Have you ever tried to create and stick to monthly (or at least) bi-weekly meal plan? Did it work for you? Or did you end up frustrated, like me? Have you given up altogether?
You’re not alone! I want to open up to you today about my struggle with meal planning. I’ve been a complete and utter failure in this area of my homemaking life. It’s the truth! And I want to tell you why meal planning didn’t work for me.
Ready for some honesty?
#1: The Planning Process Stressed Me Out
I first tried meal planning as a newly married woman. Because the kitchen was my happy place, I thought meal planning would come easy for me. I thought I would have loads of fun flipping through cookbooks, organizing our meals, preparing for the days to come.
However, after one planning session, I knew differently!
The process was extremely stressful for me. Truth be told, I hated it. I’m not a type A personality, and I found myself absolutely dreading meal planning sessions!
#2: Planning Took Too Much Time
Not only did the process stress me out, but it took time to sit down and plan out our meals a month in advance! If it only required 5 minutes of my day, that’d be one thing. But if it takes me an hour to do something that stresses me out?
It’s not going to last! And in my case, it sure didn’t!
#3: Meal Planning Destroyed My Happy Place
I love working in my kitchen, making messes and being creative. Truth be told, I hardly ever follow a recipe to a “T.” For me, the kitchen is my playground and food is an adventure! If the dishes would just wash themselves, I’d never leave! 😉
For some reason, meal planning took the joy out of my kitchen! With everything mapped out before me, my happy place felt stifled, like I could no longer be creative in that space.
I know this makes me sound extremely odd. But it’s the truth!
#4: I Spent More Money on Groceries
Meal planning is often promoted as a money-saving tactic. Because we were working toward a big goal that would only come with big savings, I wanted to be frugal in the kitchen! So I tried to implement meal planning.
But it didn’t work. When flipping through cookbooks, I was drawn to luxurious meals and felt discontent if I couldn’t have them. Let’s be real here: if you have the choice between bread and a pot of beef stew, or baked salmon-and-asparagus with cheesy stuffed potatoes, which would you choose?
Perhaps I needed more self control? Maybe I needed a mindset adjustment when it came to planning? All I know is that we spent more money trying to follow a meal plan.
It was downright discouraging! Meal planning was supposed to eliminate stress. It was supposed to make life easier and happier. Planning ahead was supposed to save money.
What was wrong with me anyway?
I Wanted to Do Well In the Kitchen
I wanted Pinterest perfect success, to eliminate stress, create delicious meals and be happy in the kitchen. But meal planning just wasn’t working out!
So instead of trying to push through, I rebelled! I ripped my schedule off the fridge, scrunch it up into a tiny ball and did a revengeful dance on top of it!
Joking about the dancing part. But I did crumble up the papers and throw them out. And it felt good! Giving up meal planning was an immense relief! And I haven’t considered returning since. Because meal planning didn’t work for me.
How I Keep Food On the Table Today
Instead, I discovered a simple trick that has helped me feel prepared for the day, that eliminates stress and enables me to put wholesome, healthy meals on the table. And next Monday, I’ll tell you all about it!