What’s for dinner tonight? Haven’t got a clue? Well, meal planning makes it easy to know what’s for dinner tonight and every night of the week.

The Importance of Health

According to Gallup, the obesity rate among American adults is increasing. So far, it is up one whole percent from 2012. People are always looking for ways to change their habits to create a healthier environment in their home. One way to do that is through meal planning. As you well know, if you aren’t sure what you’ll fix for dinner, the alternative is something processed, packaged or purchased at a fast food joint.

This epidemic is not just the concern of adults. Our children are also affected. According to the statistical fact sheet for 2013 put out by the American Heart Association, almost 24 million children between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese. Obesity brings with it the possibility of heart disease, diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome and other conditions that aren’t often seen in children especially.

There are many reasons for obesity and food is only one of them. Turning sound eating habits into a lifestyle change goes a long way to solving this problem now and in the future.

Learn to Meal Plan and Improve your Life

Meal planning is much like a financial budget. Using it saves you both time and money while teaching you to live free and healthy. It might take a bit of adjustment at first. After you see the benefits, however, the pros will definitely overcome the time investment. It will be worth the work you put into the process for you and your family.

Here are 7 tips for planning weekly meals.

  1. Create your menu – Look through recipes with your family and decide what you want to do for the week. Dinner takes more time to prepare so deciding now will save time later.erHere
  2. Take into account family favorites – Make sure there is something for everyone on the list. Meals should be tasty as well as easy.
  3. Make a grocery shopping list – After you have planned for a full seven days, use those items to create your grocery list. Buy in bulk for items that are used more than once that week. It saves money.
  4. Check for sales – Use store circulars, discount cards and Sunday coupons to save money on the grocery items you use most for meals.
  5. Include leftovers in your meal planning – A dinner casserole today could be lunch tomorrow. Plan for double duty dinner meals to further cut costs.
  6. Prep as much as you can – Cook as many elements of your dinners as you can ahead of time. When you are in a hurry, dinner at home is still a viable option.
  7. Keep your pantry stocked – Some items don’t need to be shopped for each week. A well-stocked pantry makes even impromptu meals possible at home.

Follow these 7 meal planning tips to keep you on track even on your busiest days.

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