5 Reasons Why You Should Meal Plan

Do you meal plan? Here are my top 5 common sense reasons why I menu plan. Its perfect for busy mums and dads, or for those with fussy eaters. Check out the post at

Those that read my blog regularly will know that we meal plan at the start of every week. JHogg grumbles every single time, but for me it is totally worth it to have it done and written down in advance.

However, this week I’m off enjoying some Majorcan sunshine, so I don’t have to do a meal plan this week.  Instead I thought I would share with you the 5 main reasons why I meal plan, and why I think you should to!

1. Less Takeaways And Junk Food

If we don’t have a plan for dinner we are far more likely to call in for a takeaway or eat some convenience food. This is something we really struggle with. Its bad for our health and for our bank balance!

When I meal plan I know exactly what we’re having, when I need to start to prepare it and that I have all the ingredients at home and ready to go. We now appreciate the takeaways far more as they are less regular and more of a treat.

2. Less waste

Prior to my meal planning days I would go to the supermarket and buy just whatever I thought we might need. Regularly I wasn’t able to make a full meal out of them so would need to go back and get some more things a few days later.

Items regularly went to waste, or were frozen for a “later” that just never came. By planning our meals in advance I only buy what we will need for the week. I can utilise everything we buy fully with a little forward planning.

For example, if I buy asparagus to use as a side to a chicken dish one night, I will plan to have a risotto which I can use the rest of the packet in a day or two later. I am also able to utilise food from the freezer more effectively. If I know we’re going to have a chicken dish the next day I know to pull the meat out the night before.

3. Saving money

Hand in hand with wasting less, I spend far less if I am going in to the supermarket for certain things. I write a list and try to stick to it. It’s not always easy, but these days the extras we buy are more likely to be snacks rather than main meal items.

You can take it up a notch and have a budget for your weekly shop. Plan your meals around your budget, and take cold hard cash with you to the supermarket. That way you can’t over spend! It’s not something we do too often, but its a great way to reset occasionally and realise how much extra we spend unnecessarily.

4. Less stress 

I hate that point in the evening where you don’t know what you’re having for dinner, you know you need to start cooking, the baby is moaning and you just can’t think straight. By planning in advance you know what you’re having, you know the ingredients are there.

Time is valuable to all of us. I don’t like rushing to cook a meal and getting flustered if what I need isn’t there. The less time I spend worrying about dinner, the more time I have to sit down and enjoy eating it – and maybe even gain 5 minutes spare to just chill out!

If there is any prep that can be done in advance then I will often do it during the day when if Piglet takes a nap, making dinner even easier later on.

5. Everyone can help

JHogg and I “disagree” on what makes a good meal usually so by doing a meal plan at the start of the week together we both get to eat meals that we enjoy throughout the week. If you have fussy eaters planning in advance is a great way to get everyone involved.

One great way of speeding up the planning process is to create a list of all your favourite foods as a family. That way you have a database to pick from when you’re drawing a blank. You can then add to it as and when you discover a new recipe.

If you’re looking for menu inspiration then check out my pinterest. I have a board for all my meal plans, plus a board with great family recipe ideas.

So what do you think? Will you give it a go? Let me know in the comments.

The Pramshed
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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  1. // Reply

    I agree with all of these reasons and in theory, it’s definitely something that we should do. That said, it’s Saturday night, we’ve just got in after a long day out and Ive just rang the local Chinese to put in our order! Maybe a Monday – Friday meal plan would work better for us! #fortheloveofBLOG
    five little doves recently posted…Pregnancy & Baby loss awareness month. #captureyourgriefMy Profile

    1. // Reply

      I combine my meal planning with my batch cooking freezer meals for that very reason! We do deviate from the plan though – usually once a week but sometimes more. But at least we’re trying 🙂

    1. // Reply

      we do tend to deviate once or twice a week but its no big deal – at least we know we tried!

  2. // Reply

    I really really want to get into the habit of meal planning! We spend WAY too much at the grocery store, and it’s honestly getting kind of ridiculous. I’d really like to know exactly what we’re going for, and to ESPECIALLY stop going when we’re hungry. Hahaha. This is a great list, and definitely convincing me to just bite the bullet and get it done. Thanks for sharing! <3 #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      going when you’re hungry definitely doesn’t help!!

  3. // Reply

    Such a good idea! My husband works in evenings so I only have to sort myself and our son out. It’s hard to motivate myself, cooking for one but I’m slimming now so meal planning and batch cooking is key for me! #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      I am much lazier when I’m only cooking for myself – planning in advance does make me more inclined to make something healthy

  4. // Reply

    I do this too and helps me stick to my budget, I also do internet shopping so I cant be tempted by naughty things I didnt need #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      the naughty things still find their way into my trolley 😉 but it does reduce waste

    1. // Reply

      JHogg is always reluctant on a sunday when we do it but then he has very strong opinions on what we should eat once he gets started!

  5. // Reply

    Great post and so true! I find meal planning really helps keep me organised when it comes to dinner time! I also find it saves me a lot of money, I know exactly what to buy and don’t overspend. I do also find, like you mentioned, that there is less food wasted! Really good post, thanks for sharing. xx #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      I couldn’t believe the change once we started doing it properly!

  6. // Reply

    All so true! We have been planning meals a little better lately and eating together a lot more & it’s definitely easier & cheaper! x #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      JHogg and I eat together every night, but as Piglet gets older I want him to eat with us too which will definitely help!

    1. // Reply

      Its worth a try for sure! I have a pretty pad which I got from Paperchase which I use to write down our meal plan for the week on 🙂

  7. // Reply

    This is definitely something i have been wanting to start! Thanks for giving me more reasons to get off my butt and get going with it!

    1. // Reply

      Good luck! Once you’ve been doing it a few weeks you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it!

  8. // Reply

    goodness this is all so true yet I am typically awful at meal planning. when I do plan, it works out well but I find I get to weds and I don’t fancy xyz. I want a curry or a pizza lol. and the hubby is just as bad. luckily we aren’t huge takeaway fans, mainly due to cost but also coz I have some anxieties over food poisoning and what not, so I prefer to just cook at home lol. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!
    Emma me and b make tea recently posted…6 Ways to Use Fruit Puree After the Baby Days!My Profile

    1. // Reply

      We do deviate once or twice a week but thats ok – at least I know I’ve tried!

  9. // Reply

    Some really great tips! I don’t really meal plan but we eat more-or-less the same meals each week. It does get a little dull so I keep meaning to start meal planning to get some variety. I really must start doing it now I’ve been re-inspired by your post! #fortheloveofBLOG and #KCACOLS
    Angela Watling recently posted…My Top 10 Online Reads – September 2016My Profile

    1. // Reply

      It really helps get some variety in your diet and keep things interesting. Good luck!

  10. // Reply

    I’ve recently started meal planning and I’ve definitely saved money and stopped wasting so much! #KCACOLS

    1. // Reply

      its the best decision I made to start doing it!

  11. // Reply

    In principle, I agree but I’m more of a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ sort of gal! I am however, a hater of waste and junk food so though I don’t plan for the week in detail, I do keep regular checks of use-by dates and adjust dinners to ensure leftovers are used or frozen and nothing goes bad! I have friends who swear by their weekly meal plan and they really work for them too, just not for me! #KCACOLS
    Sonia recently posted…Quick Tuna & Olive SpaghettiMy Profile

    1. // Reply

      I think it definitely depends on your lifestyle. JHogg is regularly out a few times a week so it’s easier for me to account for that with my meal plans 🙂

    1. // Reply

      Its a tough balancing act – but it’s doable!

  12. // Reply

    we plan before going food shopping, mainly as we need meals the gremlin will eat 5 days a week. To be fair she’s pretty good but we must plan. You are right; healthier and saves money.Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx
    Sarah Howe @runjumpscrap recently posted…Halloween is Coming – Stay Safe!My Profile

    1. // Reply

      I don’t look forward to the toddler days when they have more opinions on their food. So far Piglet eats anything if its homemade – hes fussy about packet stuff though!

  13. // Reply

    I should SO do this. I did for about 2 weeks and it really helps! At the moment my toddler is rejecting everything and it’s so frustrating!

    1. // Reply

      Its easy to lose momentum but once you’re over that hurdle it becomes second nature – honest!

  14. // Reply

    Yes to all of this! I used to plan all the time, but I fell off the wagon hard. I need to start planning again, I can’t find a good reason not too plan
    Charlotte | BakingBetsy recently posted…Hello, AutumnMy Profile

    1. // Reply

      Thats my thinking too – why WOULDN’T you plan?! I see no benefits!

  15. // Reply

    There are some great tips here and it made me realise that I need to be more organised with my meal planning. It’ll definitely make it easier to decide what we are having for dinner after we get home thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  16. // Reply

    Great post! Planning absolutely helps our family eat less junk!!! #KCACOLS

  17. // Reply

    So sorely tempted to create a meal plan but as hubby works for a food store I let him do the shopping. He’s also the main chef in the house. #bestandworst
    Helena recently posted…Word of the Week: SwitchMy Profile

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