Now that we have determined the Where and the When of your future Meal Planning Program, we need to decide WHY you need to plan. What is your motivation behind taking on this project?
* Do you need to stretch your families grocery budget out as far as you can?
Meal planning has shown to reduce food waste. The Natural Resource Defense Council has found that Americans throw away 25% of their groceries. Not only is this a sad waste of food, it costs a family of four $1400 to $2300 per year! (https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf)
Meal Planning prevents the “What’s for Dinner? question at the end of a busy day. When you aren’t prepared, you are more apt to grab the kids and your keys and head to the nearest fast food establishment.
* Are you a busy working parent who needs to save time?
According to Toby Smithson, “Some people do not realize that menu planning is a time saver. It takes longer to try and figure out what to serve your family if you haven’t planned ahead and had the forethought to shop for the ingredients, so they are readily available in your house. When you plan a menu, you have a grocery list completed, too.” Smithson is the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Chicago.
* Are you trying to bring healthier food choices to your family?
Planning your meals before you shop is a good way to avoid impulse buys that may include unhealthy food. Everyone knows the old saying, “Never grocery shop when you are hungry.” Being tired or stressed applies in this situation.
Meal planning invites the planner to take the time to find new and healthy recipes that include better food choices. This is a good opportunity to introduce children to different tastes and textures.
These are just three of the possible WHY’s for Meal Planning. What is your WHY? Once you determine your WHY, write it down on your planning medium….notebook, whiteboard, electronic. It is important to your future success to remember why you want to do this project.
On Friday, we will start taking inventory and listing favorites!!! This is the fun part!!