Meal planning really works!

As I left the grocery store this week, I realized that since I began using many things have changed at the Risner house.

1.   Our diet has significantly improved. We used to eat the same things over and over again (I call them my brainless meals…the ones I know by memory and use standard ingredients), but now we are open to trying just about any recipe on the site because it automatically puts the ingredients on our shopping list.  Trying new recipes is never a challenge and we enjoy the variety!

2.  We spend less at the grocery store.  We used to buy a lot of stuff without a real plan or purpose, but now we only buy what we need and need around 30-40% less.  That is a significant savings (last year Jan/Feb grocery bill averaged $104.00 per week but now we are spending about $70.

3.  We also spend less time in the store. We only buy what we need now that we plan every trip and it just doesn’t take as long.  Also, we don’t spend extra time looking for items or back tracking because our list is in store department order.

4.  We save time and money on extra trips to the store.   We rarely need to go to the store mid week.  I used to run to the store and pick up extra items throughout the week and typically ended up spending another $40-50 (add that to more savings).  Now I buy everything I need the first time and don’t have to go back.

5.  We don’t eat out as often.  We used to eat out occasionally, about once a week, but now we enjoy eating at home more because the variety and the food is just better.   We don’t panic at the end of a long day because we don’t know “what’s for dinner?” and eat out because we’re too hungry and tired to figure it out.

6.  Our nutrition has improved.  I recently read that one of the best ways to lower your sodium intake is to eat at home!  Restaurants’ as a whole serve high sodium food (that does not take into consideration the extra fat either).   Fresh is another way to lower sodium intake.  When you plan ahead you don’t make hasty decisions at the grocery, you make wise choices in advance.  Additionally, we are able to control the fat the goes into our diet and are now much more aware of what we are eating.  There are no hidden fats when you add them yourself!   MealEssence’s nutrition info on each recipe helps us balance our nutrients.  Since beginning the planning our meals are fresher and there is no need for boxed, prepared, or pre-cooked meals.

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