Meal Planning For The New Year

Right now, you are probably busy planning your New Year’s Resolutions. But, do you want to know a good idea you should add to your list of resolutions? Meal Planning. There are so many benefits to planning your meals. Keep reading to learn more about why you should plan your meals.

One reason to plan your meals is that it is a great way to learn what your family wants so you won’t waste money or time on things that no one likes. Also, it’s a great idea to get your family involved in the planning so that they won’t be annoyed that you are fixing spaghetti again or some other meal that has run its course in your kitchen.

Planning meals can also be a great way to save on groceries. After all, if you plan your meals, you aren’t going to buy random stuff that you don’t need at the store, right? Instead, you will buy things associated with the meals you will be cooking for the month (or week) to help you be more focused in your approach.

Another even more important reason to plan your meals is that you will be better able to take inventory of what you are putting in your body. Instead of eating out too much and taking in too many calories and other bad stuff related to food, sitting down to a good home-cooked meal can help you lose weight and even bring your family closer together.

The way I do meal planning is to print out free blank calendars, write out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day, and hang it on the refrigerator. Then, when someone in the family asks, “What’s for dinner?” I can politely respond by saying, “Check the meal calendar,” which is usually hanging on the fridge. I find that when you know what you want to cook, you can go to the store and buy precisely what you need for the month instead of buying random things that force you to have to order pizza because your groceries are so hodgepodge. It also helps keep you from eating the same things repeatedly each week.

With meal planning, you can eat your regular meals and incorporate new, international dishes into the process. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to try Thai, why not have a Thai night on the calendar? Another great thing that I incorporate into the calendar is what our family calls “fast food Friday.” After all, you have to have a cheat night to rest from all the cooking and because it occasionally keeps you from going on bad food binges that mess up your diet. So, we all agree to eating out on Fridays at a restaurant or getting take out from somewhere as a way to reward ourselves for being good most of the time.
Why not try to take more control of your eating and your food budget this year by incorporating meal planning? The link below is a free, printable calendar I use. But you can use another type of calendar or even a dry-erase board. Have fun! Happy New Year!

Free Blank Calendar

Image of meal planning courtesy 179602813 © Tatjana Baibakova |

Originally published in 2020.


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