5 Benefits of Having a Good Meal Plan
Published March 15, 2022
Meal planning is like eating your veggies. We all know we should do it, but doing it is different than knowing why you should. Here's a list of reasons why meal planning is a good idea and some practical ways you can put it into practice.
Meal planning is not for the faint of heart. Believe me when I say, I know how difficult it can be to remember which recipes are crowd pleasers, and which recipes are easy to make but the kids won’t touch it.
That’s exactly why we made the Meal Planner App. We wanted a system that makes it easy to remember recipes, categorize them in a way that makes sense, and seamlessly schedule them on the calendar.
No matter if you use a pen and paper, a crafty printable from Etsy, or our very own Meal Planner App, here are the noteworthy benefits of having a good meal plan.
1. Sprinkle some awesome onto your average
Having a sense of adventure with meal planning doesn’t have to be stressful or risky.
I personally love having variety with what I eat. I don’t like the repeat meals too often, but of course having kids means I need to incorporate some predictability into our menu. Meal planning allows me to make sure I include classic, comforting meals while also trying new, adventurous meals here and there. I recommend creating a list of classic meals you know your partner and kids will enjoy. The Lazy Genius calls the “Brainless Crowd Pleasers.” Save your mental energy and make everyone happy!
With the Meal Planner App, we use tags to categorize our meals. For meals that are hits with the kids, we use the tag “crowd pleaser”. When we need to plan for something we know everyone will enjoy, we search that tag and plop it right on the calendar.
Because we use Meal Planner App tags this way, we treat every new meal like a science experiment. Maybe the first time you make a meal, it’s not a hit with the kiddos, but sometimes it takes a few tries before they realize it’s delicious. Then it becomes a staple!
2. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
If you regularly write down your meal plan, you can reference them to see what you’ve eaten recently. This ensures you don’t repeat meals too frequently, but also lets you copy a meal plan a few weeks later. With the calendar view in our Meal Planner App, you can visualize what meals you’ve eaten recently and which meals you want to repeat again soon with our handy meal calendar.
3. Easily make your grocery list every week
Having a meal plan written down empowers you to easily access the ingredients you need, whether you plan weekly, monthly, or in any other interval.
With our Meal Planner App, we make it easy to view all of your ingredients for meals planned on a weekly basis. Our “shopping list” in the Week View is the combination of every ingredient for every meal you’ve planned in a given week (complete with checkboxes for when you’re in the store).
4. Save money and eat better by cooking meals at home
According to the US Department of Agriculture, between 30-40% of food that Americans buy will end up in the garbage. Could you imaging going to the mall and buying an entirely new wardrobe, then immediately throwing a third of it in the trash? That’s essentially what we’re doing with food.
Throwing away food you paid for is basically throwing away money.
In order to minimize food waste, it’s time to maximize your meal plan!
The goal for effective meal planning is to use every item you buy. You can also use the same ingredient for multiple meals to save even more money. On the Harvard EdCast, Anne Fischel of Family Dinner Project says “there's lower fat and sugar and salt in home cooked meals even if you don't try that hard, there's more fruit, and fiber, and vegetables, and protein in home cooked meals, and lower calories.”
5. Food time is face time
The benefits of sharing a meal with your family reach far beyond improving nutritional wellness. Studies are surfacing showing that eating with your kids three or more times a week can make them seven times less likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs!
Having a meal plan takes the stress out of putting food on the table. We take family time at the table very seriously, and we hope our Meal Planner App empowers you to do the same. We want our online meal planner to help you spend less time meal planning and spend more time at the table with the people you love. Anne Fischel also says “Regular family dinners are associated with lower rates of depression, and anxiety, and substance abuse, and eating disorders, and tobacco use, and early teenage pregnancy, and higher rates of resilience and higher self esteem.”
So in other words, let’s bring back the family dinner!
I used to spend hours meal planning and shopping. Now I use our Meal Planner App in addition to online grocery ordering, and I can get it done in less than an hour (usually only 30 minutes).
At Meal Planner App, we are passionate about making it easier for you to have more family dinners and invest more time in the people you love.
So plan meals and prosper! We’re here to help.