Building Good Habits: Weekly Meal Planning

Meal Planner 1One of the good habits that I’ve been working to adopt lately is the habit of weekly meal planning. I’ve found that when I don’t have a clear idea of what’s in our pantry and what I can cook for dinner, I tend to take the path of least resistance– “let’s just pick up Wendy’s on the way home..”— way too often. It’s so much easier to be enthusiastic about cooking dinner each night when I know that I’m prepared well ahead of time.

My routine has developed over time, but generally on Saturday afternoons I go through the refrigerator and the pantry to see what we already have that could make a decent dinner, and make a mental note of anything that I might need to pick up at the store on Sunday. I’ve used several meal planner templates, but my favorite so far is this free printable by The Day Designer (that was featured on my blog just a few days ago.)

Once all my meals are laid out for the week, I can run down the list and see what I need to buy at the grocery, and write it all down right next to my meal list (just another reason I love this printable!)

Meal Planner 2

Another huge perk to meal planning is that it feels so much easier to plan healthier meals when I’m looking ahead and consciously planning my meals. It eliminates that whole standing-in-front-of-the-fridge-with-my-mouth-open-for-ten-minutes thing, since I don’t have to play russian roulette with my dinner choices for the night (which is a good thing, since with that method I usually end up with macaroni and cheese or peanut butter sandwiches every night.)

It’s always nice to find small, simple ways to be healthier and more responsible. For me, planning my meals ahead of time is something that takes five minutes and is so incredibly worth the effort.

Do you use a weekly meal plan? Has it been helpful, or does it feel like a hassle to keep up with every week? Share your story in the comments or find me on on twitter (@merricataddams). ❀️

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