Hello beauties and welcome back to 4mommyvibez.com!
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Okay on to the topic for today, meal planning! Meal planning has been a complete game changer for my family and has improved the balance in our lives. Not only does it save money but TIME the thing we all can use more of.
I’ll provide some information and tips below, as well as a some free templates I use for you guys if this is something you see working for your family as well.
Why Meal Plan
Are you asking why meal plan and how does meal planning work in creating a more balanced life? If you find yourself spending excess money at the grocery store because you go in not really knowing what you want and find yourself throwing away tons of food because no one had time to eat it before it went bad, then meal planning is for you! Maybe you just want to save time by having things on hand and are tired of having to eat processed food. Meal planning is for you. If you are looking to improve the overall health of your household then yes miss meal planning is for you. Lastly, you find yourself wanting to save and you don’t know where to start making cuts but you eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner several days out of the week. Meal planning is for you! Now that we have answered those questions.
How do we meal plan?
There are several ways to meal plan.
- You can plan your meals weekly, biweekly or monthly! Grab your calendar, your pen, and your phone or tablet. Google or( my personal favorite) Pinterest recipes for meal planning is an easy starting point.
- Meal planning does not have to be boring. Make it fun! Have different theme nights during the week. This way you can refine your pallets with delicious recipes from around the world and not get tired of the same chicken, beef, or fish meals your family have grown accustomed to.* Tip for the moms with picky eaters. Have your picky eaters get involved with meal planning! This way you can make meals they like and can also sneak things in that they normally wouldn’t eat.
- Make it colorful! A colorful plate is a beautiful plate and can leave you assured that your family has had a balanced meal!
What do I need to get started
- Meal planning is easier than you think. There are plenty of resources online to help you get started. Below you will find a link to my favorite meal planner. But meal planning is as simple as you using a sheet of paper, and deciding what you would like to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the specified time you designate. For my family we meal plan our meals biweekly.
- Meal planning helps me prepare for meal prepping through the week because I know I will have all of the ingredients for my meals on hand! I personally meal prep 2-3 days out of the week (depending on the meals I don’t like for things to sit) . Which will be in a post to come!
Benefits of meal planning
- Saves money. Meal planning has helped us save hundreds (my bill from the store for our family of 4 (5 month old isn’t on solids of course) would be anywhere from $150-$200 weekly. We’re not even going to talk about all of the bread, cereals, fruits and fresh vegetables that I would have to throw out. I got tired of wasting the money and my husband wasn’t pleased either of the waste. Now, we spend anywhere from $80-$120.00 biweekly. That’s only $40-$60 a week! By meal planning my family has saved over $400.00 in the last month. This of course includes the money we’ve saved by not eating out.
- It improves the quality of your health. My family and I have become healthier. I have lost 30 out of my 70 lb weight loss goal from the baby and my husband has lost 25 lbs out of his 60 lb weight-loss goal just by switching up our diets. Both my husband and I have realized that we have a lot more energy to chase our troops around and actually engage in play instead of lying there like jungle gyms. My kids have also been more satisfied with their meals, and less likely to want to snack as often. Also, they have calmed down dramatically! We never gave them things high in sugar like soft drinks and cookies. However, there definitely has been a difference in hyper-activeness that we have noticed.
- Meal planning saves time! By taking out the time to meal plan and meal prep you can save tons of time. I never knew how much time it used to take for me to decide daily on what my family would eat and to prepare meals. I can now enjoy the evenings with my family and enjoy play and movie times with the time I have saved with meal planning!
I hope that this quick tip and guide to meal planning has helped you decide on if meal planning is for you and your family. If it is please let me know in the comments how it has benefited you and your family. Also, if there is anything I may have missed please add to the discussion in the comments below.
Ashley’s favorite meal planning templates: