Why Menu Plan?

Making meals is one of the most important aspects of homemaking. It can also be one of the most stressful when you come at it unprepared. Meal preparation can actually be a very pleasant time of day if we take a little time to plan for it. There are several benefits to menu planning that I want to share with you today.

Wood Tones by LN by ekhum, on Pix-O-Sphere

Here are 3 simple reasons to menu plan:

  1. It saves time -- yes, initially you need to put some time in to menu plan, but in the long run, it saves you those minutes each day you are deciding what to cook as you aimlessly look through your cupboards and freezer. You can save these precious minutes by setting aside a block of time to plan this. Typically, your first menu planning session will be the longest. Once you've completed that first part, the rest quickly follows. In addition, knowing what you're making saves on trips to the grocery store because you have everything you need already.
  2. It saves money -- when you know what you're going to need for the week (or month), you can jot down a grocery list and get everything you need in one trip. Having a list helps you avoid impulsive buying or forgetting things you find you need later. It also saves on gas because you are not making several trips to the grocery store throughout the week to get forgotten items.Finally, it prevents you from ordering take-out because you forgot to pull something from the freezer or your fed up with trying to decide what to make.
  3. It saves stress -- Knowing what meals you are making the family each day is a huge stress reliever. I mean huge. When I menu plan, it literally brings a smile to my face knowing I don't have to "worry" about what to make for dinner because it's already decided. As a matter of fact, I can begin some preparations in the morning as a result. A little planning goes a long way, friends. :)

Most of you know this--this is not new information. So why are we holding out? Perhaps we don't want to set aside a block of time just to menu plan. Friend, let me tell you: it's worth it. Relieving the stress alone is worth it. Having a plan helps for a smooth running home, and menu planning is part of "the plan".

List Plan It has some pretty great resources to help you plan out your menus from 1 week to 1 month, broken down by meal, food category, and also includes lists for shopping and kitchen organization. They also have hundreds of other lists to help you literally put your home in order. It's list heaven for people like me! Having 5 children causes me to be very forgetful, so I need a place to jot down ideas, thoughts, planning items, to do's, and anything else that comes to mind that I risk forgetting!

And in case you were unaware, I have a HOMEmakers Challenge every week and this week we are focusing on making a menu. Please feel free to join in! We will link up on Thursday.

Question: Have you ever tried menu planning in the past? If so, what was most challenging about it?

{Coming May 1st to the HOMEMakers Challenge: 31 Days to Clean, hosted by Joyful Mothering. Check out a giveaway Sarah Mae is hosting right now!}

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