A couple of months ago while attending a board of education meeting; a fellow colleague was astounded that I was able to put a hot meal on the table for my family before rushing out the door. She asked, “How do you get dinner on the table on time? How do you have the time to make everything from scratch? How are you not tired?”
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tired. I am a mom of two who works a full time job and runs a business – I am exhausted by the days end. Ever get the feeling while staring in the fridge you have no clue what you will be cooking? It is the dinner planning stress that paralyzes you, you are left just staring into the fridge, focusing on what you have and hoping that something new and exciting pops right out at you.
You don’t have to be a master chef in order to meal plan. Think of meal planning as an organizational tool for planning out your meals. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner – it is a plan that you make way before you even step foot into the grocery store. When I didn’t meal plan, it caused me unwanted stress.
I meal plan for dinner once a month and I don’t even step foot into a grocery store. I don’t have time to go to the grocery store the second I run out of something, it just isn’t logical. So what happens next? You will find yourself buying take out, until you can make it to the store. Did you know that on average Americans spend $20 per week getting lunch in restaurants? That’s $1,043 a year! Meal planning helps you not only save you time, but also money.
What other benefits are there to meal planning?
Just to name a few:
How to get started with meal planning:
Expect there to be some trial and error. Meal planning can really take a few tries before getting the hang of it. In a few months your spending on takeout is greatly reduced. The money we save by planning our meals is helping us to live debt free. By spending less in this part of your budget, you can split the savings between paying down a debt and adding to your emergency savings account.
Have you tried meal planning? Share with us in the comments below.
About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.
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