This is not a sexy or cool blog post. It's a useful, straight-up info post about meal planning and how a simple practice can improve your lifestyle.
Picture the scene: you head into the supermarket with no list and only a vague idea of what you want to buy. You grab the usual stuff, bread, milk etc. Then you grab some bits for dinners, some meat or fish, veg, pasta, rice etc. After that you impulse buy some wine and Doritos, because you know, life. Then during the week you realise that you don't have all the stuff you need for dinners so you have to go again. You also realise that you bought a ton of stuff you haven't used, it's gone off and you have to bin it.
Sound familiar? Sure, it happens to pretty much everyone.
Here's how you fix this: meal planning.
It's pretty much the simplest tool I recommend. You grab a pen and paper, maybe a recipe book or two, and you write down your meals for the week. Once this is done (or as you go along) write down all the ingredients you need. When you go to the shop, you take the list and you stick to it like glue.
If you really need the wine and Doritos then make sure they are on the list, then we're cool.
Here are the outcomes of introducing this routine:
- healthier meals (if you want them) as you are less likely to end up buying convenience food
- more control over what you eat will lead to more control over your health results
- less food wastage, so less money wastage
- less food wastage is also better for the environment
- more opportunity to try new meals, rather than getting stuck in a rut
- only having to go food shopping once, rather than going to get the stuff you forgot
- less time spent in the supermarket
Well worth that little bit of extra planning each week in order to achieve those things, right?
An extra tip: if you're a parent then involve your kids in the planning and the cooking. Any opportunity to involve your kids in this kind of thing is a chance to help them develop healthy and productive habits for later life! Check out this post for more great tips for parents.
How about you, do you plan your meals? Or do you wing it? Do you think you'll try it based on these positive outcomes? Let me know in the comments!