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Menu Planning Tips and Benefits

Posted Aug 15 2012 7:49am

A big thank you to my friend Jill for sharing today about menu planning! We’re enjoying a few unplugged (and kid-free days) in the Finger Lakes region.  You can find Jill’s contact info at the bottom, and check out her blog if you don’t already follow her! She also hosts a fun Fitness Friday link up each week that I often participate in.

Are you a menu planner? Have you considered weekly menu planning and need a little push? Read on and you will realize how beneficial it can be to you and your family. Then, before you know it, you won’t be able to imagine starting your week without a plan.

Benefits of Menu Planning.Consider this, menu planning…

  1. Saves you time. You always have the ingredients you need so no weekday last minute trips to the store.
  2. Saves you money. When you have your menus planned out, you know exactly which ingredients you need to buy at the store. You have a list and you stick to that it while shopping and fewer impulse buys.
  3. Promotes healthy eating. When meals are planned out, you will usually end up with a more balanced, nutritious diet. You don’t have to run through a fast food lane, grab a processed food on the go, or skip meals.
  4. Reduces waste. Often, we buy foods at the grocery store, thinking we’ll use them for something, but they end up getting thrown out. If you’re sticking to the list, you’re not buying anything you won’t NEED for your planned meals.
  5. Saves on gas. No more emergency grocery runs = less driving = less gas money.
  6. Encourages family involvement. Everyone has input and everyone has a chance to request his or her favorites.
  7. Supports regular eating of meals together as a family. If left to the last minute, it can be very tempting to whip something up quickly for the kids and then another meal later for mom and dad.
  8. Takes into account life’s busier than usual times. Plan for the school activities, working late, and the unexpected and you’re less likely to make a trip through the drive thru or grab processed food on the go.
  9. Reduce stress. Enough said

Menu Planning Tips.What has made my menu planning a success?

  1. Make creating a weekly menu part of your routine. I write my weekly menu every Saturday for shopping on Sunday.
  2. Consider what ingredients you already have.
  3. Get family input.
  4. Plan for an on-your-own night.
  5. Make a list and stick to it when you’re shopping.
  6. Look at your calendar for the week before you start planning. Make note of busy evenings.
  7. Make lunches the day before.
  8. Cook on Sunday with leftovers in mind.
  9. Whether you’re using your computer or handwriting the menu use a menu template*. It helps make the planning more efficient and less time consuming.
  10. Use recipes that can be made ahead of time and reheated for a meal during the week.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me:

Blog: [Fitness Health and Happiness]
Twitter: @jillconyers
Facebook: Jill Fickling-Conyers
Facebook Page: [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Thank you Laura for allowing me to share with you today.

Do you plan weekly menus? Do you have menu-planning tips to share? Would you be interested in participating in a menu planning challenge?

* If you’re interested in a menu-planning template I would be happy to share mine. Leave a comment with your contact information and I will send you a template (or 2) to help get you started.

Check out more Summer Staples posts at Peas and Crayons!


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