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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why it's Important to Menu Plan

I am someone who never thought about meal planning. After all, it's just my husband and myself every night for dinner. What did we need to plan in advance for? I would just sort of fly by the seat of my pants, as they say. Each day, on the way home from work, I would think of what would be the easiest thing for the night. There were so many problems with this way of thinking, and I didn't realize it until a few weeks ago. There are three main reasons for me to stay on a menu plan.

Reason # 1:
When you menu plan, you pay more attention to the nutrition facts of your meal. It's so much easier to see what you are putting in your body when you know a few days in advance what you are having. It's also easy to adjust for lower carb content.

Reason # 2:
When you menu plan, you save time. You make one shopping trip for the week, and buy what you need to make the meals that are on your menu plan. This means that there will be no stopping on the way home from work at the grocery store to pick up cucumbers for the salad that you just decided to make for dinner.

Reason # 3:
Probably the most important reason during a time of financial crisis: When you menu plan, you save money. When you make your menu for the week, it's usually before you do your grocery shopping. By doing it in this order, you can plan the different places that you should go to do your shopping. For example, if you know that breakfast sausage is on sale at Publix this week, and it is part of your menu plan, you make sure that is one of the places you stop. If you haven't menu planned, and you decide on your way home that the meal you want to make needs breakfast sausage, you stop at the most convenient place that you pass, and end up spending maybe twice as much. Also, like I said yesterday, you can buy things in bulk and save money, if you know you will need them this week.

Menu planning really has helped my household to save time, money, and be healthier. I think it can help your household, too. Give it a try for a few weeks, and you'll be hooked. Hope this helps lower your stress level.

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