Meal Planning Made Easy
Posted on July 05 2016
Good news! Meal planning is a lot simpler than most people think and it requires just a little time and effort. What’s the best way to start meal planning? Just start! There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The best method is the one that works for you. With a few simple systems in place, you’ll be all set for success!
Here are 3 reasons I meal plan:
1. It saves me time.
I grocery shop once per week and I can usually be in and out in 20-30 minutes. As someone who grocery shops with a toddler, this is amazing. Even if you don’t grocery shop with a tiny “helper,” who doesn’t want extra time for the things you really want to do?
I know exactly what I need so I don’t spend hours wandering the aisles and I don’t have to try to figure out meals on the fly. I save time at home as well because I know what’s for dinner. No digging in the fridge and pantry trying to throw something together. Prep work (chopping veggies, marinating meat) can be done ahead of time, like in the morning or on the weekends, to save extra time in the evenings when things are more hectic.
2. We eat much healthier.
Before meal planning, it would be 4:00 pm and I still didn’t know what we were having for dinner. I usually had food in the house, but the meat might not be thawed or I might have just bought things willy nilly while I was at the grocery and not actually have the ingredients for any meals. There were a lot of drive thrus, a lot of pizza nights and a lot of cereal for dinner. Planning healthy meals ahead of time keeps our family on track with our goals for healthy living.
3. It saves us money.
Impulse buys can be super easy if you step foot in a grocery store without a plan and a list. The stores are actually designed to make us buy things we don’t really need. I take my notebook with my Meal Planning Add-On Pages to the store with me and I stick to my shopping list. Please keep in mind the pictures I'm sharing in this post are of the older version of the add-on, you can see the new design if you click here.
I usually meal plan on Sunday and use store circulars to plan our meals around what’s on sale. This way, I can get the most bang for our buck. Besides the savings in the actual grocery, it eliminates the cost of those emergency drive thru or pizza trips I mentioned before.
While I’ve been meal planning for quite some time, I started using the Limelife Planners Meal Planning Add-On Pages about six months ago. It has totally streamlined the process and made it even easier! I love having my meal plan and my grocery list all in one place. I also really like having a place to write my grocery budget for the week as well as another space to write how much I actually spent.
The boxes for each day are plenty big enough to plan main dishes and sides. I use it exclusively for planning dinners because our breakfasts and lunches are a rotation of very simple choices. If you wanted to plan all of your meals and snacks, there’s plenty of room for that, too!
Another great feature of the add-on is the Family Favorites pages. If I get stuck during my weekly meal plan session, I can refer to these for instant inspiration. My pages are color coded by type of protein (chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian, seafood) and I used a separate color to designate crock pot meals. I also use these colors when I meal plan to make sure we have a good variety. If we have an on-the-go day coming up, I can quickly and easily pick out a crock pot meal. If we try a new recipe that we love, I add it to the Family Favorites pages so I can be sure to make it again.
We’d love to see the ways you’re using your Limelife Planner and planner add-on to meal plan! Share your pics on social media and tag them with the hashtags #lovemylimelife and #limelifeplanners.
This blog post was written by Katie Clark for the Limelife Planners Media & Creative Team. For more information about Katie visit her on Instagram @katiedidproductions. Please share and repost this blog entry with your friends! All we ask is that you give credit to Limelife Planners and the post author.