Why meal planning will help you to stick to a family budget and still eat well with the current cost of living crisis

Sticking to a budget and saving money is more important than ever but we don’t want to compromise on our family’s health. 

Meal-planning is an easy way to ensure that you are able to provide healthy, varied family meals whilst saving time and money.

Here are 5 reasons why I love meal-planning and how it has helped my family become healthier and happier:

Saves you money

By creating a meal-plan and writing a shopping list, you only buy what you need. 

I plan for our 7 dinners; we have a set order of breakfasts and for lunches I have soup, salad or use leftovers or create something simple using some of my store-cupboard staples.  This means that writing a shopping list is easy and I only buy what I need. 

Also, once my plan is written, it makes a last minute take-out less likely!

Makes you more mindful of your food choices

When you write down your weekly meal-plan, you are much more likely to make healthier choices.  Just a quick glance makes you realise, for example, that you need a little more variety or a few more portions of fruit and veg.

Meal-planning is also a good way of finding out what the whole family likes to eat: sit down together and each select a recipe that you would like to see on next week’s plan – make dinner times an enjoyable experience; an experience that everyone (even the cook) looks forward to.

Reduces food waste

By only buying what you need, you are less likely to have food waste. 

I tend to freeze any meat that I buy and remove it from the freezer the day before I am due to cook it – it will defrost in the fridge.  By doing this, you will extend the life of the product and avoid it going off whilst you wait to cook it (this can happen when your plans change at the last minute).

Reduces the amount of time you spend thinking about what to cook

Knowing exactly what is for dinner and that you have the correct ingredients means that you don’t have to think about it during the day; it also means that you can delegate the job of cooking if you don’t have enough time. 

This reduces anxiety and makes it less likely that you will reach for the phone and order a delivery or grab some convenience food on the way home!   

Sticking to a plan and the act of cooking are both good for your mental health

Planning relieves your mind from anxiety; once you have written down your meal-plan, you free your mind to focus on other things. 

You also have a real sense of achievement when you stick to the your plan and have cooked a delicious, home-cooked meal: nothing beats an empty plate and the satisfied look on someone’s face when they have enjoyed the food that you have cooked.

Mental health experts have suggested that cooking helps relieve depression, anxiety and stress: it is good for our mental health as it is a mindful activity. Slicing and dicing vegetables for a meal can soothe your mind and soul.

By signing up to my meal-planning service, you will be signing up to a healthier, happier you.  I can help you with your weekly meal choices; I can write your shopping list and I can ensure that you have access to a variety or tasty recipes that are simple enough for even the most reluctant cook!

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