A New Year, a new habit. A good habit to cultivate in the kitchen is to plan your meals. You don’t have to have an elaborate system or a huge freezer to make it work, either.
Before we get into the HOWS of meal planning, lets first talk about WHY you might want to do it.
Save on your food budget
Food and drink are one of the few budget items you have control over. Unlike housing, utilities and insurance costs you have a choice in how you spend your food dollars. Let’s face it, eating out is expensive and you have little control over the ingredients and how its prepared. Meal planning will help reign in the amount you spend.
Reduce food waste
When you don’t have a plan you end up with a pantry full of food and nothing to eat. A meal plan will help you practice mindful grocery shopping which in the long run will not only help you eat better, it will also reduce the overall amount of food that ends up in the trash.
Improve the quality of the food you eat
As you become more efficient in meal planning and back it up with mindful shopping, you can use your savings to purchase better quality items without wrecking your food budget.
End meal time stress
With a meal plan most of the decision making has already been done. You just have to “work your plan” whether it’s creating a stir fry from already prepped ingredients or pulling a casserole from the freezer and placing it into the slow cooker before heading out of the house.
Eat like a grown up
I will admit it. I’ve served some pretty childish meals. The old standard was fish sticks, macaroni and cheese and peas. Gotta have a bit of green to break up the orange. I’ve also stocked my freezer with convenience foods like frozen pot pies and hot pockets. Meal planning helps you make better choices and ensure you have them available to serve. This is important if you follow a particular eating style as we do in the Flexitarian Kitchen…especially when there are others in the household who might not subscribe to it.
So there you have 5 reasons to plan your meals. It will improve your quality of life, reduce stress and food waste as well as save money. Next time we’ll explore different methods for meal planning so you can use to set up your pantry for success.