As busy collegiette, we often come up with creative excuses for eating out. Greek takeout is more appealing than stir-frying those sad wilted greens in your fridge and a fancy autumn latte is more tempting than your non-existent homemade brew. Speaking from experience as a collegiette that spent the last three years pulling double duty as a human garbage can out of pure laziness, believe me when I say that all this snacking and eating out takes a toll on the state of our overall health and bank account.
Early this year, I was introduced to the concept of weekly meal planning and my diet was changed forever. With my roommate, we spent every Saturday afternoon finding recipes, buying groceries, and spending a few hours cooking an entire week’s worth of meals. With delicious, healthy meals ready in the fridge, it didn’t matter if I was too tired or too busy— I ran out of excuses and into the clutches of healthy eating.
Let me explain my five favourite fantastic benefits of meal planning. You’ll be a convert by the end.
1) You’ll know what you’re eating.
When we eat out, we often don’t know (or don’t want to know) what went into our meals. However, when we take the time to cook our own, we’re forced to learn and consciously choose what we put into our bodies. It doesn’t mean that we need to give up on our favourite unhealthy dish, but rather that we eat in moderation or search for alternative recipes.
2) Our conscience will be clearer.
When you meal plan, your old excuses for eating out fade away and are instead, replaced by a much more sensible reason to indulge. Whether that means fine dining or gorging on poutine, you now have a legitimate reason to eat out once in a while, guilt-free!
3) You’ll minimize waste.
One of the best things about meal planning is that as little food and money get wasted in the process! Armed with a proper grocery list, say goodbye to the days of stumbling aimlessly into the frozen pizza aisle or wondering if you’ll actually eat the bag of celery this time.
4) You can figuratively kill a flock of birds with one stone.
For the collegiette with roommates, you know that you’re not the only one avoiding cooking like the plague. Instead, invite your roomies to meal plan with you. You’ll get to try new food, reduce cooking time, and save money on groceries all at once.
5) You will take one giant step towards adulthood.
I promise, serving legit meals will soon become possible. Your weekly meal planning culinary experience will help you develop a repertoire of yummy dishes. Pull a few recipes from your sleeve and your visiting parents will be that much more convinced that you’re an actual adult now. Congratulations.