Since moving to New Zealand I have begun meal planning which has been very different from when I was living back at home. My mum cooked dinner every night and I just ate it but living with my boyfriend now I end up doing all the cooking because I am the one at home all day while Ryan is out working. Although cooking can get a little tiresome I do enjoy it and I feel proud when I hear that Ryan enjoys the food I have been cooking. Meal planning has been a big learning curve for me and I am here to tell you all about the importance of meal planning.
Meal planning can take time to plan but it saves you time during the week. Have you ever gotten up to have breakfast, lunch or dinner and just drawn a blank? You stand looking into the cupboard or fridge and have absolutely no idea what you want to eat. Then you either snack on something unhealthy or end up going to the shop and buying a ton of food that you think you’ll eat but probably won’t.
Then your meal ends up taking so much longer than you intended it to be. Are you nodding in agreement right now? Yes, I know you are, I was in the exact same way before my huge move. Having your meals planned out in advance will have you organised when you go shopping so you have all the ingredients you need and you don’t have any meals to worry about for the week. Use the time you free up to chill out or getting something else on your to-do list ticked off!
Who doesn’t love having extra money? Cooking healthy and homemade meals will definitely save you money compared to eating out. Eating out can end up becoming very expensive. Again having a list can help you and save you from impulse buying and grabbing a bunch of things that you think you need but don’t.
Also having a meal plan stops you from impulsively going out for lunch or dinner. I was really tired the other evening and Ryan and I were so nearly heading out for dinner but instead, we decided to have leftover spaghetti bolognese instead of going out and spending $50 on one meal.
Another way that you can save money is by reducing waste. When I am cooking I cook meals that serve four people so we will have leftovers for the days I don’t feel like cooking which in turn again saves money because you aren’t buying more ingredients for another meal. Before you go shopping what I suggest you do is make a list of all the things that you already have from your fridge, freezer and cupboards.
Try and make meals from what you have all ready for the week and then make your shopping list for all the extra things you need for those meals. This saves you from grabbing things while walking around the shop and not using them, then needing to throw them out and wasting food.
Not knowing what you are going to cook especially when you have kids can be really stressful! When you have a meal plan in place you know exactly what’s in line for your next meal. It’s also great to have that food prepped beforehand so you just need to start cooking once you get home or whatever way your schedule works.
My routine goes something like this:
- Wake up
- Zuu in Two ( a few workout movements to get my heart rate up and to wake me up )
- Go for a walk
- Tabata drill ( once I’m home )
- Blog work
- Lunch/ prep dinner
- Ryan comes home so chill with him before he heads off for CrossFit
- Watch some tv
- Cook dinner
- Clean up and then bed.
Having all your meat and veggies cooked beforehand can be a big help especially when you have busy days and you aren’t home a lot.
Meal planning can be really easy as long as you make sure that you keep planning ahead and staying organised for the week or month ahead depending on which way you prefer to plan and do your shopping.