Prior to having children, meal planning wasn’t a thing. It worked really well for us to just decide what we were going to have for dinner on the day, at dinner time. If we felt like something in particular, it was quick and easy to just pop out and pick up a couple of things or just get take away delivered. If we didn’t feel like dinner, we could just snack from the fridge.
Oh those were the days!
Two kids, a daily two hour commute for work and a move to the country later, we have found that without a meal plan, we can’t survive. Not only are we absolutely exhausted after work each day, the kids are too, and by the time we get to 6pm we need to be eating and getting ready for the bedtime routine. Without knowing ahead of time what we’re having, we would be in the midst of total chaos by this time (and the kids will be horrors).
You know what I mean, don’t you?!
Being the busy mums that we are, it’s easy to get caught ‘winging it’ when it comes to meal time. There are literally so many things that need our attention and quite often, meal planning is the last thing on our mind.
But what if we could eliminate this stress and overwhelm by creating a SYSTEM for this process that works WITH us and not AGAINST us?
No more lazy alternatives.
No more last minute decisions.
No more freaking STRESS.
I’m all about planning hard and living easy. In fact, this is my mantra. #PlanHardLiveEasy
You might think that meal planning isn’t your thing. But maybe it could be? There are many surprising benefits to meal planning…
1. It will save you time
Sure, meal planning ahead of time takes time, but when you come home and don’t have to make these last minute decisions, it means that you can actually spend your time doing things you WANT to do rather than stressing about what you’re going to feed your family. You can afford to get outside and kick the soccer ball around with the kids, or take a nice long shower knowing that you are organised, have everything you need and are ready to prepare your chosen meal. When you plan hard, you can live easy.
2. It will save you money
Shopping without a solid plan is like baking macaroons with no recipe… a disaster waiting to happen. If you’re anything like my husband, you start inventing meals in aisle three and collecting just about anything with a special sticker on it just in case you might need it later (which you never will). I cut our grocery bill in half when I started creating a shopping list based solely on the meals I’d planned to cook (and banning my husband from participating).
Imagine how much wine you could buy with your savings?? Again… buttloads.
3. It will reduce your stress
Meaning, that when you get home from work at the end of a long day, your kids are screaming, fighting and all you want to do is hide in the pantry with a glass (okay, a bottle) of wine, you don’t have to make any decisions about what to eat. The stress simply isn’t there. It doesn’t even have to be you that cooks… any adult in the house can see what you’re having and so there’s no excuse for it to fall back on you. Or if you enjoy cooking (or it’s just you at home) all you have to do is put down the wine and cook the meal. Or cook while you enjoy the wine which is my personal preference.
4. You will eat better
Better decisions are made through conscious planning. When deciding ahead of time which meals you’ll be cooking, you will naturally choose foods that are delicious, family favourites and more often than not, healthier. There’s nothing worse than trying to gain last minute inspiration only to find that everything you’re looking for is either out of date, rock hard frozen or feels like a lazy alternative to what you wish you were having. You’ll also find yourself eating less take-away.
Need some help with meal planning?
Not a problem! Here, you can download my free Weekly Meal Planner. Simply download, print and plan.
Or, if you’re looking to overhaul your whole process, you can check out my simple online course that you can work through at your own pace. It’s full of top tips, money saving ideas and templates/printables that you can use to get organised and start meal planning effectively, today. Check it out here!