When the clock approaches 5:00 p.m., do you start worrying about what to have for dinner? Are you tired of using fast food as the answer? If so, try this old-school trick that's back in fashion — menu planning.
Menu planning is a great way to make sure you're eating a balanced diet and meeting your nutritional needs. And, as every frugal cook knows, menu planning can save you time and money.
Benefits of menu planning
You can have a big impact on your health — and your budget — just by eating at home more often. With menu planning you know what your meals will look like and what you need to buy. That makes grocery shopping more efficient and cuts down on unplanned trips to buy one or two items. And with a grocery list in hand — a byproduct of good menu planning — it's easier to resist impulse purchases.
Menu planning doesn't have to be complicated. To get started, jot down some of your favorite meals. Cooking for a family? Ask them to suggest menu ideas, too. For more inspiration, flip through cookbooks or check out recipe websites. You can even find sample menus and menu-planning apps online.