As the founder of the online meal planning solution, Sian’s Plan, I am obviously going to be a big fan of meal planning.

But there are hundreds of tangible benefits to being a little organized in your life.
Here are 5 reasons why I think that Meal Planning is the Way Forward. 

1. Savings

You can save tons of money and hours of time when you meal plan.

In Ireland, some families throw away up to €1000 a year on food. A little meal planning can stop this waste in its track, because if you know what you’re making, you’re not wasting.

If you know ‘what’s for dinner’ you can get in from work and get cooking straight away. With Sian’s Plan recipes, dinner is on the table in 35 minutes or less. No rummaging around the cupboards or unnecessarily swinging by the store on your way home.

How many times have you spent hours strolling around Whole Foods wondering which of the many organic offerings you will make tonight? With meal planning, your readymade grocery list will have you nipping around the aisles in minutes. Time is now your friend. 

2. Healthy Eating

We all want to eat healthily, but when we get in late from the office, the Chinese takeaway on the way home is too tempting. When you meal plan, you know the food is at home, ready to be made in a half an hour.

Again, meal planning allows you to have a balanced diet by ensuring you have the right amount of fish, white meat, red meat and vegetarian options throughout the week. Check Sian’s Plan for tips on how to make sure you’re getting all your recommended nutrients.

 Meal planning also gets you trying new recipes and ways of cooking. Most homes only use a limited amount of recipes. With meal planning you could technically try new healthy recipes every week. No need to reach for the cheesy, creamy options.

3. Less Stress; More Success

Getting dinner on the table with a couple of kids running around can be a stressful experience! Knowing what you are cooking is half the battle. By choosing your meals at the start of the week you don’t have to think about what you are having for dinner each night as it’s all already organised.

4. Reduce Your Waste

Every ingredient you have bought has a dish. Every day has a dish. With meal planning, it is so easy to reduce your food waste because you’re not buying anything you don’t need. I am sure we all recall the days when mam told us to eat up because the children in Biafra were starving. Know you’re doing your bit for the environment by meal planning.

Also, I always try and include a leftover day in my plan, which makes sure you don’t throw away anything. Use your leftover roast beef from Sunday in a yummy stir-fry on Monday.

5. Get Help

When you know what you’re making for the week, it’s easy to get the family involved. Ask the first teen in to boil the potatoes, get your hubbie or wife to start chopping the vegetable and the young ones are never too young to start setting the table.

Getting the kids involved will teach them a great appreciation for food. I found that my three boys never had fussy habits because they understood the origins of food. Okay - the middle one still hates fish. I’ve done my best!