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7 Compelling Reasons Not to Meal Plan

7 Compelling Reasons Not to Meal Plan

By Samantha Rodman

Everyone is all about meal planning lately. It’s like Pilates 10 years ago, or some trendy form of exercise now, except I wouldn’t know because the last time I exercised was 10 years ago. Anyway, while getting out a piece of paper and taking inventory of your pantry certainly sounds like fun to some weird folks, there are just as many reasons to eschew meal planning in favor of your usual “creative foraging” method.

1. Spontaneity

You never get to just hop in your car and take a road trip to a music festival anymore. Or pierce your belly button for the heck of it.

But you know what can compensate for the never-ending monotony of your days? The ability to have no idea what you’ll have for dinner that night. And it’s 5 PM already! Live dangerously, my friend.

2. Cultural awareness

When you meal plan, you often end up with the same seven American-style recipes every week. But when you have no idea what the heck you’ll make for dinner, you need to meld the flavors of different ethnic cuisines in order to get something on the damn table.

Hello, pasta mixed with black beans, oregano, and soy sauce. It’s Chinese-Italian night, guys!

3. Hospitality

If you only bought enough chicken breasts for your family of five, what about when your teenage daughter invites her boyfriend over for dinner every single night of junior year?

With your fly-by-night approach, you never know what you’ll be eating anyway, so you can just throw another box of pasta into the pot and you’re good to go. Doesn’t this kid have his own family, by the way?

4. Marital excitement

Imagine those poor guys who have a chalkboard in the kitchen telling them that in exactly 10 hours and thirty minutes, they will be ingesting baked chicken and mashed potatoes?

Boy, they must yearn for a spirited, creative, unpredictable woman like you to feed them surprise Pop-Tarts for dinner. Naked. I mean, you don’t serve them naked, but they probably yearn for someone to do that.

5. Portion control

If you’d plan ahead, you’d totally give yourself a full plate of food. But when you only have three steaks in the freezer, they go to your kids and your husband, and you’ll just have seconds of mac and cheese. Which weirdly, hasn’t made you lose weight yet, but maybe the scale is broken.

6. Romance

Having cereal or ramen noodles for dinner never fails to make you remember the nights you and your now-husband spent hanging out in your early 20s, poverty-stricken, bored, and wishing you were eating steak or salmon. And in love! Don’t forget that part!

7. Awesome parenting

When people aren’t talking about meal planning, they’re talking about “grit,” that buzzword that means that your kids are resilient, tough, and persistent, and then they become CEOs or something.

Where else can your kids learn to think outside the box and make do with less than at the dinner table? Hello, cheese and raisin sandwiches with a side of leftover meatballs!

Don’t tell Grandma what dinner was tonight when you see her tomorrow, okay?