems to a struggle for me. I get overwhelmed fairly easily. The first area of my life that I need to organize is my cooking routine. I absolutely hate coming home from work (starving) and having to figure out what to cook for dinner. The best solution to this problem is to use a meal planner.
Now, I’ll be honest, planning your meals can be about as much fun as budgeting. But it’s just as important! Some excellent reasons to use a meal planner are:
1.To save money.
Planning your meals means you can go to the grocery store with a plan. If you purchase only what you plan to cook (and actually use the groceries, don’t let them spoil!) it’s easier to stick to a budget or avoid wasting money on food that won’t get eaten.
2. To track your eating habits/diet.
Are you trying to eat more vegetables or less junk food? Creating a meal plan will help you because you can clearly see what you will be eating every day for the entire week. You can see where you need to add more vegetable dishes etc. Be realistic though. If you usually only eat one serving of vegetables a day, don’t try to increase your daily amount dramatically. Gradually change your eating habits and track your progress with your meal planners.
3. To save time and share the work.
For me, this is the best part of meal planning. If my family knows what we’re going to make for the week, we can plan ahead. I can prep ingredients ahead of time or delegate the task to someone else. If my brother gets home before me, he can put the chicken in the oven. Then all I have to do is make the rice and vegetable dish when I get in. It’s wonderful!
I remember watching Sandi Richard’s show on Food Network, called Fixing Dinner, and thinking that it all looked to good to be true. We’re still getting use to using the meal planner but so far so good….