Single Mothering Like A Boss
5 Benefits to weekly meal planning
I have to say this is one area where I have finally got my shit together….mostly. And it sure does make a huge difference. On the occasions where I haven’t done my weekly meal planning, it’s not just chaos when it comes to food, it tends to spin off to all other areas of my life. More takeaway is bought, costing more money, producing more waste and is not as healthy. Or it becomes a week of ‘simple meals’; baked beans, eggs on toast, pesto pasta, fish fingers and chips. These of course are totally fine fill ins or holiday meals but when that’s all you’ve had all week and your kids are staring at you with that look of trying to not look disappointed and you feel like all you’ve eaten is ‘kids food’, it just doesn’t feel good. My life as a single parent is chaotic enough, where I can organise it and feel like I’m kicking goals, always feels good.
There are SO many benefits to meal planning. There are heaps of apps that people find easy to use. Personally, I sit down over a wine on a Sunday with my trusted pen and notebook and work out at least Mon-Fri’s dinners, then shop on Tuesdays on my day off. I tend to make double of what the three of us eat and the other half goes in the freezer (usually Monday night’s meal….no one wants to cook on a Monday right?).
The five top benefits I find are:
- Eating healthier
If you plan out your meals, you’ll automatically balance out what you’re eating as you can see it listed in front of you. If you have the meals decided and shopped and prepped for, you’ll make less last minute less healthy choices, or snack unnecessarily.
- Wasting less
I’m very passionate about food waste and unnecessary packaging. Don’t get me wrong, we have takeaway once a week as a treat and not all our groceries come from the growers market or bulk food store (although a lot of it does). By buying what you need for your week’s planned meals, there are going to be less items going uneaten and off in the house, and therefore much less wastage.
- Saving money
This goes hand in hand with wasting less. Buying less takeaway because you haven’t got time to think about what to cook or shop for what you need also saves money. Also, if you do plan your meals and know what you need, you can shop bulk pantry items at a bulk store, which saves a lot of money, as well as buying fruit and vegetables at a weekend market. You also don’t need to go shopping as often which can lead to impulse buying.
- Saving time
If you’re like me anything that saves me time, is a great thing. Just the thinking involved as well as the shopping required being all done at the one time of the week, leaves so much time for…well, everything else. I know that I’m more inclined to sit down once a week and put the time into meal planning, than trying to think about it at the end of a work day and on the way to school pick up. I’m also spending less time at the shops.
- Reducing stress
All of the above points help reduce stress. The more organised I am, the less stressed I feel. There is so much to do at the end of a work and school day, having at least dinner planned and prepped for sure does help.
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I’m Lou Lou
Hi there gals. I’m Lou Lou and five years ago I lost my best friend, the love of my life, the father of my children and my stability when my husband died very suddenly and my world was completely torn apart. I literally had absolutely no idea how I would move forward and honestly didn’t think I would. I wanted to fast forward my life to a minimum of ten years on.
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