February 10, 2019 – 4 MIN READ
If I told you to go through life without a schedule, you’d be lost. You would lose track of the date, day of the week, and worst – you wouldn’t have a plan for any of your upcoming activities.
It’s the same for meal planning. For some unknown reason though, majority of people still go through life without a meal plan. That continues even when they know that diet is one of the most important aspects of a healthy life.
So, to try and convince you, here’s the top 5 reasons why you need to start meal planning.
1. Reduce food waste
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that analyzed eight years of food data, Americans waste up to 150,000 tons of food each day. That breaks down to about 422g of food per person daily and 30 million acres of cropland to produce this food each year.
The biggest culprit behind the food waste? Healthy individuals who are throwing out fruits and vegetables that have gone bad too quickly.
When you meal plan though, your grocery list shrinks to only have the necessary ingredients and proportions for each meal. You can even take it further by overlapping ingredients between meals or incorporating the ingredients that you already have into each recipe. That means less food in the trash can and more money in your wallet.
In the end, it’s a net positive for the environment and helps you become less wasteful.
2. Spend less money
It’s only natural that when you have less food waste by planning efficiently, you will spend less on meals. Not to mention the fact that a meal plan will help you accomplish eating out less – an activity known to eat your wallet.
At Slice, our Budget Meal Plan for 2 people includes a grocery list that has an average of $36.84 per week. According to our users, meals often leave leftovers for the next day. That leaves us with an average cost per serving of less than $1.80.That’s pretty impressive already but some of our users go even further by taking advantage of other budget saving tips like bulk buying and couponing.
Regardless, any meal plan that can achieve meals under $3 per serving is crushing the average American family in savings when eating out costs about $12.75 per meal.
3. Eat out less
Eating out can be fun and tasty, but it can also be a huge budget killer. It’s estimated the average American family spends up to $3,008 eating out. That’s $3,008 that could go towards more important and lasting memories like a fun family getaway or a child’s college tuition.
With a meal plan, you have the convenience of your grocery list, meal schedule, and cooking instructions all ready for you. That means there is no excuse to not cook at home when the ingredients are waiting for you each day.
Even better, you’ll never have to look blindly into the fridge and ask “What should I make for dinner?” again.
4. Save time
This one is self explanitory. A meal plan made right can help save time in many areas of life but here are the main spots that we see the most benefit:
- Shorter grocery trips – When you go with a plan, grocery trips are speedy.
- Faster recipes – Quick and healthy recipes can make your cooking time a breeze.
- Quicker preparation – Meal plans can cut time by prepping and storing meals prior to consumption.
Outside of those, planning meals that need “hands-off” cooking like using a slow cooker or baking can help you gain even more time back.
5. Improve eating habits
Failure to plan is planning to fail. When you have a meal plan that outlines healthy, fulfilling meals in the correct portions, it can immensely improve your healthy eating habits. That’s because the convenience factor of going to your local fast food or settling for some junk food is taken out the equation.
Instead, having nutrition-packed meals ready to be made with ease will take their place and ultimately, leave you with a more well-balanced diet.
Another hidden benefit of meal plans is that they allow you to track what you eat. This can help you be more health-conscious and also help you figure out what meals work for your energy levels and what doesn’t.
Meal planning is easy
In conclusion, meal planning is not only beneficial but necessary. Over time, these benefits can add up and really shape into meaningful, positive, changes.
So, if you aren’t meal planning already, maybe it’s time to start. Investing 2-3 hours each week into crafting an awesome meal plan will help you:
- Reduce food waste
- Spend less money
- Eat out less
- Save more time
- Eat healthier
Or, if you’d like the same personalized meal plan, but without the stress of actually creating the plan, we can help. Slice meal plans are crafted with your tastes in mind and cost less than one pumpkin spice latte per month. You can get even your first weekly plan for free when you start here.