Monday, October 6, 2014

Motivational Monday: Meal Planning

This is not a traditional Motivational Monday post, but it’s motivational just the same.  As each new week presents an opportunity to start fresh, I think meal planning is an important part of starting off right.  Whether you plan each day’s meals right down to the snacks or just your dinners for the week, meal planning helps you stay on track.

A well-executed meal plan can help you maintain a healthy diet and it saves you from wondering what to cook each night.  In addition, you’ll probably save a few bucks because you won’t be holding open the door of the refrigerator, staring at its contents in hopes that the perfect combination of ingredients jumps out at you.

Meal planning also paves the way for cost-effective grocery shopping.  When you plan meals ahead of time, you buy what you need.  No extras.  No waste.  No rotten produce festering in your refrigerator drawer because you forgot you even bought it.  I can truly tell the difference between weeks for which I’ve planned meals and those for which I haven’t.  Meal planning saves money, time and a little slice of my sanity which Lord knows I need every bit of.

One helpful tip for reaping further meal planning benefits is to create a menu that features dishes with shared ingredients.  An extra chicken breast cooked on Monday night can be used in a salad for Tuesday’s lunch.  The same goes for veggies.  Using the same ingredients for various meals will save time while still offering a good variety.

One step further would be meal prepping which is another amazingly helpful practice.  It does take time.  You will spend a good chunk of your Sunday chopping, cooking, categorizing and cleaning, but it’s quite worth the effort.  You’ll free up a generous amount of time during the week which is always a plus.  Just think of all the amazing things you could do if dinner were already ready already…  Read.  Talk with a friend.  Play with your kids.  Get a head start on tomorrow’s workload.  Take a walk.  Paint your nails.  Sleep, perhaps?

I hope this post provided a little jumpstart to map out your meals and make your week a little easier.  Thanks for reading!

<3 n

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