Meal Planning 101 (Part 1): The Why

by June Fuentes on August 21, 2017 in Food, Homemaking, Organizing, Tools

Today we have a special post by our sweet contributor Rebekah:

 

Several weeks back, I shared with you a list of practical tips for cutting your grocery budget, one of which was meal planning, and then promised to walk you through meal planning 101 in a future post. Well, today, I want to begin to fulfill that promise with what will be the first in a two-part series on meal planning. This month we will be addressing the “why” of meal planning (after all, we have to know how it can even be beneficial if we will ever feel inspired to put it into practice), and then next month we will be officially diving into the “how” of meal planning. So, here we go! 🙂

 

Why Meal Planning is so Beneficial 

 

  • Meal planning saves you money.

This is definitely one of the biggest benefits of meal planning! We touched on this a bit in our tips for saving on groceries article, but it truly is amazing the amount of money you will save simply through incorporating the art of meal planning into your homemaking routine! You will be able to form your menu based on what the weekly ads are showing is on sale in the stores in your area, you won’t be spending a lot of money on convenience foods or eating out, and you’ll be able to center your meal plans around the coupons you have on hand, as well. If you begin meal planning, your bank account (and likely your husband 😉 ) will thank you!

 

  • Meal planning reduces stress.

If you have ever gotten to that 5 o’clock hour and hurriedly thought, “What on earth am I going to make my family for dinner tonight??”, then you can already see the benefit you would receive from meal planning! It reduces so much stress! When you have already pre-planned what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the next week or two, you automatically cut out a lot of unnecessary and preventable stress! Now, I realize that some of you ladies reading this may be thinking, “Meal planning itself would be stressful for me!!”. I encourage you to consider two things – 1) Even if it is, it would still be less stressful than wondering day after day what you’re going to make, all the while seeing your food budget eek up and up and 2) Perhaps you have been trying to copy someone else’s meal planning practices and they don’t suit your personality or family dynamics. That’s why, in part 2, we will go over several different options you have when it comes to how exactly you can meal plan.

 

  • Meal planning cultivates creativity!

When you take the opportunity to meal-plan ahead of time, you will have the ability to actually sit down and intentionally think through what kinds of dishes you would like to prepare, what sorts of recipes you have been wanting to try, what methods of cooking and food preparation you’ve been dreaming of attempting. Cooking becomes so much more fun when you take the time to prepare meals according to your own unique tastes, preferences, and interests.

 

  • Meal planning allows you to eat healthier meals.

As touched on above, when you have a meal plan in place, the drive to go out to eat several nights a week or to pick up pre-made convenience foods and frozen dinners largely goes away, and you reserve those things for special treats or extra busy life seasons. The result is that you eat healthier, consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, and are better able to stay away from many of the food additives and other unhealthy ingredients found in many convenience foods these days.

 

  • Meal planning reduces waste.

When your grocery list is based on the meals you have decided you want to make for your family in the days ahead, you automatically cut down on a lot of food waste. No longer are you merely going to the grocery store and buying as much food as you can in the various food groups, hoping that it will get you through the week. It is that kind of grocery shopping which quickly leads to the development of the “good intentions” drawer in the fridge – you know, the one where all our lovely produce goes and where strange smells and colors begin oozing from a few weeks later. 😉 Trust me – when you purchase the amount of fresh produce you will need for the particular meals on your menu rather than copious amounts of fruits and vegetables, the occurrence of your “good intentions” drawer turning scary will greatly decrease! 😉 It’s a win-win.

 

  • Meal planning helps you teach your children valuable lessons.

And that is exactly what we are all about here on Raising Homemakers! 🙂 Whether meal planning serves to teach your children a lesson in saving money and reducing waste or whether it provides you with the perfect opportunity to train your children in good work ethics and what it takes to keep a home running smoothly, this task of planning out your menu is invaluable!

 

 

Are You Feeling Inspired?

 

I sure hope you are feeling inspired! I hope you are catching a glimpse of the benefits you could reap through the simple practice of meal planning. Now, don’t start feeling overwhelmed! We’ll continue this conversation next month and we’ll get down to the nitty gritty, practical side of exactly how to go about meal planning, all in a way that remembers that there is no one-size-fits-all method, but that will help you plan in a way that suits your own unique personality, interests and family dynamics! See you next month!

 

REBEKAH HARGRAVES IS A WIFE, MAMA OF TWO LITTLES, HOME BUSINESS OWNER, PODCASTER, AND BLOGGER RESIDING IN TN. HER PASSION IS TO BLESS FELLOW CHRISTIAN WOMEN THROUGH HER WRITINGS ON HER WEBSITE, HARGRAVES HOME AND HEARTH, WHICH EXISTS TO EDIFY, EQUIP, AND ENCOURAGE WOMEN IN THEIR JOURNEY OF BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD.

Website – Hargraves Home and Hearth

Facebook – Hargraves Home and Hearth

Instagram – @rebekahhargraves

Twitter – @hhomeandhearth 

June Fuentes

June Fuentes is the happy wife to Steve and blessed homeschooling mother to eight beautiful children that they are raising for the Lord. She has a heart to see mothers all around the world grasp the vision of biblical motherhood and to see this noble role restored in the 21st century to the glory of God. June strongly believes that weak homes equate a weak nation and therefore blogs at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home to minister to Christian women on how to build up strong Christian homes. She is also the owner of Raising Homemakers, and is the author of the encouraging eBooks, True Christian Motherhood and How to Build a Strong Christian Home. She is the founder of Wise Woman Consulting, her service to teach women how to successfully make money blogging at home and a consultant for Lilla Rose, where you can find unique and beautiful hair products. She would love for you to join her on the journey to biblical womanhood on Facebook and Twitter at @wisewomanbuilds.

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