Meal prepping can save you time and money in a few different ways. One way is by helping you to avoid eating out or ordering takeout as often. When you have a meal already prepared, it’s easier to resist the temptation to spend money on convenience foods. Meal prepping can also help you to save money by allowing you to take advantage of bulk purchasing and sales. When you buy ingredients in larger quantities, you can often get a better price per unit. Additionally, meal prepping can help you to reduce food waste by allowing you to plan and prepare the exact amount of food you need, which can also save you money.
Not only does meal prepping save you money, it saves you time.
By preparing your meals in advance, you won’t have to spend time each day deciding what to make and shopping for ingredients. This can be especially helpful if you have a busy schedule or if you tend to make impulsive food choices when you’re short on time (looking at the mamas out there). Meal prepping can save you time in the kitchen by allowing you to cook multiple meals at once. For example, you could roast a tray of vegetables on Sunday and use them in several different dishes throughout the week. Finally, meal prepping can save you time by reducing the number of dishes you have to clean. When you cook and store your meals in the same containers, you’ll have fewer pots, pans, and utensils to wash.
There are a few simple steps you can follow to get started with meal prepping:
- Decide on your goals: Do you want to meal prep to save money, eat healthier, or save time? Having clear goals will help you to plan your meals and stay motivated.
- Plan your meals: Choose recipes that can be easily scaled up or down, and that will keep well in the fridge or freezer. Consider your schedule and lifestyle when planning your meals.
- Make a grocery list: Based on your meal plan, create a list of the ingredients you will need. This will make shopping easier and help you to avoid impulse purchases.
- Shop for groceries: Stick to your list and try to buy ingredients in bulk to save money.
- Prepare your meals: Set aside some time to chop vegetables, cook grains, and assemble your meals. Consider doubling or tripling recipes to create extra servings that you can freeze for later.
- Store your meals: Divide your meals into individual portions and store them in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer. Label your containers with the name of the dish and the date it was prepared.
If you hate cooking but still want to try meal prepping, there are a few things you can do to make the process more enjoyable:
- Choose recipes that are easy to follow: Look for recipes with simple ingredients and steps that are easy to understand. Avoid recipes that have a lot of unfamiliar techniques or ingredients.
- Start with a few basic recipes: Don’t try to tackle too much at once. Choose a few basic recipes that you can prepare in bulk and then mix and match throughout the week.
- Invest in some good quality, easy-to-use kitchen tools: Having the right tools can make cooking a lot more enjoyable. Consider investing in a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or an Instant Pot, which can make meal prep easier.
- Make meal prep a social activity: Invite a friend or family member to join you in the kitchen. Not only will this make the time go by faster, but it can also be a fun bonding experience.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative: If you hate the idea of cooking, try coming up with new and creative ways to prepare your meals. For example, you could try grilling, roasting, or sautéing your ingredients instead of always relying on the stovetop.
Remember, the goal of meal prep is to make your life easier, not harder. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.