Last week I talked about preparation and how it (or the lack thereof) affects our lives. I challenged myself and you on the notion of getting up earlier. I have to admit that it hasn’t gone so well. This is a real area of struggle for me. And while I haven’t make the 5:30am club, I haven’t given up. I will try to do better this week and hope that progression keeps me moving forward in the weeks to come.
I did, however, manage to at least do well in a few other areas of preparation and that is what I’d like to focus on this week. One of the biggest time savers during the week for me is meal planning. There are so many good things about taking the time to meal plan. I’ve highlighted the main ideas:
1. It can save you money. Seriously. By planning out what you are going to have for dinner and even breakfast and lunch each day, you are able to create your grocery shopping list with only what you need. I have a family of 3 and this works great for us. I do take special requests of course, but going to the grocery prepared helps me stay on track. Also, depending on your dietary needs you can also meal plan around what’s on sale each week, which can also be an extra savings boost.
2. It can help you be healthier. I will probably create an entire post(s) on healthy meal planning because healthy food is one of my passions. But to start, let me just say that if you take the time to plan healthy meals and have that food readily available, you are typically less likely to cheat or make bad food choices. It is MUCH easier to stay on track with healthy eating when you are prepared.
3. It saves you time. Yes, it takes time up front. But a few hours or less of meal planning and some food prep will save you tons of time and sanity throughout the week. How nice would it be to know what you are going to fix for dinner tonight and have the groceries at home ready to go? There are varying degrees of food prep which I will discuss more at length later, but knowing what you are going to fix for dinner and having everything readily available is a great first step.
This week I challenge you to try meal planning for the next week. I’ve even attached a handy sheet I created to help you along. This is a modified meal planning sheet for someone who eats 5-6 small meals a day, but you don’t have to jump all in to start. Begin with dinner. Plan your grocery shopping accordingly and go from there. You’ll enjoy how this small task of preparation pays off in a big way though the week. Happy planning!