Meal plans – everywhere I looked, I kept reading about the wonders of meal planning and how it could save me both time and money. But I couldn’t get it together and make it work. At the surface, it seems like such an easy concept, but I was struggling.
Sometimes we try so hard to implement a time- or money-saving tip, only to find it makes our life more difficult.
I kept reading about the benefits of meal planning, but it always felt like one more chore that had to be done and I wasn’t seeing the benefits. Thank goodness I stuck with it. While it has taken me quite a while to find a system that works for us, I now feel so much more relaxed about dinner time. Turns out, my problem were my own expectations.
I thought that meal planning meant I had to come up with a plan that would anticipate all of the craziness of our week. With kids, pets, a job and a home, the it is difficult to stick to a rigid plan – yet how does one anticipate craziness?
However, once I realized my expectations were the problem, I could adjusted my thinking and started viewing our meal plan as a guideline or fall-back position. I now plan our meals with a certain amount of flexibility. For our family that means we have enough food in the house to make the meals on the plan, but if we don’t end up at home for dinner because of a last minute change of plans, I don’t feel like a failure.
Read my next post summarizing exactly how we now meal plan at our house and while remaining flexible.
In addition, here is a link to the form we currently use when we meal plan: Blank Monthly Meal Plan.