I have been grocery shopping for over 17 years. Its a weekly chore and for some it is not a favorite task. I however, love grocery shopping. Its is partly because it is a form of shopping (Im a bit of a shopaholic), but mainly because the little organizer in me loves the whole process that leads up to the weekly shop. The benefits of menu planning far outweigh the time it takes to actually menu plan!
My favorite part is the menu planning. I love sifting through my many cookbooks to plan what mouth-watering meals I will be making for the week. I usually plan for three to four recipes for each week and write out all the ingredients I will need. I check the fridge and cupboards to figure out what we need to buy and what we already have. I then make sure I have the staples in the house. I always have pasta, spaghetti sauce, hamburgers, hot dogs and other kid friendly items. I then check to see what snack foods we have left and write down what we will need for the week.
This process of menu planning is very important to make sure that I have the right amount of food for my 9 month old, favorites for my 2 ½ year old, lunches for my husband and the right amount of food for our dinners. Aside from my enjoyment of menu planning, there are some very important benefits.
1. Planning saves money - If you stick to your list, you will buy only what you need. You can also plan around coupons and store specials to help with a budget.
2. Making Healthy Choices - By planning ahead and listing healthy options it is much easier to avoid the barrage of unhealthy choices you are faced with in the store
3. Efficiency - By doing a bit of prep work before your trip to the store, you can make your shopping experience much more efficient. You spend your time getting what you need, you have a focus and you wont waste time trying to decide what to get.
4. Avoid multiple visits to the store - By menu planning, you will only need to go to the store once saving time. This also saves money as the opportunities to buy extra items are limited.
All in all, menu planning may seem like work up front but in the end it saves you time and money. It is definitely worth it!
Free Menu Planning Resources:
More Menu Planning Resources: