How meal planning can save you money and reduce food waste!
Meal planning is one of the oldest tricks in the book that can help individuals and families save time, money, and reduce food waste. Taking a bit of time to plan out your meals for the week will help you streamline your shopping list, balance out your diet, and eat all of what you buy! In this post, we will explore the benefits of meal planning and provide some tips to help you stick to meal planning!
Saving time is one of the biggest benefits of meal planning! Knowing what you’re going to cook each night of the week will eliminate that ‘last-minute stress’ of choosing a meal and also stops you from going to the supermarket every second night. Juggling life, school, work, and/or other commitments is already stressful enough, with a well thought out meal plan you will find that you have more time
Another advantage of meal planning is the potential for cost savings. By planning your meals ahead, you can create a shopping list that is tailored to your needs. This means you can avoid impulse purchases and make more cost-effective choices. Additionally, by having a clear plan, you can take advantage of sales and promotions, buying ingredients in bulk when they are on offer. Over time, these small savings can add up significantly.
Meal planning also provides an opportunity to focus on nutrition and making healthier choices. When you have a plan, you can ensure that your meals are well-balanced and include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. You can also plan for special dietary needs or preferences, such as vegetarian or gluten-free options. By taking control of your meal choices in advance, you can avoid resorting to unhealthy convenience foods or ordering takeout.
Here's some practical tips to help you get started with Meal Planning
Set aside time for planning
Dedicate a specific time each week to plan out your meals. It could be over the weekend when you have more free time, or it could be during the evenings when you can sit down and review recipes.
Take a “Fridge Selfie”
If you know you’re really bad for not looking at what’s already in the fridge or pantry, try just taking a picture of the fridge or pantry on your way out the door!
Plan out your leftovers
Think about meals that can be easily repurposed as leftovers for lunches or dinners later in the week. This can help reduce waste and save time on cooking. Here’s an example:
Monday Night: Beef Casserole
Tuesday Night: Add Mashed Potatoes = Cottage Pie OR Add Pastry = Beef Pies
In conclusion, meal planning is a valuable tool for anyone looking to save time, money, and reduce food waste. By taking the time to plan your meals, you can streamline your grocery shopping, make healthier food choices, and enjoy stress-free mealtimes. Give it a try and see the positive impact it can have on your daily routine.