Meal Prep 101March 28, 2023 - Updated May 22, 2023
Meal prepping has become very popular among the 9-5-ers of the world. It makes life easier when you work full time to come home to an already prepared meal. However, meal prepping comes with a variety of benefits for us all, when done right. There is a method to the madness!
What are the benefits of meal prepping?
First and foremost, when you plan your meals ahead of time, you will inevitably save money in a few different ways. I'm sure you've heard someone say, "never go to the grocery store hungry!" Well, the same goes for going to the grocery store without a list. Walking up and down the isles, trying to figure out what you want/need, sets your wallet up for failure. If you take 20 minutes and plan out your snacks and meals, you can go in with a plan and not overspend.
You will also save money on eating out. A lot of us are guilty of taking advantage of the drive thru or Doordash a little too much. This really adds up, and when you have food prepared at home already, you don't have to battle the dreaded decision to spend money eating out when you really don't want to cook. After a long day, none of us want to spend an hour in the kitchen! There is no shame in that, but just prepare so you are one step ahead on those days.
You might find yourself eating healthier when you plan and prep your meals. When you plan and prep your meals, you are much more aware of everything you are eating than when you go out. It is hard to know what restaurants are cooking with, and there's often hidden calories we don't even realize! Meal prepping makes it easier to eat more whole foods and minimize unnecessary ingredients.
Tips and Tricks to Get Started
- Do Your Research: Pinterest will be your best friend on your meal prep journey. We have a board dedicated to prep inspiration, that comes in handy when planning the week's meals! Check it out here.
- Purchase Proper Containers: Meal prep containers are a very important piece of this puzzle. This is the best way to keep all of your meals organized in your fridge, and easy to grab and go. There is tupperware designed for bowls and salads, storing clean fruit, bento boxes and so much more. You can find them on Amazon, at Homegoods, or even in bulk from Costco.
- Reuse ingredients: To take the moneysaving a little bit further, choose meals that you can use the same ingredients for twice. You don't want to totally reinvent the wheel for three meals a day, or you might find yourself buying out the store. For example, when you find chicken breasts are BOGO, plan some dishes that you can use the chicken in different ways, with different spices. Then you have all the protein you need at half the cost. Pro tip: freeze meat when you find it is on sale, and thaw it out the next week! Don't waste it if you don't have time to use it all.
- Meal Prep Services: If cooking is intimidating to you, or you want to learn more about different ingredients and dishes before you dive head first into the produce section, then use a delivery service! You can have a box delivered right to your door, with meals you preselect. All of the ingredients and step-by-step instructions come along with it, simplifying the cooking process even more. This is a really great way to learn to cook for beginners!
We hope these tips inspired you! Happy meal prepping!