As I mentioned in my earlier post, meal planning has been a difficult skill for me to incorporate into our routine. However, now that I have figured out that it is ok to build flexibility into our plan, we’ve had a lot of success. The key has been to think of our Flexible Meal Plan as a guideline or even the fall back position.
Benefits of a Flexible Meal Plan:
- Less food waste – According the USDA website, 30-40% of our food supply is wasted.
- Make better choices for your meals – Decision fatigue at dinner time could mean you make poor food decisions.
- No last minute runs to the grocery store – Save time and money when you have everything for dinner ready to go.
Let us know what other benefits you have gained from meal planning in the comments below.
Combining flexibility with a plan – How we meal plan at our house:
On Sundays, my husband and I sit down and take a look at the fridge and pantry to see what ingredients need to be utilized soon and what we have available. Then we build our meals around those items.
For example, if we have a lot of fresh veggies in the crisper drawer, we’ll schedule a stir fry and salads for the coming Monday and Tuesday. Once we’ve filled in the menu, we write out our weekly grocery list to make sure we have all of the ingredients without needing to run to the store at the last minute.
Even though we fill it out weekly, I set up our planner for the month. That way, if we have a hard time determining what to cook, we can use earlier meals as inspiration.
Here is a link to our Blank Monthly Meal Plan. The planner has space for both Lunch and Dinner. And we even squeeze our To Do list and Shopping List onto this plan.