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Pursuing true North – Meal Planner

School season is upon us, whether you are homeschooling, public school, or private. Either way, the fate of packed schedules, school times, and activities are coming for you. 

Family life sometimes can feel like you can’t catch your breath. Yet, so commonly, the thing I see slide in working with people is nutrition. The quick drive-through on the way to practice or the “I forgot to pull something out” and five o’clock is here. There are two main reasons for you to stop going right now, especially in this economy.  

It’s common, and if it were a once-in-a-blue-moon, that’s not a problem. However, if that’s your default or more than once a month’s practice, I want to challenge you. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own

If you are a Christian, you may hear it on Sunday morning to give your life to Christian or that you were born again and made new. Have you ever stopped to think about that for a minute? The Holy Spirit dwells in you. You are supposed to take care of yourself because you are God’s child. 

1 – Fast Food/takeout is terrible for you – This is not a meal plan

At this point, unless you live under a rock, you know fast food is bad for you. We’ve all seen the four-month-old french fries and chicken nuggets in the back of a minivan that still looks the EXACT same as when you bought it. Yeah, that’s right, not even mold will touch takeout food, so why are you? 

Taking care of yourself wherever you are on your spiritual journey needs to be prioritized. If you are a parent, your child’s growth needs to be at the forefront of your mind when feeding them. 

I know; I have five kids myself. If your kids are like mine, they may beg and plead to eat some of these foods, and once every month is not a horrible thing. But to do it regularly could be detrimental. 

Childhood obesity and diabetes, among other issues, are on the rise. Stay strong in saying no for their own good regarding these things. Just like you won’t let them put their hands in a fire, do not let them be consumed by food that will not help their brain and body growth. 

2 – NOT SO GOOD FOR THE WALLET – Yes Meal plans helps you stay in your budget

The second biggest reason I am going to plead with you to stay away from takeout and fast food is the reality of what it does to your wallet. As a Financial Life Coach, I have heard the excuses and seen the effects of eating out firsthand. 

It starts as “Well, it seemed cheaper to go through the drive-through.” to the “It’s only $20.” Or if you are feeding a family of four, “It’s only $40.”

Let me assure you; that it is not cheaper to eat out than go to the grocery store and cook at home. Even in these times of high cost, it is still not cheaper. 

I have worked with several families that didn’t realize that all those drive-through purchases added up to MORE THAN THEIR MORTGAGE. Yes, you read that right. Line by line, we went through all the purchases. And this was not just one client; this has been a common recurring problem in the US. So don’t feel that you are alone in this struggle. It is common in our society. Even if you don’t get some of the health care issues from eating this way, your monthly budget and financial future are jeopardized.

All those little swipes of the card at fast food places are more expensive and less healthy than eating at home. 

The average cost of a family of four eating at home grocery bill should be about $600-$1000. You can make food go farther when you make it at home. 

So how do you make this simpler and more successful? By doing something you may have heard of in the past; Meal Planning. 

Yes, you can do this. I will say that meal planning gets easier with time. 

Here at Pursuing true North, we just created a pretty meal planner template for you. 

How detailed you want to get on it is up to you. Write out what you want for dinner each night. Think about how much time on which night of the week you have. If you or your husband need leftovers for work and so on. Then from that write your shopping list. 

The link for the beautiful template is here. Sometimes having it look appealing helps your motivation. Happy Cooking!

Jenny Cioto with Pursuing true North