Menu planning is something that I have done for years. I started it way back in my early years of marriage. That would be almost twenty-two years ago. Money was very tight and I did the grocery shopping and menu planning by shopping the sales.
If pasta and chicken was on sale we ate a lot of pasta and chicken that week. If tuna fish was on sale we ate tuna casserole, tuna sandwiches, and tuna salad. It was not always an exciting menu plan and we often ate the same things over and over, but it allowed me to save money and keep the grocery budget under control.
Menu planning is something that we often hear about doing to save money and many people plan their menu around sales and coupons like I used to do.
I agree that menu planning saves money and the main reason I started menu planning years ago was to save money, however, I now menu plan mainly because it saves me time. Don’t get me wrong, I still do it to save money, but with three teens and busy schedules the main reason I do it now is to save me time.
Why does it save me time?
If I have a plan done ahead of time, I don’t panic at 5:00 looking around the kitchen, opening every cupboard to see what I can throw together for dinner.
If I have a plan I know what we are having and I can get right to work on cooking dinner. The time it takes to sit down once a week or several times a month to put together a plan, pays off in the end.
Not only does menu planning save time it allows us to eat healthier without putting much thought into it.
If I plan meals ahead of time I tend to make them more balanced. If I don’t have a plan, I find all to often that the fruits and vegetables get left out. I either forget to buy them or I forget to use them. It is much easier to plan out what fruits and vegetables we are going to eat during the week.
It also saves me time when it comes to grocery shopping. I make way fewer trips to the grocery store when I have a menu plan. I can buy what I need for the meals I am planning and avoid those last minute stops to pick up items for dinner.
It is the printable I use every week to plan my meals.
Note: If your sheet does not look right when you print it, please try saving it to your computer and then print it from the saved versions. There have been some issues in some browsers and saving it first seems to solve this problem.
Now I am curious, how many of you menu plan? And if you plan, why do you do it?