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Top 5 Benefits of Planning Your Meals in Advance

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Why Meal Plan? 5 Reasons to Start Planning Out Your Meals

Do you find yourself wondering what you’re going to make for dinner as your stomach starts rumbling?

Coming up with a meal AND cooking it takes time, and it’s so easy to just pick up fast food or throw a frozen dinner into the microwave. So why not meal plan? It can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Here are my top five benefits of meal planning. How do you hope to benefit from planning your meals in advance?


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1. Meal planning can save you money.

Why meal plan? Because it can save you money!

Who doesn’t want to save money? When you plan your meals in advance, you can come up with a shopping list based on what you actually need for the week, rather than just winging it when you get to the store.

And then it’s just a matter of sticking to the list.

When you have your meals planned out, you don’t spend unnecessary money on fast food, convenience meals, and impulse purchases.

That’s not to say you should never eat out; rather, plan restaurant visits into your rotation and that way you can also work it into your food budget.


But saving money is just one of the benefits of meal planning….


2. Planning meals in advance can save you time.

Why meal plan? Because your time is precious and, if you’re at all like me, you hate when your time is wasted.

Well, meal planning can help save you time.

Here’s how:

1. There are no last-minute trips to the store when you realize you’re missing an ingredient for a meal you planned at the last minute.

2. You will save time in the store by going in with a list. No more wandering aimlessly up and down each aisle!

3. Prepare food in bulk and freeze for a later meal. I like to cook extra meat or chop onions and peppers to freeze for later. Doing this will save you time later when it’s time to make that meal.

4. You don’t have to waste time trying to think of a last-minute meal.


This video shares five meal prep recipes to help inspire you.


3. Making homemade food is healthier.

Why meal plan? Because it’s healthier than throwing some fish sticks or chicken nuggets into the oven (something I never used to do but have been defaulting to lately!).

Cooking homemade meals is healthier than picking up fast food.

So when you meal plan and actually stick to the plan, your health will thank you (that is, if you’re actually cooking healthy meals).

It’s a great way to avoid gaining weight from eating unhealthy meals, and you could even potentially lose weight.


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4. Meal planning prevents wasted food.

Why meal plan? Because it helps prevent wasted food.

Don’t you just hate throwing food into the garbage? When you’re the one footing the bill, wasted food equals wasted money.

However, if you follow a shopping list based on your weekly meal plan, you’re more likely to only buy what you actually need rather than what you think you need…but don’t end up using before it starts molding.

If you know you won’t be able to use something right away, put it in the freezer to keep longer.

For example, I like to wash and cut excess produce and freeze it for later. You can also freeze leftovers if you know they won’t be eaten within a couple days.


And for the last of the five benefits of meal planning…


photo of a spread of food on a table


5. Creating a meal rotation encourages variety.

Why meal plan? Because rotating your meals encourages variety.

I don’t know about you, but I get sick of defaulting to the “same old” all the time.

If there’s something your family is particularly fond of, simply add it into your rotation as much as you like. After all, there are no rules — meal planning is simply about planning ahead.

So if you want to eat spaghetti once a week, by all means, do it….

However, meal planning also means you don’t have to eat it that often if you don’t want to.


So…Why Not Meal Plan?

I recently wrote an article called How to Create a Meal Plan…and Stick with It! 

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from that article indicating that coming up with a menu is not the hardest part.

The hardest part is sticking with it.

The article goes over creating a meal plan, ways you can stick with it, and I have even included some FREE printable worksheets to help you put it down in writing.


What are you waiting for? Head over there are grab your FREE meal planning workbook now!


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  1. Fellow meal planning mama here! My favorite reason to meal plan is that it takes away The “what’s for dinner” stress during the week! Great tips!!

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more! Meal planning is a total sanity saver! I like that you mentioned how meal planning encourages variety. I never thought about it that way, but it totally does! Without meal planning, you often get stuck in ‘food ruts.’ Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love meal planning. It is probably one of the best things that I ever started doing mostly because of the reduction in my everyday stress as a working mom. Kids throw enough at you after work that I don’t need the added frustration of trying to figure out what to make for dinner too. You make some fantastic points!

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