5 Reasons Why You Should Try Meal Planning

I started meal planning a few months ago, and to be completely honest, it’s changed my life! If you’re not familiar, it’s pretty simple: one day a week (I like to do it on Sundays), you do a grocery shop and cook all of your meals for the week. But, it’s a big more strategic than that. Since you’re making all of your meals at once, you’re typically only making a handful of recipes.

For example I usually make one breakfast option, one or two lunch options, and one or two dinner options. You choose the recipes ahead of time, purchase only the groceries you need, make your meals, and box them up in the fridge for use throughout the week. Sounds good, right? Keep reading for five reasons why you should do it, too!

Reason one: It’s an easy way to eat healthy.

Making your own food at home from scratch is typically much healthier than eating at restaurants all the time. You know exactly what is going into your food and there are no additions like sauces which can sneakily up the caloric content of your meals.

If you’re on a diet, meal planning makes it much easier to stick to because the chances of going out and grabbing some fast food or junk food when you already have a cooked meal ready and waiting are that much lower.

Reason two: It saves money.

One of my resolutions this new year was to save more money, and cooking at home was one of the main ways to do that. It’s so much more cost-effective than buying your meals one at a time. On average I was spending $10-$15 on lunch alone per day, which amounts to $50-$75 each work week. Since I started meal planning I’ve been spending around $50-$100 on groceries per week for all meals, including on the weekend, so it works out to be much less expensive in comparison.

Also, because you’re basing your groceries on what you’re making for the week, you should be buying only things that you will be using for your recipes, which saves you from overbuying at the store and cuts down on wasted food.

Reason 3: It saves time.

It might not seem like when at first you are spending five hours on your Sunday afternoon cooking a mountain of food for the week, but trust me, it gets better! You will become more efficient at making your meals to the point where it only takes maybe a few hours one day a week, and very minimal time after that (if any at all).

Then, you’re not taking any time out of your evening after work (or whatever your schedule is) to make food every day, which adds up to more time over the week than if you did it all at once. I found it gave me so much more time in the day after work to come home and do something productive like work out, or even just relax and not have to worry about cooking dinner.

Reason 4: You get better at cooking.

Unless you’re already good, and just don’t plan your meals (fair enough). For me, I’ve never been much of a cook – I’m okay at following recipes, but have a hard time just whipping up something that tastes good from the random ingredients in my fridge and cupboard.

Because meal planning means I’m cooking at home more, I’m getting a lot more practice in the kitchen and have definitely improved my cooking skill overall. My food tastes way better than it used to and I have a better sense of how to combine ingredients and flavours to make something delicious instead of just good.

Reason 5: It’s fun!

Now that I have been doing it for a few months and sort of have my strategy down, I am really enjoying trying new recipes and learning to cook new things. It’s becoming a regular hobby for me to the point where I actually get excited about Sundays when I get to research new recipes and cook all of my meals for the week!

At the end of the day, meal planning might not be for everyone (I love my takeout sometimes too!) But, I hope that if you don’t already do it, this might inspire you to at least give it a shot. Let me know in the comments below how meal planning works for you!

Until next time,

Emily

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5 Reasons Why You Should Try Meal Planning

Featured photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

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  • This sounds great! I’m definitely guilty of spending too much money on eating out at lunch – usually because I slept in and didn’t leave time in the morning to make a lunch. Would you be willing to share a couple of your favourite recipes? I’m wondering about breakfasts in particular 🙂

    • For sure! Breakfast is a super easy one for me because I normally eat the same thing almost every day. It’s easy to prep ahead of time too! I make a loaded oatmeal with a bunch of different toppings. So I make a big batch of oatmeal (steel cut oats) to keep in the fridge throughout the week. In the mornings I heat up a scoop in the microwave, then add things like fresh berries, coconut chips, hemp hearts, chia seeds, maple syrup, and most importantly, peanut butter! It’s so delicious and it will keep you going all day.

  • Can you do a what I eat in a week post? I’m always struggling for healthy eating inspiration. I love all your posts
    I just cleared all my wardrobe and realized I’ve actually only been wearing 30% of the clothes I own. Do you have any tips for resisting buying when you work for a clothing brand? So much newness is too hard to resist.

    • Hi Leanne, thank you! I can definitely try to put together a food diary. It might be boring because in a given week I’ll usually have the same things over and over and then change it up the next week. I also eat mainly plant based. But I can think of some meals I make often and share those! As for your wardrobe, that’s great that you’ve decluttered! I totally understand how working at a clothing store would make it super hard to resist temptation. I’ve never been in that position, but I can think of a few things that might help. First, try doing a capsule wardrobe or a no-spend challenge for a season. If you’re doing a capsule, select the clothes you like to wear (the 30%), add in a few seasonal pieces or things you need to round it out, and then stick with it for 3-6 months without buying anything new. It’s sort of like a diet for your wardrobe – I missed shopping at first, but then I realized I didn’t need all of those extra things and I was wasting my money on stuff that wasn’t making me happy. Once you get to that point, it will be a lot easier to not buy stuff. If you need even more of a push, I’d recommend watching some documentaries like Minimalism or The True Cost. It will give you a really hard kick in the pants (no pun intended) when it comes to how fast fashion is made and the impacts it has on our world – both the people in it and the environment – and that might be enough to turn you off it. I wish you all the best!