Want to save money, eat more healthfully and reduce stress all at once? Try planning menus for yourself and your family.

Someone once said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That might be a little bit of an overstatement in this context.  But, maybe not…

If you decide to sit down say once a week, perhaps on Sunday afternoon and give some thought and attention to what you will be feeding yourself during the upcoming week, you can organize your meals to have balanced nutrition and a variety of flavor profiles. These will provide a healthy balance of foods for your body and fend off boredom at the same time.  This planning can make responsible use of the money and resources that you have as well.  If you match up your menu plan with local grocery ads, sales and coupons, you’ll save money.  By shopping once for the whole week instead of running out every day, or two, you’ll save time and gasoline.  And, if the whole family knows in advance what’s on the menu, you can eliminate the question of “what’s for dinner” altogether.  You no longer have to stress or panic over what to prepare, or worry about forgetting to take something out of the freezer in time to cook it for yourself, or your loved ones.  With this simple plan, you can restore peace, health and budget consciousness to your kitchen and your week.  And, guess what?  It’ll taste pretty good, too.

A few months ago, I found this free website that I love.  It has all kinds of menus, recipes and other simple household solutions.  The recipes are all pretty easy and all of the advice offered on the site makes sense, even if you’re a beginner at cooking and house-keeping.  You can also sign-up there to receive weekly menus and other household tips that are all free.

Heather Solos, the founder of the site has a suggestion for keeping weekly menus interesting as well as healthy. I have adapted her idea and made it my own.  Here’s my “system” for my weekly menu plans:

Meatless Monday, Tex-Mex (Americana) Tuesday, Worldwide (International) Wednesday, This & That (Restaurant, or Left-Overs) Thursday, Fish / Seafood Friday, Simple (Sandwiches, Soups, Salads, Starters, etc…) Saturday and Special (More elaborate, or time consuming) Sunday.

Within the framework of the above schedule, it is helpful to plan three meals and two snacks each day. Try to choose an item from three of the five food groups for each meal and choose an item from two different categories for each snack.  For example, you could choose oatmeal, scrambled eggs and a piece of fresh fruit for breakfast; raw veggies and some low-fat cheese for a snack, Gluten-free pasta with steamed veggies and grilled chicken, or salmon, or tofu, for lunch; some Greek yogurt with fresh berries for a snack; and a pita pocket with veggies and hummus, or another protein of your choice for dinner.  This is so flexible, that the possibilities are limitless.  My point is that if you sit down once a week and consciously consider what your body needs, what you enjoy eating and the budget you want to use, a few minutes of menu planning can have a huge pay-off in your health and maybe in your life.  In future messages, I’ll be sharing more ideas about menus and lots of my favorite recipes.  Please let me know if there’s any specific recipe, or topic you’d like to see here.

On a final, but very important note, if you are fortunate, as I am, to know each day that you’ll have enough healthy food to eat, then I invite you to find a food related charity in your community and share as much as you can. That way, all of our global family can have the opportunity to experience having enough healthy food to eat as well.  Feeding people is my passion and the purpose of my life.  And so, my intension is that this thing we know as hunger will cease to exist and no one will go hungry.  If we all pull together and help each other, this will happen.  Thank you for being part of our Natural Health Wise family.  We love you.


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