Meal planning is pointless

Meal planning is pointless. Why waste time planning meals ahead of time? It’s so boring eating the same meals over and over. Meal planning is for poor people. And weirdos.

Some of the commonly shared opinions about meal planning, from people who have never meal planned, can be summed up with those few lines. Look meal planning isn’t glamorous. But to say “meal planning is pointless” is a ludacrous statement only made by those who haven’t tried it.

Why bother to meal plan?

Meal planning has so many benefits but lets start with the one most likely to appeal. It saves people money. A lot of money! Have you ever done the shopping and then, between one thing and another, didn’t get around to eating the food you bought?

Lets take salad ingredients as our example here. So you took the time to travel to the shop. Paid for the fuel to get there, bought the ingredients and travelled home. You then paid to store the salad ingredients in the fridge and as we all know electricity is not cheap. Then what? You didn’t fancy the salad? Didn’t get a chance to eat it? Forgot to bring it with you to work and bought a salad at the deli? You didn’t eat it and now it’s only fit for the bin. Ah but now you have to include the cost of binning the salad too! To some that up, you paid for diesel to and from the shop, paid for the salad and then paid to bin it but never took a single bite.

That brings us nicely to the next benefit of meal planning. It’s better for the environment. Less waste going to Landfill can surely only be a good thing in this day and age. How else is meal planning beneficial for the environment? Well back to our salad example, it takes an enormous amount of resources to grow and produce those ingredients. Not alone that think of all the fuel involved in transporting the salad from farm to shop to home to landfill.

Meal planning is boring!

Ok so we’ve put to bed the idea that meal planning is pointless but is it as boring as it sounds? Well that depends on you. A meal plan can be as simple or as adventurous as you like. You will be the one to decide what goes on there. All that’s changing with a meal plan is you won’t be buying food you won’t get around to eating.

Meal planning isn’t eating the same 7 meals every single week unless that’s what you want to do. It can be eating 31 different dinners if you can come up with that many and if you enjoy that much variety. Your tastes, creativity and budget sets the tone for your meal plan. The Budget Mom, Miko, is a huge advocate for meal planning. Miko is a single parent who paid off colossal debt and cut her family’s grocery budget in half with a meal plan. If you want to check out Miko’s YouTube video about meal planning this is the link .

The thing I found most interesting about Miko’s method is the use of leftovers. She makes bigger potions to ensure leftovers. The idea is to have days during the week in the meal plan where she doesn’t have to cook. Sounds amazing right?

Fine I’ll give meal planning a try, but how do I do it?

Start by checking what you have on hand in your home already. Prioritise food that needs using up to avoid throwing anything in the bin. Lets pretend you have an onion that’s looking very sorry for itself and a bit of garlic that looks very lonely in the fridge. Somewhere lurking in the back of the press in a tin of chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree could be found. Hey ho you are well on your way to a decent pasta sauce. You could call it a day with those ingredients or if you wanted to add some protein you could hunt out a tin of tuna or that chicken you’ve been meaning to use up for weeks in the freezer.

Make a list of the meals you can make with the ingredients you already have. There will be some that you can make with just one or two extra ingredients needed. You have more in the house than you think! A great place to learn more about the power of meal planning is What Ruth doesn’t know about meal planning isn’t worth knowing. A great resource on this topic is Ruth’s €50 Aldi Meal Plan And Shopping List From My No Spend Year post. Meal planning is pointless couldn’t be further from the truth once you read Ruth’s post.

Let me leave you with this short story..

Years ago I was doing my shopping as one does. I would buy the same things week in and week out. Every week was the same. My husband, then partner, discovered I’d bought gravy yet again. By this stage there was apparently 6 tubs of gravy in the press already. Now I didn’t know there was an abundance of gravy granules. Truth be told if I had known then there was better ways to be spending the euro I’d wasted on another tub. Anyway I’d bought another tub and this was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. My husband flipped. Complete waste of money that tub was because hubby sent it sailing with a swift boot across the road and into a ditch! Yep that tub didn’t even get the chance to see inside the press never mind the bin.

There you have it. That’s the reason I believe so strongly in meal planning. That’s the reason I’ll never say meal planning is pointless.

7 thoughts on “Meal planning is pointless

  1. I want to say I’m rolling around laughing, but I’m sneaking in a read at work so have had to content myself with a bit of a giggle instead. That story is definitely worthy of lots of laughter. Five minutes later (I had to try and find my wordpress login to comment 🙂 ) I’m still smiling. I’ve definitely had to throw out way too many gravy granules over the years, too!


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