- Meal Planning eliminates multiple weekly trips to the grocery store. How? Pick a day to plan your meals. Sit down, write down your meals, and, at the same time, write your grocery list of ingredients you will need for your meals. Pick one day to do to all your grocery shopping for the week. Usually, I do it the same day I plan my meals. This way, you will have all the food you need for the week in your refrigerator, eliminating going to the store every day or every other day.
- Meal planning cuts down on decision fatigue. Every decision you have to make in a day takes time. Decision fatigue is what happens when you have to make a lot of decisions every day and the more decisions you make, the more likely that the quality of your decisions will diminish. With meal planning, you eliminate having to decide what to have for dinner and whether you need to go to the store for ingredients. Why? Because you made those decisions when you planned your meals. You are no longer expending your energy on what to have for dinner.
- With meal planning, you can cook once and eat twice. For almost every dinner we make, my husband and I cook double the amount needed. Why? Because it gives us dinner one night and lunch the next day. It's one less decision we have to make every day about what to have for lunch and whether to go out for lunch or bring lunch to work. At lunchtime, I am usually hustling home to let the dogs out, spent from teaching or meeting clients, and it is wonderful to know that a delicious, nutritious meal is waiting for me in the fridge and will take less than five minutes to heat up.
To get started meal planning, pick a day of the week to plan your meals and do your grocery shopping. I find it best to do this on Sunday mornings so I can shop in peace. Figure out what day of the week works best for you. Start with dishes you already know how to make since it will make incorporating meal planning into your life easier. Plan your dinners for the week in a notebook or electronically if that is better for you. I'm old-fashioned in this way so pen and paper works best for me. As you plan your dinners, will you be making enough food for lunch? Write your grocery lists based on what you will need for the week's worth of dinners. Go shopping. Come home, put your feet up, and congratulate yourself for meal planning!
Good news! I am writing a book on meal planning that I plan to publish at the beginning of 2019. In it, you'll learn how to consistently plan delicious meals using tools you already have. Stay tuned!