The past few weeks I’ve been planning my meals ahead of time.  Sunday is usually my day of food shopping, and come Sunday night I sit down with my handy-dandy calendar making program and plan out my weekly meals.

A long, long, time ago I did Weight Watchers, and I definitely had to sit down before my eating day started and plot my points for the day or I’d go over.  I always really liked the freedom having a pre-scheduled meal plan allowed me.  Now, to some, that’s the absolute opposite of freedom, but to me it sort of freed me from the constant hemming and hawing over food choices, worries over calories, and fantasies about snacks.  If I had a map to follow, I followed it.

Now, it’s been a long time since I was on Weight Watchers, but in an effort to clean up my eating habits, and be more cost effective with my grocery shopping, I’ve been experimenting with meal planning again.  This time there are no points, I’m not counting calories, I’m just looking at the contents of my fridge and deciding when I will eat it.

Here’s what I’m finding:

  • I snack less
  • I think about food less
  • I’m wasting less produce
  • I’m eating way more produce, especially since I schedule it in as my snacks.
  • I’m taking more time to cook.

So far this little experiment has allowed for a lot of positive changes.  I think I’ll stick with it for a while.  Most likely not forever, but it’s actually a very soothing process for me.  I’m a game plan kind of girl, and seeing my little food calendar on my fridge every morning somehow instills me with a bizarre sense of accomplishment.

Have you ever experimented with meal planning?  Do you do it for weight management, time management, or budget management reasons? Like it, hate it?  What are your thoughts on anal retentive eating?

Breakfast

Egg white omelet with broccoli and lite cheddar
Kiwi

Lunch

Whole grain bread, turkey with muenster, and mustard
Orange

Snack

Trail Mix

Dinner

Stir fry with chicken, broccoli, peppers, Trader Joe’s General Tso’s sauce, and brown rice