Eats & Drinks

Simple Meal Planning That Will Make Eating Healthy A Breeze

next level meal planning

Eating healthy is so important for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. But, it’s not always easy to stay consistent when life gets busy.

And, we all know that stay consistent is key to reaching any goal.

So, what do you do when you have a goal you want to reach and you know what could get in the way?

You create a contingency plan.

A plan that takes into consideration all of the barriers to success and addresses them.

In this case, the goal is eating healthy. The barrier to success is life gets hectic. And, the contingency plan is meal planning!

What Is Meal Planning?

Notice I didn’t say meal preparation. This isn’t a solution for actually cooking the food. But, it is a crazy-awesome solution for just about everything else that is related to “the food”.

So, when I first started meal planning I thought I had just found the lost city of Atlantis. I was so excited about how much time and money meal planning saved me. (it doesn’t take much to get me excited – I’m a total nerd).

Essentially, meal planning is the process of creating a menu for a specific amount of time (I use a week because that’s easiest for me). And, then going to the store to purchase the items that you will need for that menu.

For example;

Monday 

Breakfast = eggs, cereal, fruit/yogurt, or toast (butter, jelly, or peanut butter)

Lunch = ham & cheese sandwich, apple slices, pretzels, and a granola bar

Dinner = spaghetti, cottage cheese, and garlic bread

Tuesday

Breakfast = eggs, cereal, fruit/yogurt, or toast (butter, jelly, or peanut butter)

Lunch = cream cheese bagel, potato chips, grapes, and an applesauce pouch

Dinner = crockpot chicken noodle soup w/rolls

You get the idea. So, you take this menu for the week that you have created and you head to the store to purchase the items that you will need to serve the menu.

How Does Meal Planning Help?

There are so many ways that meal planning helps! (Sorry, I know I geeking out but, I get pretty excited about this).

So, for one, all of the decision-making for meal preparation is done ONCE a week.

Cramming all of the decisions about food into one day of the week frees up so much mental space! It actually makes me less irritable because I know that I don’t have to figure out what’s for dinner in a few hours. I just go to the menu and look it up.

And, when someone in my home asks me what’s for dinner, I tell them to go look at the menu. (or, ask someone who can read to look at the menu for you).

Second, meal planning helps because it keeps me out of the grocery store. I only have to go grocery shopping one day per week. I can come home knowing that I have everything that I need to feed my family for 7 days. That means I don’t have to go into the store for a whole week!

Finally, meal planning helps me to save money. When I’m not meal planning – I will go to the store and spend $300 on groceries. Then, come home and throw away at least $100 of food that is already in the fridge and has expired.

But, when I am meal planning, I only have in the fridge what I need for that week.

How Do You Do Next-Level Meal Planning?

Okay. So, you know what meal planning is and how it can completely change your life (dramatic? yep. but that doesn’t make it not true).

Here’s how I like to do it …

Look up ‘clean eating menu plans’ on Pinterest or Google and put together a 7-day menu of the meals that look good to you.

Next, go to the website for your favorite grocery store that has grocery pickup.

Read through the shopping list that comes with your menu and add the items to your cart.

Then, schedule your pick up and arrive at the time you are scheduled.

It’s literally that simple.

At our store, the grocery pickup people actually PUT the groceries into the car for me. I don’t even have to get out of the car. I can roll up to grocery pick up in my bathrobe!

This has actually SAVED me even more money on our grocery budget because I can’t get distracted. No matter how detailed my menu and shopping list are – inevitably, I end up buying stuff that is not on the menu because I’m in the store and it looks good.

But, with grocery pickup, I can be building my cart online while I’m eating something. This is my kind of multi-tasking.

So, what do you think? Is this something that you would try? Have you ever tried meal planning of any kind?

 

 

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