The new year sees many people making food based resolutions. Meal planning is one of them and today I am sharing five reasons to start meal planning to help you stick with your resolutions. If you read my blog regularly you will know that I write a family meal plan every week. I have been doing it for around 6 years now, with the odd break. It is now part of my weekly routine and I think I would be a bit lost without doing it!
The reason i originally began meal planning was to save money. Meal planning and buying what you need really does help to cut the cost of the weekly food shop. It doesn't matter what your budget is or if you are cooking for one person or a large family, meal planning will help you cut down your food costs. I find shopping online also helps me to save money as I am not tempted by extras. I do tend to pop to the shops midweek to top up bread, milk and fruit.
Planning our weekly meals has become habit now and I find it saves time. It doesn't take long for me to decide on meals for the coming week and order the weekly food shopping, usually around an hour in total. Much easier than dragging three boys around the supermarket and deciding what to buy as I go. It also saves time in the evening too I don't have to think about what to make for dinner.
Tied in with saving money is reducing waste. In the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes each year. I try really hard not to throw food away and by meal planning, buying only what we need, using leftovers for lunches or another meal I find we have very little food waste. I also try to keep track of what is in the cupboards and freezer and use things up instead of leaving them to go out of date.
If you are trying to lose weight or eat more healthily this year then meal planning is your friend. You can ensure you get a healthy balanced diet. Dieting can soon become boring if you end up eating the same meals and that makes it easier to fall off the wagon.
If you are cooking for a family then everyone will have their own favourite foods. Meal planning gives everyone the chance to have meals that they will enjoy. My boys enjoy getting involved in choosing meals for the whole family. This is great for fussy eaters, it gives them some input into something that they often get left out of and may cause less stress at meal times.
If you would like to some meal planning inspiration check out my weekly meal plans and join in with the weekly meal planning linky.