As promised, here are my reasons for the benefits of meal planning. They are in no way exhaustive, but this is a good selection and the ones that I commonly give when asked about it.
By planing your meals on a weekly basis, it gives you the opportunity to really start using seasonal foods – this also means that you can reduce the cost and carbon footprint of your food as it is not having to be imported.
2. Money Saving
Not only does buying seasonal veg save you money, but planning your meals is good for your budget. When you plan your meals you only buy what you need – not what you think you might need – saving money by only buying essentials for that week.
3. Leftovers for Easy Lunches or Freezable Meals
In planning your meals, you are able to factor in left overs. The plans that I produce allow or lunch the next day which makes packing lunch easy and makes sure that we don’t have any waste food.
4. Good for the Environment
By working with a meal plan, you are able to create less waste, which is better for the environment as you are not adding to the 7.2 million tonnes of food waste created by the UK each year. (Love Food, Hate Waste)
5. Healthy and Varied
Meal planning allows you time to think about the meals you would like to have and to make sure that it is healthy and varied. I like to make sure that I have a variety of meals from soups, to pastry meals and rice and noodles. It is exciting to search the internet for new recipes too!
6. Energy Saving
….both in terms of power use (gas/electric) but also in human energy! By planning your meals, you can pop tomorrow’s lunch in with the oven along with the food you are cooking tonight, which saves heating the whole oven up again. It is also energy-saving for the human as you only have to visit the shops once per week, as you will have everything you need in the house, so you needn’t make additional trips to the shops (which also saves money as you don’t get tempted by impulse buys!)
Let me know your benefits to meal planning, it is good to share.