What I Ate Wednesday || Menu Planning Benefits and Tips

Welcome to my 6th week of joining Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

Are you a menu planner? I can hardly remember a time when I didn’t plan weekly menus. It makes life so much easier.

Consider this. Benefits of Menu Planning. 

  1. Saves you time. You always have the ingredients you need so no weekday last minute trips to the store.
  2. Saves you money. When you have your menus planned out, you know exactly which ingredients you need to buy at the store. You have a list and you stick to that it while shopping and fewer impulse buys.
  3. Promotes healthy eating. When meals are planned out, you will usually end up with a more balanced, nutritious diet. You don’t have to run through a fast food lane, grab a processed food on the go, or skip meals.
  4. Reduces waste. Often, we buy foods at the grocery store, thinking we’ll use them for something, but they end up getting thrown out. If you’re sticking to the list, you’re not buying anything you won’t NEED for your planned meals.
  5. Saves on gas. No more emergency grocery runs = less driving = less gas money.
  6. Encourages family involvement. Everyone has input and everyone has a chance to request their favorites.
  7. Supports regular eating of meals together as a family. If left to the last minute, it can be very tempting to whip something up quickly for the kids and then another meal later for mom and dad.
  8. Takes into account life’s busier than usual times. Plan for the school activities, working late, and the unexpected an you’re less likely to make a trip through the drive thru or grab processed food on the go.
  9. Reduce stress. Enough said :)

What works for me. Menu Planning Tips. 

  1. Make creating a weekly menu part of your routine.
  2. Consider what ingredients you already have.
  3. Get family input.
  4. Plan for an on-your-own night.
  5. Make a list and stick to it when you’re shopping.
  6. Look at your calendar for the week before you start planning. Make note of busy evenings.
  7. Make lunches the day before.
  8. Cook on Sunday with leftovers in mind.
  9. Whether you’re using your computer or handwriting the menu use a menu template.
  10. Use recipes that can be made ahead of time and reheated for a meal during the week.

Now, on a day’s menu…

Early morning coffee and computer.

Chocolate Shakeology with banana. It’s like having dessert for breakfast.

Pretzels and Almond Cheddar Style Cheese. This continues to be my favorite vegan cheese.

Veggie wrap with vinaigrette with a side of kale chips.

I’m addicted to the greek yogurt and cottage cheese combo. This time I added a crumbled Kashi Honey Almond Flax bar and sliced half a banana.

A chicken pot pie recipe from Whole Living Body + Soul In Balance that I tweaked into a vegetarian dish. No chicken and added baby portabellas in addition to the shitake mushrooms. Love the whole wheat phyllo crust.

Do you plan weekly menus? What’s on your menu? What is your favorite snack?

About Jill Conyers

My name is Jill, welcome to my blog! Jill Conyers | Fitness, Health and Happiness follows my life and my passion for family, fitness, nutrition and healthy living. I love being outdoors, conversations with my kids, run dates with my husband and creating in the kitchen.

Posted under Link-Up, Menu Planning, Nutrition, Recipes

19 comments on “What I Ate Wednesday || Menu Planning Benefits and Tips

  1. Those pot pies look great! I love making pot pie but usually make a regular pie crust. The phyllo seems a bit easier!

    I don’t “formally” meal plan, but I always have an idea in my head for two or three big meals, where I make a huge portion and then can eat it for a few days. Around this I have things such as salads, wraps, fruit and veggies. I rarely waste anything.

    1. Hi Kyria. The phyllo works wonderfully well for the top crust. Good for you not wasting. There was a time when I wasted way too much and it was so frustrating.

  2. I’m definitely a fan of menu planning! I find it really saves me money at the grocery store. Plus, I don’t have those panicked “what the heck am I going to make for dinner??” moments.

    1. I know! When I get home from work the last thing I want to do is try to decide what to make for dinner that the kids will eat and my husband will enjoy.

  3. I love menu planning, too, although I have a week now and then (like this one!) where I just wing it. I love your dinner- I finally got ramekins and am excited to start finding recipes to use them.

  4. ummm dessert for breakfast!?! sign me up! haha!
    and meal planning. reading your tips made me realize it could be crazy beneficial for me. im really frustrated right now with how much money i spend on food and how much food i waste :/

  5. I am trying to get into the habit of menu planning. I have seen all the benefits that you listed when I do. One of my favorite snacks is hummus with pita or carrot sticks.

  6. There are some things I want to say about this blog:
    1. Hello! :)
    2. All of your eats look amazing.
    3. I like your style of photography, all of the composition is really nice!
    4. Weekly planning is definitely great although I don’t do it :( I used to when I was on a diet but now I Just kinda go with the flow. Although I do make some stuff in advance to eat throughout the week. Depends on the week, I guess.

  7. I am a big fan of menu planning and you are right on the money with all of the good reasons to do it that you mentioned!

    I am intrigued by this greek yogurt and cottage cheese mix you mentioned, I will have to try it…love both when they are on their own so why not together! I’ll have to get my hands on one of those little Lactaid pills mentioned on Peas and Crayons so I can really enjoy though. The Kashi bar on top: brilliant!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *