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Weekly Menu Planning

Updated on June 19, 2013

Do you plan your menu?

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Saving time and money while eating healthier

Have you ever tried to plan all your meals a week in advance? Or a few days in advance? Have you realized that this way you can save time or money? Or that you can make yourself to eat healthy domestic food?

Why menu planning?

There are several reasons why menu planning is a great thing. First of all, there is that awful feeling when you wake up in the morning and ask yourself 'what will I eat today'. And you don't have any idea.

Then, you finally decide what are you going to cook, just to find out that you don't have half of the ingredients. And then you have to go to the grocery store again. Psychological pressure and anxiety that comes from don't having a plan is a sufficient reason to consider making one.

Where to start?

If you already have a specific day when you go to the supermarket, you can sit down the night before, take your notebook with recipes, or your cookbook, and start writing down. While choosing recipes, you can check what you already have in the fridge and pantry, especially if there are some products that should be used quickly before they expire. This way, you can save money by not buying something you already have and the food will not rot. Also, you will use ingredients that are already there. In addition, if you write down 'on Monday for dinner, fried chicken', you are much likely to actually eat the chicken that you already have, then if you just think 'I should prepare something with meat in my freezer'. Menu planning is a great tool for people that have so many things in their pantry that they don't even know what they already have.

In the market

When most people enter the grocery shop, they just grab products that attract their attention. This way, we usually come home with bag full of snacks and other junk food. When you have specific nutrition plan for the entire week, you can make your shopping list easy and fast. It's enough to browse some recipes, see what you lack in, and stick to the list when you come to the store.

Many nutrition professionals recommend us to base our purchases on lists. This is because otherwise, people buy a lot of food they don't really need. And this is the type of food that usually rot, or cause weight gain!

So, if you don't want to spend more money than you have to, and if you want to eat less but healthier, you should start menu planning.

In the kitchen

If you are a menu planner, you can save some time in the kitchen. For example, if today you have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, watching the meal that is cooking for a long time, you can use this time to do all the prep work (chopping, washing, etc.) for tomorrow meal.

My biggest enemy in the kitchen is onion. Chopped onion is ingredient in almost every meal, and I hate chopping it. However, if I realize that I will need the chopped onion in more then one dish in next few days, I chop enough of it while preparing the first dish, and put it in the fridge. Next time i need some onion, i just take it from the fridge and use it. And this can be done with all kind of vegetables that doesn't change after few days in the fridge. In addition, I had to wash board and knife only once:)

Also, when I plan ahead, I can always balance the meals. If I have planned a high calorie lunch, for breakfast I'll probably eat cereal, and salad for dinner. If I have a light lunch, a can have pizza for dinner...

And of course, one day a week can (and should) be reserved for leftovers.

This plan works great for me, because I don't have good nutrition habits. Sometimes I don't eat because I'm so lazy, and after that I overeat. Also, form laziness, I sometimes eat junk food, or something from the bakery, and this makes me feel bad. Any method that makes me eat healthier and more regular is a blessing for me! And if you want to save money, eat healthy meals, and be organized, you should give it a try.


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    • diplorging profile image

      diplorging 5 years ago from Serbia

      I'm glad that you agree with my conclusions

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      I can certainly see how menu planning can save money, time, and lessen waste in addition to improving health and make for ease of shopping and cooking!