Friday, July 06, 2007

How meal planning makes your life easy

Are you ready to save some time, feed your family healthier meals and save some money along the way? These are just some of the benefits of family meal planning. Let’s look at all of them in a little more detail.

Eat Healthier
Planning your family meals will cut down on your trips to your favorite fast food restaurant and the amount of pizza you have delivered to your door. Food you prepare at home tends to be much healthier than hamburgers with fries, fried chicken or pizza. When you plan your meals include some lean protein like chicken breast, as well as some salads and vegetables. Your entire family will benefit from the healthier meals.

Save Time
How much time are you spending now running to the grocery store a few times a week. I used to run to the store at least 3 times a week to buy something to fix for dinner. Planning your meals out for a week at a time and then putting together a grocery list with everything you need to cook those meals will cut your trips to the store down to one a week. This alone will save you a few hours each week. Plus you won’t be standing in front of your fridge and pantry every night trying to come up with something you can fix with what you have at hand.

Save Money
All that eating out and having food delivered can quickly add up. By preparing more meals at home you will save quite a few dollars each week. In addition, you will save on your monthly grocery bill, since you will be making a list of everything you need for the week and won’t end up buying extras that just go to waste. I used to throw out food almost every week before I started meal planning.

Less Stress
You know the routine. It’s 6 pm, everyone in the family is starving and you have no idea what’s for dinner. Trying to come up with something to cook from what you have in the kitchen while your kids are tired, hungry and screaming isn’t one of the most fun family activities. You will be much more relaxed about dinner, when you know exactly what you are going to cook ahead of time and known you have everything you need in the house.

Quality Time Together
Meal Planning also encourages everyone to gather around the dinner table each day. Who could resist the delicious smells coming out of the kitchen? Dinnertime has always been a great time for families to gather and share news and experiences of the day. Parents and children can pay each other undivided attention. Cook some dinner, set the table and don’t forget to turn off the TV. Make dinner a daily family tradition again.

I encourage you to give meal planning a try. I am sure you and your family will see the benefits within less than a week. Don’t have the time or patience to plan your family meals? Let us do it for you!


Christine Steendahl runs Dine Without Whine - A Family Friendly Weekly Menu Planner Sign up today.

2 comments:

Mare said...

I just started this! I need to start keeping better track of grocery spending and cutting back on meats. I hope I can stick to it.

Leah Ingram said...

I know that meal planning for sure saves money but I really need to take that extra step that you suggest and do actual menu planning--and commit it to paper. Just as a shopping list keeps you on task in the supermarket, I'll bet that a menu, right there in black and white, will ensure you buy only the food you plan to use. Next time I go to the store, I'm going to give this a try. Thanks. Leah Ingram http://suddenlyfrugal.blogspot.com