Wednesday, February 4, 2009

10 Benefits of Meal Planning

Have you tried a Meal Planner yet? Check out my previous post: Meal Planning (01/10/09). I created six weeks of meals for my family to rotate through. The entrees are planned out six weeks at a time, and I plan the side dishes and accompaniments weekly or bi-weekly. We are currently on our fifth week, and we are loving it! Some surprising benefits of Meal Planning we have discovered are:
  1. We almost never eat out because dinner is always planned. A huge money-saver! Eating out is now an infrequent privilege, which is what it should be.
  2. We are eating healthier. We get a variety of meats, fruits and vegetables because it's all planned out for variety and nutrition.
  3. I am much more motivated to cook, and I enjoy it so much more because it's never the same thing we had the week before (or heck, even three weeks before!).
  4. My kids eat dinner and leftovers are actually appealing. Variety is great! They're not tired of having the same things over and over, so they are excited to see what I'm making for dinner and hubby doesn't mind so much taking leftovers to work.
  5. My pickiest eater is trying new foods - and even discovering that she likes more things than she thought! We are all trying new things!
  6. Grocery shopping is actually more fun because I get to hunt down things that I haven't bought for the previous three weeks already.
  7. I have more free time and less stress because I'm not scrambling at the last minute to figure out what we're having for dinner and I can plan ahead for meal prep. For instance, with six weeks worth of meals planned, I can brown up all three pounds of hamburger I'll use in the next two weeks instead of one at a time.
  8. I save money on groceries. I watch for items to go on sale that I know I'll use in my six weeks of meals and I can buy more of them when they're on sale. And because things are planned so well, I only go to the grocery store once a week (or once every other week, which I've been trying lately). Less trips to the store means less impulse-buying and more money saved.
  9. Less food is wasted. Because everything is planned down to the last detail, I only purchase what we need and will use. This saves money too! :)
  10. More quality time with my family. We sit down to the table every night for dinner and have meaningful conversation... How great is that?!
I found a great blog for meal planning: Meal Planning 101. She has great recipes and tips for meal planning. Check it out!


  1. thank you So MUCH! Im needing this very much right now so Im glad you did a follow up on your other post. I will go check out that link now ;)

  2. I need to do more meal planning. I get so frustrated with dinner. Nobody (except the husband) will eat what I cook even though I'm an excellent cook. It's frustrating to spend so much time and energy on a meal that they won't eat.

    Have you posted your rotation somewhere? I'd love to see it. I need some new ideas. I'll go check the link you provided too. Thanks!