Create a New Habit for 2021: Meal Planning 101
This is a guest post by Allie Marsh. Allie is an experienced Event Manager who pivoted from in-person events in 2020 to creating at-home digital printable planners to help mompreneurs and work-from-home entrepreneurs Plan their Life +Business in 10min a Day (or less!). Through one-page planners in areas like chores, meal planning, social media, home schooling and budgeting, +EBAPlanners helps you to structure and organize your daily tasks saving you time, money and frustration surrounding your daily task list. You can find Allie on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
“What’s for dinner Allie?” “What are we having for lunch?”
Those were the questions that annoyingly got my attention last March. The province had just gone into lockdown, something none of us had experienced before, and my stepson was home from school. All day. Every day.
My initial reaction – and thought was – I don’t know. Stop asking me!! But instead, I grabbed a piece of paper from the printer and drew out a simple 7 column, 3 row chart. Sunday through Saturday, and breakfast, lunch and dinner were now on the page in front of me. My first digital printable planner was born.
From that point on, we made a conscious effort to plan out our meals every week, by sitting down at the table for 30min and creating that weekly plan. We were now setting an intention for our future success. And our efforts paid off. Each day, my stepson knew what we were having for lunch or dinner because he could look at the meal plan on the fridge and would feel a sense of inclusion knowing he too suggested some of those meals.
As business owners, we are constantly pulled in a million directions. Juggling business tasks, family and chores can be stressful. Meal planning gives us more time for our family and business.
Another aspect of creating a meal plan I never thought possible was the easily created grocery list. (How many of you shop with a grocery list?) When we sat down to make that meal plan, we invariably found there were meals we wanted, that we did not have the ingredients for, so an instant grocery list was created. When you go to the grocery store with a list, not only can it save you money, but shopping with a grocery list can save you time too.
With the recent changes to how we grocery shop (during a pandemic) I have found that spending less time in the grocery store is key. We now must follow arrows and flow through the stores in a certain direction, so knowing what you need (because it's on your list) helps keep you on that track – literally – while in the store.
Shopping with a grocery list means you are shopping with intention. You go to the store knowing what you need - because it's on your list. You know you will not overspend because you are only shopping for what is on your list, read: what you need. There is your time savings. How many times have you stared at the shelf wondering if you need more pasta sauce or not and just bought one because you could not remember if you had any at home? Grocery shopping never felt so good, right?
Time is freedom, that is why we get in business for ourselves right? To have more freedom? We all have the same amount every day, but we can get better at managing what we have.
Meal Planning is a great example of just how easily a new plan, or a new set of intentions, can create time savings, money savings and set you up to accomplish your goals - both personally and in your business. Taking the time to create a weekly plan, a daily plan, or even a top priority list for your life +business every day, will start to move you in the direction of building efficiency, organization, and structure in your business too.
Planning does not have to be hard; it just takes practice. Like anything, habitual practice forms the results we desire. In this case, having a plan for our meals saved us time, money and taught us how to be intentional when it comes to simple at home tasks like meal planning.
Want to learn how to plan using my 3 easy steps? Join my FREE 5 Day Planning Challenge where I teach how to plan your life +business in 10min a day (or less!) by planning your weekly meals. I include my 3-page meal planning templates, additional ways to save on groceries and other great tips and time saving hacks for planning your life +business in 10min a day (or less!). Sign up here.