How Meal Planning Saved Our Family

Life moves so quickly…and in our house it seems to move at light speed. It seems like no time since I began blogging and yet when I look back I see that years have passed. And so too has our family changed and our lifetstyle goals evolved. When I began my blog in 2012, my daughter was only a few months old and we had made the decision to QUIT sugar. Boy was that hard!

Since then,  we gradually cut out grains, soy products, legumes, starches such as rice and potatoes, and pretty much all processed foods. Now, we follow a Paleo Primal diet for our kids and my husband and I follow Banting for weight loss and stick with Paleo the rest of the time. We all found this hard. The kids hated being different and Johan and I found it hard to prepare everything from scratch day after day. Add to that I returned to full time work and Johan took up part-time work in the evenings after minding the younger children in the day.

We were committed and tried to stick to the lifestyle we had chosen, bit it was tricky – something had to give. Our meals became repetitive as we learned a few recipes to suit our food choices, but we really struggled with budget for food and often had to throw away unused items. Clearly we needed to make some changes. Many of the food bloggers I followed suggested best meal planning and I remembered my mother had always had a “menu” of our weekly meals when we were growing up.

For a month or so, we tried creating our own. On Friday nights, before we did the weekly shop, Johan and I would sit together and plan meals. We pored through our cookbooks and asked our older boys for their input and in theory this worked well, but in practice not so much. Often what we had included in our meals was not on special or there were ingredients we just couldn’t get in Regional Australia. Sometimes we just didn’t feel like cooking what we had planned.

Then I found the answer to our problem. I literally stumbled across it in my Facebook feed. It has changed our lives. We went from spending 4+ hours a week planning meals we didn’t always cook, to spending just 15 minutes planning a whole fortnight of meals. Real Plans is so easy to use that it takes only minutes to plan a week’s worth of meals. It creates a meal plan automatically, which I can customize as much as I’d like and then I can view the plan, recipes and shopping list on my phone. I can even change meals while I am shopping based on available specials, which has been a tremendous money saver for us.

Another bonus? With Real Plans you can choose a variety of food types or a specific eating plan such as Paleo and it automatically narrows down your meal choices to reflect this. This is a huge time saver if you have specific dietary needs.

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