Meal Planning for Sanity, Health, and Savings

Meal Planning Made Simple

I am a huge advocate for meal planning. I am not always the most consistent meal planner, but when I do plan ahead, we eat better and spend less.

For several years now I have been a happy subscriber to eMeals. Some weeks I follow the meal plans to the letter. Other weeks I look to the plan for inspiration or to get out of a rut. I am currently subscribed to the eMeals Clean Eating Meal Plans, and while I have been happy with the meals, they have not been as much of a hit with the younger members of the family.

It is easy enough to switch plans, and I will likely switch back to either the Classic meal plan or I may try out the brand new Budget Friendly plan!

Some of the benefits of meal planning are:

  • Meal Planning saves Money: Not only does planning meals in advance give the opportunity to shop sales. meal planning takes the guesswork out of “What’s for dinner?” and avoids last minute (and expensive) take-out.
  • Meal planning encourages variety: If I am left to my own devices, I will make the same four meals week after week after week. This will be a great thing for my child who ONLY likes chili, however, everyone else begins to grumble about dinner.
  • Meal planning encourages teamwork: If I plan meals in advance, I can assign cooking tasks to family members much more easily. Rather than just ask my husband or a teen to prepare dinner, I can ask them to cook and give them the step by step instructions and guarantee that all of the needed ingredients are on hand!

I like taking the weekly plans from eMeals and then weave in our family favorites. There is usually at least one meal planned a week that just does not suit our family palate, and it is easy for me to sub in  a family favorite. If you take advantage of the eMeals iOS app there is even a new functionality that allows you to switch meals between menus.

Chime in! Do you meal plan? What is your favorite tool to make it easier? What meal is your go-to  for meal planning?

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About the author : Dakotapam

I’m a Lutheran pastor’s wife and mom to six kids, including toddler twin girls. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!

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  1. Lisa - January 6, 2015 Reply

    I’m a huge fan of meal planning, Pam. I haven’t used the eMeals program, but I’ve done it on my own for a very long time. I found it especially sanity-preserving when I was working outside the home. Knowing exactly what was on the plan saved time and frustration – all I had to do was come home and get it done.
    Even though I’m home-based now, I still use it. It absolutely saves us money – I shop for what I need for a menu and I always check the kitchen when I do my lists to make sure I’m not buying something I already have. (That used to happen a lot!) I like that meal planning gets the rest of the family involved in making choices and I like being able to look at what the family is having for lunch and not duplicating at dinner, etc.
    Overall, it’s a great way to stay in control of what and how we eat. Given the fact that I have ADHD, it’s a huge help in that department, too. Having to think on the spot is difficult when no plan exists. It’s a great thing for us!

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