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Home » Blog » 5 Benefits of Meal Planning to Save You Time & Money

5 Benefits of Meal Planning to Save You Time & Money

I’ve been meal planning for our family for a while now. It allows me to plan for one week of meals only and usually enables me to narrow down the shopping list from what I originally intended to buy. This saves me about £10-£20 weekly and eliminates food waste. 

When you order from a meal planning subscription service, like HelloFresh or gousto, the meals are carefully planned for one week. This allows you to use all the ingredients within their use-by dates. It’s also easier to manage one week’s family meals. With recipe cards to follow and simple, easy ingredients. Which make restaurant standard meals.

Benefits of Meal Planning

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I recently wrote a blog post about the difference between HelloFresh & gousto – including all the benefits and downsides of the deliveries

Let’s dive into the great benefits of meal planning

Flexibility 

If we have a particularly busy week, I plan meals that are simple and easy. As a busy working mum, I regularly buy frozen meal components from Iceland. Such as frozen mashed potato and microwave vegetable bags. I can then easily put a meal together in no time. 

Outlining the meals I will cook each day, around our plans can help me to stay in control. And make life easier for our family. On the days we have other things to do. 

Once I’ve meal planned, it’s something I don’t have to worry about. Which is a huge bonus! I have many plates spinning at once. It feels like I have a million browser tabs open in my head. Therefore, any task that can be organised and taken off my plate (pun intended!) is good for me mentally. 

Prevents lazy cooking and takeaways 

Due to money problems and focusing on paying off debt, we haven’t had a mid-week takeaway in a while. Meal planning allows me to focus on the ingredients I already have at home. And motivates us to cook that evening. Instead of defaulting to the easier option.

I’ve recently written a post about Sainsbury’s basic range. And I must say, their fruit and vegetables last longer than any other supermarket I’ve recently tried

It limits waste 

Food like fruit and vegetables only lasts a certain amount of time. And it’s essential we limit the food we waste, to all do our part towards sustainability. When you walk into a supermarket, without a shopping list and a meal plan for the week, there is a tendency to pick up items you really don’t need. Or food items that don’t factor into the meals you intend to make for the week. Which will usually result in them being wasted.

Seeing the bigger picture for the whole week can allow you to put back certain items, which in turn saves you money and limits the amount of food waste you have.

Creating a Healthier Relationship with Food

We’ve always tried to eat well in our house. The problem is the snacks and chocolate making it into the supermarket trolley or the basket when we purchase a “few bits” during the week. 

Meal planning allows me to factor in any dietary requirements. And occasions where we want to be a little healthier. For example, I don’t do well with spicy food. Even though I love curry or chilli. Due to my IBS, it’s important to only eat spicy foods when I have a day off work the next day. 

If you would like to get started on your meal-planning journey, feel free to download my free, printable weekly meal planner

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Introduce variety into your mealtimes

On an average month, we try and make a variety of meals. If we don’t manage to plan a lovely meal we like one week, we have it the next. And any ingredients I have managed to put back or delete from my online grocery shopping basket, I add to next week’s plan.

Signing up for a meal planning subscription service, like HelloFresh or gousto has also enabled us to have even more variety for meal times and try new things.

Until next time

I hope you enjoyed reading my tips about meal planning.

Do you meal plan? Do you have any tips for me? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Benefits of Meal Planning

12 Comments

  1. September 3, 2023 / 3:01 PM

    This is something I must do more often!! I am terrible, especially at lunch prep for work. Great post and suggestions!

    • September 20, 2023 / 9:14 AM

      Thank you – it’s daunting but worth it when you start the task.

  2. September 23, 2023 / 1:11 PM

    This was useful to read as my husband and I need to really work on planning our meals better. We do it but end up changing our minds after we’ve bought the food, and some of it goes to waste, and then we end up buying more. We’ve made a proactive promise to use up what we have before we buy more things and so far it has been working.

    Your post gave me the final push to make the most of actually planning our meals with more thought, etc — thanks!

    • September 30, 2023 / 2:05 PM

      I am happy this post gave you the final push. It does take a while to get used to this way of planning. But it is so worth it.

    • September 30, 2023 / 1:59 PM

      I sometimes struggle, especially when we want some new recipes to try out.

  3. September 24, 2023 / 11:56 AM

    I hadn’t thought about buying more frozen foods but that’s a great tip – we have an air fryer and that’s saved us so much time (and energy). I also note the use by dates of food on our calendar, so we know what has to be eaten by when each week.

    • September 30, 2023 / 1:58 PM

      Thanks for he tip about noting the used by dates on the calendar – that is something I will start doing. We’ve just got an air fryer and we love it.

  4. September 28, 2023 / 2:44 PM

    I definitely meal plan a lot more than I used to and agree it saves so much waste and some money too. I like being able to shop my cupboards and then just buy the things I need to add to make it a meal each week.

    • September 30, 2023 / 1:57 PM

      It definitely feels like you have more control over everything. Glad to hear it works for you!

    • October 30, 2023 / 8:39 PM

      I am finding a reduction in waste, which is great.

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