Meal planning can seem overwhelming, especially when you try it and fail! These meal planning mistakes are common practice for some people, and they will totally hold you back from creating the perfect meal plan!
I’ve been doing what I call strategic meal planning for years. I started back when we were paying off debt, and honestly I’ve made every mistake in the book! This is why I am so well prepared to write this post. 😉
But really through ups and down I’ve figured out my meal planning formula, and these are the most common and detrimental mistakes I see others making.
MYTH 1: Coupons are the best way to save money on food and what I should plan my meals around.
As a former extreme couponer I can say with confidence that coupons DO NOT save you the most money on food. (I’ll tell you what can later in this post).
-Coupons take up time, like a ton of it.
-They force you to buy very particular things. (That may not be what you like or NEED)
– They sometimes make you buy more things than you need just because it’s a great deal.
Yeah, I got ramen for free! But we never ate it.
Coupons CAN be a great way to save money!
I just personally believe that if you spend a ton of time on it the return isn’t as good as it could be by employing some other strategies. IF you have time to coupon and strategically meal plan you go lady!!!
MYTH 2: I can’t meal plan (I’ve tried and I suck at it!)
I firmly believe that everyone has the capacity to meal plan and stick to it. They just need a little guidance to do it the RIGHT way.
Raise your hand if you’ve meal planned by just looking up recipes that looked good and went with it? Then what happened?
Did you have food you’d never eat sitting around? Did you only make two of the meals and then start eating out again?
Creating a strategic meal plan can make a massive difference in your ability to execute it.
It is not your fault you’ve been told the wrong things. Meal planning can take what is a super big pain in your butt and turn it into a fun experience for the whole family.
Want a beginners guide to meal planning? Check out this post!
MYTH 3: I can’t save money on food and eat healthy.
Yeah, I can totally see how you think this one is true. I will admit, you could just buy frozen dinners every night and maybe spend less than a good meal plan.
BUT it wouldn’t cost you much more at all to meal plan some simple nutritious meals for your family.
Buying cheap things like chicken and veggies can go SUCH a long way and be super yummy.
Yes, it is harder to save money on higher quality for higher-quality food. But you can absolutely employ the same strategies I talk about in this post to spend less money than you do now!
I just want you ALL to know that you CAN save money on food and you can do better about eating at home! Keep trying!
MYTH 4: Meal planning takes too much time!
Especially when you are first starting meal planning will absolutely take some time. But when you really learn how to meal plan and you have some awesome recipes in your repertoire it only takes minutes!
I spend about 5 minutes per week meal planning, honestly half the time I do it on the way to the grocery store!
If you are really short on time you should definitely check out freezer meal prep. It has been a lifesaver for me!
MYTH 5: All I need to do to meal plan is pick five recipes, it’s that easy!
No no no no no. Here is what will inevitably happen if you pick five random recipes:
- You’ll spend a ton of money
- Create a ton of food waste
- Inevitably burn out on cooking every night
- Run into scheduling problems because you have a complicated meal on a night you have zero time to cook
This is where you start to HATE meal planning! Don’t do this to yourself friend!
Want my one week meal plan for free? Grab your copy right here!