4 Reasons You Are Failing at Meal Planning

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We all know meal planning can save you money, but you have to actually put in the effort to do it. Here are 4 likely reasons you are failing at meal planning.

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4 reasons youre failing at meal planning1

You know the saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail”? That quote is exactly what inspired me to write this post. We all want to save time and money at the grocery store. Who wouldn’t want to keep a few extra dollars in their pockets? After all, every dollar you save by meal planning means extra dollars to spend on unnecessary crafting items from Target’s Dollar spot–or is that just me?

For some of us though, meal planning may seem more like a chore than something that makes our lives easier. Instead of answering the daily question of what’s for dinner, it may seem like it creates questions. But meal planning doesn’t have to be hard. Once you get past these 4 reasons you are failing at meal planning, you’ll see just how much it can save us time, money and sanity.

4 Reasons You Are Failing At Meal Planning

You don’t have time.

Let’s face it, we all could use a little bit more time in the day, whether we need it to spend with the kids, finish up laundry or plan out next week’s meals. But the fact is, once you start meal planning each week, you’ll realize that the 10 minutes it takes to do actually saves you time. Yes, you read that right. Saves.you.time.

Think about it. If you have a clear plan of what you are going to make each day, then you know exactly what you need at the store. This will save you from wandering aimlessly through each aisle trying to desperately think of everything you might need. We’ve all been there.

Plus, If you have no clue what you are making for dinner an hour before you need to make it, chances are whatever it is you come up with you’ll be an ingredient or two short. It never fails. You’ll have to get in the car and make a special trip just to get the missing ingredients. Plus you’ll probably end up buying other things that you don’t really need. So, meal planning = saved time AND money.

You think meal plans need to be elaborate or fancy.

This is a huge misconception. Meal plans aren’t meant to be some elaborate cooking schedule that makes your life more difficult. Meal plans are supposed to be comprised of easy, go-to recipes that you cycle through within a month. And if you happen to love cooking and have a day that you can make a fancier meal–go for it! Meal plans are meant to make your life easier and your grocery budget smaller.

You hate cooking.

I’ll be honest, most days when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is cook, and I generally enjoy cooking. So, I can see why if you absolutely despise cooking, or you don’t know your way around a kitchen, putting food on the table is a chore.

But, even if you loathe cooking, or you’re the type of person that can burn water, you can still benefit from a meal plan. It doesn’t matter what you are making–peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, heating up a frozen dinner–whatever it is, you’ll know ahead of time and you’ll already have everything you need in your fridge/pantry/freezer.

You aren’t organized.

This was a big one for me. Some weeks I’d be on the ball, and by Friday evening I’d already have next week’s meals planned out and on our chalkboard menu. But then I’d go weeks without giving dinner a second thought until the morning of. That’s when I came up with a Meal Planning Binder. Not only can I plan out our meals a month at a time, but I also have every item in our fridge, freezer and pantry right at my fingertips, along with a list of all of our favorite recipes.

Now, I’m not saying you need some elaborate way of organizing your meal plans, but having somewhere to keep recipes, and inventory really does make it easier to stay on track. Plus it goes way back to #1–saving time

Now that you know why you are failing at meal planning, you can figure out how to make it work for you, your family and your schedule! Remember “failing to plan is planning to fail’!

What are some other road blocks you find yourself running into when it comes to meal planning?

4 Reasons you are failing at meal planning

Some other posts you may find helpful:

How to Save on Produce

How to Save Money on Produce

Easy Guide to Meal Planning

Easy Guide to Meal Planning


  1. Oh, this article can shove it. I hate meal planning, mainly because the people who are successful at it brag about it being the best and only way to do things. No one cares. All it does is make those who aren’t successful at it feel like worthless failures because we aren’t living up to some domestic goddess dream. So, you do you, the rest of us will keep winging it.

  2. Meal planning has been such an ongoing struggle for me, I made it my one New Year’s resolution last year! I struggle with many of the same challenges that you listed in this post, but also the fact that I live with 3 incredibly picky eaters. It’s nearly impossible to find a meal that all 4 of us will eat 🙂

    Visiting from the Merry Monday Link Party

    1. I’m sure having picky eaters to cook for is no fun and makes everything that much harder! I am thankful my husband will eat anything I put in front of him, even if it’s unrecognizable 🙂 Thank you for stopping by Natalie!

    1. Oh girl believe me you are not the only one! Usually there will be one night I get home and I’m like “nope, not cooking, you can’t make me” So we eat leftovers or sandwiches. If that happens though I just switch meals around as needed, or we have that meal the next week. No harm no foul

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