Organize your meals with a menu planner. Here are 8 reasons why you should create a healthy weekly menu.
1. Saves Money
Planning your meals in advance allows you to take advantage of weekly supermarket promotions. You will go to the supermarket less often, saving gas money and reducing your car's wear and tear. You can incorporate leftovers into your menus, eliminating waste and saving you money on purchases.
2. Saves Time
You'll have everything you need to prepare your meal. No more time wasted trying to decide what to prepare, looking for ingredients or special trips to the supermarket.
3. More Nutrition
Creating a healthy weekly menu leaves you more aware of what you are offering to your family. This encourages you to make better choices. Knowing what you will prepare every night and having all the ingredients you need the next day will leave you less prone to buying fast food on the way home.
4. Lose Weight or Keep Your Weight
By planning healthy meals and buying only the ingredients listed on your healthy weekly menu, you will have less access to fattening foods that are not in your diet. And because you have healthier options available, you will be less likely to go out and buy unhealthy foods.
5. Largest Range of Meals
When you are trying to decide what to prepare for dinner at the end of a full day, you usually choose between 2 or 3 meals that are quicker and easier. Eating the "same thing" every day can get monotonous! However, when you plan a healthy weekly menu before, you can prepare multiple meals in no time.
6. Less Stress
When you enter the kitchen at the end of the day, you will know what to do at dinner, and how long it will take to prepare the meal. Planning your meals before eliminates the daily stress of preparation.
7. Time Management
A weekly menuallows you to plan your meals according to your schedule. You can choose the fastest meals on the fullest days. And for those days when your schedule does not allow you to cook, you can plan to cook a larger amount the day before to eat the next day. Or choose a meal, prepare in the morning and come home to find a hot meal and ready to eat at night.
And because you know what you're going to do every day of the week, you can combine certain tasks throughout the week. If you know that your Tuesday and Wednesday meals need sliced carrots, make enough carrots for both meals on Tuesday. If braised ground beef will be used in recipes on Monday and Wednesday, sauté enough for both meals on Monday. Does your meal include rice or noodles? Why not cook rice or pasta in the morning while you eat breakfast? Cook, drain, rinse and place in the refrigerator. Then it will be ready for preparation at night, saving you 15 to 20 minutes.
When your family knows the menu of the week, they are able to assist you with the preparation. If your husband comes home an hour before you, maybe he can prepare the salad. Your children can set the table. Or if someone is home, call when you leave work and ask to preheat the oven. Anything that slows down the time it takes for dinner to reach the table benefits everyone. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Your family probably wants to help, but you may not be sure what needs to be done.