We all struggle with that eternal question: “What’s for dinner?”
Perhaps, like me, you’ve experienced that mind-numbing frustration of standing in front of your fridge with out a single inspired idea on what to cook for supper. So you turn to your spouse or child and ask them what they want to eat and get nothing but a disinterested “I dunno” back.
Usually I want to hit said family member with a frying pan at that point, but I quell the urge and eventually give up and order a pizza.
Which is why menu planning is a complete saving grace, and I will give you five reasons why you should start menu planning immediately.
- Menu Planning will help you stay on track with your fitness goals. One of the biggest pitfalls with eating healthy is laziness. When you come home from work at the end of the day, tired and crabby, and you have to think of something to cook for dinner that is not only delicious and satisfying but also promotes healthy weight loss, how likely are you to just throw in the towel and make mac and cheese from a box? Pretty darn likely, I’ll bet. But if you take ten minutes to plan out a menu plan for your week, you already know exactly what you’re having for dinner and you’ll be able to stay on track easier.
- Menu Planning reduces impulse purchases and excess spending at the grocery store. If I don’t have a grocery list in hand when I go shopping, I am twice as likely to come home with two extra bags of things I didn’t need because I went in without a plan. My budget and my eating plan take a hit when I do this, because most of the stuff I impulse buy is junk food, which is expensive and bad for me. Plus, without a list, I come out with a bunch of stuff I don’t need, and none of the things I went in for in the first place.
- Menu Planning gives you opportunities to try new dishes. Okay, be honest, how often do you actually try out the recipe pins you save on Pinterest? I have no less than six different food boards on Pinterest, with about 2000 pins between them (No, I’m not joking). Do you think I’ve tried them all? Definitely not. But menu planning gives me a chance to try out a new recipe that I’ve been eyeing for ages and if I like it, it gets added into my rotation for future menu plans.
- Menu Planning offers variety. Are you getting sick of the same old recipes because you can’t think of anything new to cook? Well, menu planning is the answer you’ve been looking for! *Cheesy, sparkly smile* I mean it, by menu planning and getting your recent meals down on paper you can see what you’ve had lately and shake things up a little. Even if you plan your meals around themes (I.e. Monday is Meatless Monday, Tuesday is Thai Food, Wednesday is…you get the idea) you can learn more recipes from those various cultures and broaden your horizons and learn more about other cultures in the process!
- Menu Planning will help you stream line your life. I can hear it now: “How am I supposed to find time to menu plan when I barely have time to cook?!” Well, here’s a bit of real talk for you. Learn how to prioritise. Or, failing that, multitask. Think about how much time you spend scrolling through Pinterest, pinning hundreds upon hundreds of recipes that make your mouth water. What if, while you’re scrolling, you’ve got a calendar beside you and you’re slotting in next week’s meals at the same time? Then it’s a quick glance at the recipes and in the cupboards to find out what you need to put on your grocery list and KABLAMMO! You’re upcoming week is organised and you’ve saved yourself the headache of trying to think up a meal on the spot. I make sure I menu plan on the same day of the week every week so I don’t behind and find myself scrambling all of a sudden.
I guarantee that menu planning can change the way you approach cooking, and once you start doing it, you’ll never want to go back. So get out there and start planning!