It's really hard not to notice how much time and money is spent on food - be it standing in the kitchen cooking, at the supermarket shopping or sitting waiting for your food to arrive at a restaurant.
Single person, working parent, boyfriend, girlfriend or roommate, it doesn't matter your marital status, roommate status or socio economic status. Learning how to become on better terms with your kitchen saves you time and money.
And who doesn't want more of that?!
I've been meal planning for years now - in fact, I so rarely eat out that it always stuns me to learn how often people dine in restaurants or order in.
Whenever I ask my friends why they eat out so much (and thus complaining of how much $ they are spending as well as generally eating more than they would like) it always comes back to one thing.
:: They didn't plan ahead. As soon as dinnertime rolled around, they were famished after a long day of work and hitting it hard at the gym ::
I hear this from my clients all the time as well (in fact, that's a big part of the work I do with my 1:1 nutrition coaching clients. ) They don't make time on a Saturday or a Sunday to plan out what to eat during the week.
As soon as Monday hits and it's show time with life, they immediately feel as if they are running behind.
Do you feel like that too? Do you feel as if you are playing catch up every meal time? Arriving hungry to lunch or dinner time without a game plan?
Imagine if you lived in Boston and decided to take a road trip to Minneapolis to visit your aunt. It's about 1400 miles of driving.
I'm quite certain you'd at least look at a road map ahead of time and plan out a route.
Do you take Rt 90 to 94, the whole way across the upper United States driving through upstate New York, northern OH, Illinois and Indiana?
Or perhaps you've never seen Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. So you decide to drive up through Vermont and then across on Rt 401 until you come back to Michigan.
I think you get my drift. Whether you plan out all your hotel and pit stops or if you decide to drive until you're tired, you've at least got the route planned.
Yet when it comes to eating, most people are clueless as to what they will eat during the week. They don't got no game plan!
Meal planning doesn't mean there's no room for a spontaneous dinner date in town. Meal planning doesn't mean you can't have a last minute change of plans and grab happy hour with girlfriends after work.
Meal planning just means that you've always got a meal to eat and you don't have to think about it come dinner time. We all know that if you're deciding what to eat when you're hungry, it will most likely include convenience food. Or worse, later in the evening, you'll regret your dinner choices.
I've been told by some clients when we start working together that they don't have time over the weekend to plan out a meal.
Fair enough. I get that people are busy busy busy. So then I have them walk me through their week - when they get home, what they eat for dinner, how long did it take to decide and make, how long did they wait for delivery to arrive, how long did it take to decide which restaurant to go to, how far away is it, how long before they were seated with their meal in front of them.
It usually looks something like this :
10 minutes to poke around in the fridge and/or pantry.
5 minutes of scrolling pinterest to find recipe inspiration
5 more minutes of rummaging around to see if they've got all the necessary ingredients
15-30 minutes of meal prep
which means anywhere from 45-60+ minutes from walking in the door to dinner being served. (And then there's dish clean up for all your pots and pans.)
**And if you decide to order out, you're still spending time on picking a restaurant, driving there, ordering and waiting for your food. OR ordering in and still waiting for your meal to arrive. Easily an hour start to finish. <And $40 down the rabbit hole on dinner for two.>
After dinner, you're tired because you ate later than you wanted. Your window of time to chill and just hang out with your man/friend/family is a lot less.
If that happens, 3-4 nights at week in your home, that's 3-4+ hours a week you're spending just on dinner <And perhaps a couple hundred bucks as well on dinner?>
What if I showed you how to spend 2 hours on Sunday that would give you back those 4+ hours a week? And save you moola?
Stick around because over the next week or so, I'm breaking down how I spend my Sundays to meal plan.
You'll see how I build out my meals, what I cook in advance, how I keep track of it all and what I do with all my free time during the week!
In the meantime, leave a comment below and tell me if you a meal planning fool like myself or need some help. If you need help, tell me where you get stuck. I want to make sure I'm here to help!
To more time and money for life,
PS> Whatcha doing tonight (Tuesday the 23rd of Feb) @ 8pm ET / 5pm PST?
Join us when a nutrition coach (yours truly) interviews a professional Ironman athlete, the one and only Amber Cullen?
We're jamming about food. training. funny moments. racing and life.
Register HERE for the FREE Webinar Q&A: