5 Benefits To Meal Planning

This guest post on meal planning is written by the wonderful Thoughts with N. For more about her and her social media links see below.

Today I want to talk about meal planning and how awesome it is. First, I’m sure you know what meal planning is, but just in case, let’s chat that first. Meal planning is when you plan your meals in advance. This is something I’ve recently started doing and I wanted to share with you the benefits I’ve noticed. 

My meal planning method is very simple. Taking into account what we will eat for breakfast (BR), Lunch (LN) and Dinner (DR). I don’t yet plan snacks because my kids are still little and snack 87 million times a day. But you can if you’d liked too. For now, I plan the 3 main meals.

Benefits To Meal Planning

#1 Saving Money

My grocery bill has gone down. The cost of groceries has definitely increased since the start of the pandemic. Feeding a family of 5, plus a dog and a cat means food is a HUGE chunk of our budget. Having a plan means that it’s less buying whatever we “want” and more what we need to make healthy meals. Hence – a lower bill. By only buying ingredients on our meal plan, it prevents buying doubles of ingredients you already have. Or buying something you never get around to cooking and have to bin!

#2 Less Stress

I have less anxiety and stress surrounding cooking and preparing meals. Without a plan, it feels like the options are endless, and it’s intensely difficult to pick something to cook. With a plan, there isn’t anything to wonder. It’s laid out exactly what to do. And you can be sure you have the ingredients. Plus, if you bulk cook then on stressful days you can easily defrost and reheat. Rather than having to find time to cook from scratch. This is great for more complicated recipes or for particularly busy weeks or months.

For 4 Ways to Reframe Anxiety read here.

#3 Less Waste

We have less food waste when following a meal plan. This makes sense. When you’re planning what you’re eating and when, you’re likely to have less food waste. Because everything gets eaten and you don’t have spare ingredients lying around. Or getting pushed to the bottom of the fridge. You use everything you buy. This is something I’ve really noticed. 

#4 Eating Healthier

A meal plan shows me what I intend on fuelling my body with. This was is helpful to intentionally create delicious healthy meal plans. It stops you making a quick and easy dinner which may be less healthy. Or buying food when you’re hungry and therefore eating what you feel like. Instead of being able to consciously plan a week of balanced and nutritious meals.

#5 Being in Control

It makes me feel like I’m in control. Because I am the one who makes the plan, then I am the one who decides. I feel good and happy that I can make good/healthy choices.

For 4 Ways to Check In with Your Mental Health including control read here.

These are just SOME of the amazing benefits I’ve noticed from meal planning. What do you think about meal planning? Is it something you do? What are your tips and tricks for making meal planning easy?

You can read more of Enn’s work on her blog www.thoughtswithn.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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14 thoughts on “5 Benefits To Meal Planning

  1. Lovely guest blog from Enn! I love that last point being in control and feeling good about the choices you make. I’m a spontaneous person when it comes to dinner and it truly makes my life harder sometimes haha Thanks for sharing x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. I love a bit of spontaneity. But I try and channel that into my cooking now by tweaking recipes etc. But some days if I’m not looking forward to whatever is on the menu I give myself the flexibility to have a takeout or make something else or swap meals around. It’s all about finding what works for you. You could meal plan but have a spontaneous meal every week!

  2. I could really do with meal planning, but whenever I try, I lack the motivation to cook and freeze everything, which often results in me wasting food and costing me more money. Even when I try to eat healthy, I generally lack the motivation to eat the healthy food I’ve bought, resulting in me spending more money on convenience food or takeaways. I’ve got a lot of bad food habits that need to deal with

    1. I hear that. I’ve tried some healthier recipes which I just haven’t enjoyed. Either too time consuming or they’re just not attractive meal options to me. Over time I’ve created a list of the meals we do like and have managed to find a good balance and variety so we don’t get bored. I used to meal plan weekly but now I find doing it on a more monthly basis is better for me. I can do 30mins or an hour of meal planning and then I don’t have to think about it for months. Plus bulk cooking means I always have a last minute meal in the freezer!

    1. Definitely! And it allows you to balance some more labour intensive meals with some quicker ones to suit your schedule. Plus I find it’s one less thing to worry about on a daily basis 😀

    1. Right! When I’m not making a meal last minute I can be thoughtful and plan to use the best ingredients and have time to make something perhaps a bit more time consuming but far healthier. Plus it stops me reaching for the takeout menu which isn’t exactly £££ friendly!

    1. Seems like you’ve worked out how it best suits you which is amazing. I do a few weeks at a time but I often end up chopping and changing. But it’s a comfort just knowing it’s all sorted .

    1. Thanks Charlotte. It cuts down on waste so much! And I find it super handy to be able to take a meal out the freezer if I’ve bulk cooked if I’m having a busy week!

  3. I love meal planning it definitely saves me so much money! I have also noticed that I am using up a lot more of my foods and less of it is going to waste. This is such a good read!

    Amber | The Unpredicted Page

    1. Thanks! I hate having to throw away foods. I feel so guilty and it’s such a waste of money! I love that something so simple can have so many benefits

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