So here’s the deal. We’re always looking for ways to get healthier, be happier, and save time and money, right? Like it or not, for busy families it all boils down to, wait for it …. a little advanced planning, particularly around dinnertime. Do it yourself or outsource it but whatever you decide, start planning ahead now to buy yourself a few extra hours each week, keep some of those extra of those hard earned bucks in your pocket, get healthier, and feel happier.
Here’s what you’ll gain:
You’ll Save Time (we’re talking hours/week)
We all know time is money. More on that in a minute. But I mean honestly, who has time to run to the store every night? If you’re not planning ahead, but you’re still trying to eat healthy, then chances are your local grocery cashiers are on a first name basis since you’re there every night. When you plan your dinner and shopping lists ahead of time, you avoid the nightly “what’s for dinner” dilemma that in addition to lots of wasted time results in more stress and poor food choices.
So spend the extra time one day a week creating a menu, shopping list, and recipes for the week so you can get those hours back later in the week. Or sign up for a meal planning service to do the work for you, and save time on evenings and weekends too! You’ll get back those valuable free time hours to do what you want and spend more time with the people you love. How much is your time worth?
You’ll Save Money (lots of it)
It’s 6 o’clock, you haven’t gotten around to thinking about dinner yet, the family is hungry and you’re in a pinch. Spending money eating out due to a lack of planning is one of the quickest ways to blow though a monthly food budget. We’ve all been there, but add up your restaurant receipts at the end of the month and the numbers may have you rethinking your dinner strategy.
But just like eating out is a quick way to blow through your food budget, buying foods you don’t use is like throwing your dollars in the compost bin. Because when you go into the grocery store without a plan, you end up mindlessly tossing things into your cart. Unless you’ve got a recipe in mind, it’s never good to buy food (even vegetables) thinking you’ll have time to decide what to do with them later.
So having a solid weekly meal plan and all necessary ingredients ready to go before the start of your week, will not only save you a ton of money, but will save you a ton of stress too.
You’ll Reduce Waste (you environmentalist you)
Even when you have the best of intentions and those ingredients you’re tossing into your cart are tomatoes, spinach, and kale, without a proper plan for them they’re likely to stay in you refrigerator all week, unprepared and uneaten, until they go bad and you have to get rid of them. Planning ahead means you won’t be left with unused items rotting in your fridge, or moldy bread on the counter. Yay! Impulse food purchases rarely end well. Do yourself a favor and avoid the problem all together. PLAN for the food you buy. All of it. Or as much of it as you possibly can. Find a way to use that other half of the onion.
You’ll Eat Healthier (more energy + clothes that fit)
When you’re hungry without a plan, it’s hard to think rationally. That’s when bad decisions are made. Fast food, a bag of chips, or a bowl of ice cream as a dinner substitute. It’s our bodies telling us that we’re hungry and we need calories, fast. And even those these food choices are packed with calories, they’re not usually packed with the nutrition our bodies need. Our energy drains, our belts get tighter…. you know the story. But when you plan in advance and keep your kitchen stocked with healthy ingredients and snacks, they you’re a lot more likely to make healthier food choices and a lot less likely to feed yourself with stuff that will leave you feeling guilty, unsatisfied, and swearing that you’ll start making better food choices… tomorrow.
You’ll Have More Fun (dinnertime should suck less)
Anticipation is 1/3 of the fun! When you post a weekly menu, not only do you eliminate the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question, but you and your family can look forward to the week’s meals. Back in the day, dinnertime was about more than just eating. It was about gathering around the table as a family, sharing our stories and experiences, passing on traditions, learning about food, and bonding.
Somewhere along the way we seem to have gotten off track. We’re rushed, spread too thin, and burning the candle at both ends. We default to serving our kids rather than involving them in the food prep and dinner-making process. And while kids are spending less time in the kitchen and eating more food that comes in packages, obesity is on the rise. Finding ways to involve kids in meal planning and prep (we can show you how) helps develop valuable skills in food and responsibility, gives you more quality time together, and has all the makings of a meal you can look forward to!
Next Steps (do this & your life will be awesome)
Want to save money, be the happiest person in the world, win parent of the year, and turn into a supermodel?
Get you subscription to Perfect Pea meal plans & dinnertime activities WITH bonuses. Be sure to use this super duper discount link for 40% off .
No but seriously, whether you use them daily, once a week, or a few times per month, Perfect Pea meal plans take stress out of your weeknight dinner planning.
Even if you don’t make every single meal on the meal plans every night, starting small and using these plans just a couple of nights a week to start can make a huge difference. Our plans start at just $7 per month. That’s about one venti Starbucks.
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