Is meal planning worth the effort?

As the leaves turn bright and begin to fall to the ground and the daylight hours get shorter and shorter, we are all more susceptible to falling into bad habits with our finances and with our health. When I leave work and it the sun is setting or has already gone down I don’t want to think about dinner or even the hassle of cooking a meal. Maybe, I’ll pick up a pizza or just nuke some chicken nuggets for the kids.  Fast and easy is what I’m looking for and I don’t think I’m alone. Unfortunately fast and easy usually means expensive and unhealthy. Impulse spending and eating are bad for the bottom line and the belly line! Fortunately, the answer to combating these bad impulses is planning – Meal Planning.

I have heard many people question the benefits of meal planning. They wonder if putting the effort into planning a week’s menu or even preparing the week’s meals on Sunday and then freezing them for the week ahead is worthwhile. It is absolutely worth the effort! All you have to do to see the huge benefits of meal planning is to do a side by side comparison. With meal planning, you will make one trip to the grocery store for the week to pick up the needed items on your list. Without meal planning, you will make 2 to 5 trips to the grocery store. That is a lot of wasted gasoline and a lot of wasted time! With meal planning, you will save money because you are only buying what you need to prepare your recipes. Without meal planning, you will buy impulsively what you want leading to wasted money and wasted food. With meal planning, you will eat healthy home cooked meals. Without meal planning, you will eat out or pick up pizza on your way home. Do you even know how many calories are in the average piece of pizza! The internet says 285 for a single piece! Who eats a single piece of pizza? $40 of takeout food could have been a delicious steak dinner at home or at least 3 home cooked dinners. Last time I checked 3 is greater than 1! Finally with meal planning you will save time and enjoy stress fee home cooked dinners which are good for you.  Without meal planning, you simply will not.

Now that I’ve convinced you that meal planning is the right way to go, you probably want to know how to get started. Google it! The internet is absolutely stuffed with meal planning ideas, recipes, tips and suggestions that will help you develop your plan. Also, there’s an app for that! Actually there are lots of apps for meal planning for android and IOS. Look some up, read the reviews and test them out. They are free! Not the technology type? Go to the library and check out a meal planning book. Once you start reaping the benefits of meal planning, you will not want to stop.

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