The Power of a Meal Plan

Food and money, one people must have, the other almost everyone wants more of. With a few changes we can improve the foods we eat and possibly get more of the money everyone wants.
Meal planning – this concept doesn’t only work to eat healthy or lose weight. There are several other benefits to planning out your meals on a weekly basis.
1.  Mental Freedom
Each day is a barrage of decisions that must be made to function as a human. Meal planning once for the week allows you to make less decisions daily and funnel that energy into other areas of your life, like growing your business or inventing the next snuggie.
2. Save Time
Ah yes, the magic word, time, everyone wants more of it. Sadly we can’t produce time but we can manage the time we have more effectively, meal planning can help. One factor in the delay of getting things done is the lack of a solid plan. If you start your week knowing exactly what meals you will be eating and the groceries are already purchased and ready to cook, you’ll be in a great position to save time.
It should take no more than 30 minutes to plan out the entire weeks meals. Even less once you do it consistently, that’s far less time than the usual process.
wp-1453669140059.jpegSpouse 1 “Hey what do you want for dinner?”
Spouse 2 “Oh I don’t care, you pick”
Spouse 1 “Ok, spaghetti”
Spouse 2 “Oh no, I don’t want that”
Spouse 1 “Ok, you pick then…”
Spouse 2 “No I really don’t care, you pick”
Spouse 1 “Ok, sloppy joes”
Billy the neighbor “I don’t want that”
……Billy, first, you weren’t invited. Second, no one asked you, go home.
3. Save Money
Eating out is typically more expensive than a home cooked meal. Life gets busy, without a set  meal plan you can be forced to go without food or pick up fast food which is more expensive and usually less healthy. Going to the grocery store with a set list of things you’ll need for your meals ensures you’ll only buy what you need and not those new quadruple stuffed oreos. (Ok lets be real. If they have those, I’m buying.)
4. Trying New Things
Sitting down weekly (on Sunday for us before we shop) gives us the time to decide if we want to try out any of the new recipes we’ve come across recently. It’s easier to decide you want to try something new when you plan it out rather than on the fly each day when you realize you only have half the ingredients. Which takes us back to the time savings and mental freedom because you are not going back to the store, spending additional mental energy contemplating every single meal.
If you often find yourself wanting more time, tired of the foods you eat or wanting to save some money, give meal planning a try. You might be surprised at how easy it is and how it can positively affect your life.
Below is a sample of meal planning for Kylie and I. It’s quick and easy to create and gives us enough variety weekly that we do not get sick of the meals. In the event that we do get sick of the meals, we simply swap it out for a new recipe, rinse and repeat.

Week 1

Week 2

Sunday
Breakfast– Peanut butter pumpkin oat muffins with dark chocolate chips
Lunch– Chick pea with rice and vegetable stir fry
Dinner– Burgers and homemade french fries
Sunday
Breakfast– French toast
Lunch– Chili
Dinner– Burgers and homemade french fries
Monday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Homemade pad thai
Dinner– Lentil pasta with fresh roasted vegetables and chipotle sauce
Monday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Beans and rice with fresh salsa and avocado
Dinner– Spaghetti
Tuesday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Chipotle, Noodles and Company or Qdoba
Dinner– Gardein mock meat orange pork with jasmine rice and fresh steamed vegetables
Tuesday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Chipotle, Noodle and Company or Qdoba
Dinner– Scrambled tofu and toast
Wednesday
Breakfast– Cinnamon toast with peanut butter and bananas with a glass of fresh juiced orange juice
Lunch– Homemade pad thai
Dinner– Bean burritos or tacos
Wednesday
Breakfast-Cinnamon toast with peanut butter and bananas with a glass of fresh juiced orange juice
Lunch– Beans and rice with fresh salsa and avocado
Dinner– Lentil sloppy joes
Thursday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Homemade pad thai
Dinner– Lentil sloppy joes
Thursday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Beans and rice with fresh salsa and avocado
Dinner– Bean burritos or tacos
Friday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Homemade pad thai
Dinner– Scrambled tofu and toast
Friday
Breakfast– Oatmeal with peanut butter, coconut sugar, blue berries, banana and almond milk
Lunch– Beans and rice with fresh salsa and avocado
Dinner– Lentil Pasta with fresh roasted vegetables and chipotle sauce
Saturday
Breakfast– Waffles with coconut sugar, butter or peanut butter and bananas
Lunch– Bean, rice and vegetable bowl
Dinner– Homemade pizza
Saturday
Breakfast– Waffles with coconut sugar, butter or peanut butter and bananas
Lunch– Hummus wraps with chips and salsa
Dinner– Homemade pizza

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