Meal prepping seems to be all of the rage currently, and for good reason. It comes with a plethora of benefits for your body, wallet, and more.
Meal prepping is an excellent way to save time throughout the week while
In this post, we’ll explore some of the benefits you can achieve by prepping your meals ahead of time. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- What is Meal Prepping?
- How to Start Meal Prepping?
- Benefits of Meal Prepping
- Meal Prepping Tips
- Can Vegetarians Meal Prep?
- Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Meal Prepping
What is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping is a form of cooking in which you plan and cook meals for a large portion of the week. You can think of it as a schedule for what you will eat that is cooked ahead of time in order to save time and eat healthier.
How to Start Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping can take some time to master, but the basics are extremely simple.
To start meal prepping, you’ll want to first take note of what ingredients and equipment you have. While it’s not necessary to write these items down, it may help you when constructing your grocery list later.
Then, you’ll want to do some research to find recipes that look appealing to you. Some recipes are healthier than others Depending on your health goals, you might want to analyze the nutrition facts of various recipes before proceeding.
After deciding which recipes to make, you’ll want to make a grocery list for the items you’ll need. Remember to subtract items you already have.
Next, it’s time to hit the grocery and purchase these items. Remember to bring your list with you!
Finally, it’s time to get cooking. It might be easier to batch cook your meals to speed up the process. You’ll likely need to dedicate a few hours to cook your meals and clean the kitchen.
Once finished cooking, be sure to store your meals in the proper containers in a refrigerator to keep them fresh.
That’s it! Now you can enjoy your meals throughout the week saving you time and headache.
Benefits of Meal Prepping
Below are some of the top benefits you can get by meal prepping.
Save Time by Meal Prepping
The most obvious benefit of meal prepping is saving time throughout the week.
While there isn’t necessarily a “net gain” of time, you basically shift your time spent cooking from throughout the week to on the weekends (or whenever you choose to meal prep).
By batch cooking all of your meals at once, you will be much more efficient than cooking each meal individually.
Meal prepping can have a profound impact on your budget. You’ll find that by planning your meals and grocery trips, you can save hundreds of dollars each month between purchasing unnecessary items at the grocery and eating out at restaurants more often than you should.
By having a grocery list, you’ll spend less at the grocery each week, saving you money.
Reducing Food Waste
If you have any passion for the environment, meal prepping can help to reduce food waste, an unnecessary environmental impact of our poor habits.
For many families, we often buy too many groceries and end up throwing away spoiled foods because we never got the chance to cook them.
By meal prepping, you can avoid this completely. Any leftover foods after meal prepping can be frozen or eaten quicker.
Probably one of the largest reasons people meal prep is because of the convenience it brings. No longer will you have to decide what to eat and then cook your food when the time comes. Instead, your meals will be planned and cooked ahead of time helping you to make better decisions with your food and body. Just heat up your meals in the microwave for a couple of minutes and you’re good to go!
Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
There’s a reason so many fitness professionals choose to meal prep. Because it works! Meal prepping is one of the easiest things you can do to cut calories and get in shape fast.
When choosing recipes to prepare, you can craft a diet that works with your health and fitness goals. For example, if you’re looking to build muscle, there are many high protein meal prep recipes to help you. If you’re looking to cut calories, you might opt for recipes with more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates to reach your goals.
Meal prepping also allows you to better track your vitamin and mineral intake. For those with low iron, you could meal prep with spinach to increase your iron intake without thinking twice!
Each decision you make comes with a cost, whether you’re aware of it or not. The more decisions you make, the more mental fatigue occurs. By meal prepping, you can make your meals for the week allowing you to make fewer decisions throughout the week about what to eat. This will let you focus on things that are more important like work, relationships, or other passions.
Become a Better Cook
As you become more seasoned at meal prepping, you’ll notice your cooking skills start to rise and foods will taste even better. You can use these skills to prepare new dishes and recipes that you’ve always wanted to prepare.
Meal Prepping Tips
If you need help getting started meal prepping, check out a few of these tips!
Find Meals You Like
To ensure you don’t waste food, finding meals that taste good to you is key. This comes over time, experimenting. It may take a few weeks to find meals that you love, but it’s well worth it. Keep a list of meals that you recommend for later.
Rotate Your Menu
You might find yourself tired of eating the same meals week after week. Instead, try to vary your menu so you can stay on track with your goals. Make time to try cooking new meals every couple of weeks.
Set Time Aside to Meal Prep Each Week
It’s common to meal prep once per week. Plan a day each week to do this. Meal prepping can take a few hours and you’ll likely need to go to the grocery before getting started.
If you work a typical 9-5 job, Sundays are a great day to meal prep.
Purchase Meal Prep Containers
Storing your meals is critical to the process. Ensuring your meals are stored properly will help you to keep them fresh for as long as possible. It’s best to purchase airtight containers that are sectioned out for different sides.
- Microwave Safe
- BPA Free
- Dishwasher Safe
Find Similar Recipes
To cut down on costs and save time, preparing recipes that use many of the same ingredients can be an excellent option. Instead of having to buy various ingredients, you can use the same ones over and over.
Some common ingredients you might want to keep stocked include:
- Herbs and spices
- Cooking oils
- Canned goods
- Pasta and rice
If you end up making too much food, don’t forget to use the freezer to reduce your food waste and save money. These foods or meals can be thawed and reheated later.
Related: Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?
Try Different Cooking Techniques
There are many ways you can cook meals, try several options and see which works best for you. For example, if you typically bake chicken, you might try grilling it for a different flavor. You may find you like the taste of certain cooking methods better than others. Some cooking methods include:
Cook Twice Per Week
If you find that your meals are not as fresh throughout the week, consider cooking fewer meals but upping the frequency to twice each week. You’ll have to sacrifice some time, but it can be worth it to encourage you to keep eating your meals and reducing food waste.
Buy in Bulk
For foods and ingredients with a long shelf life, buying in bulk can help you to save money. If you have a membership to a wholesale club, take advantage and purchase canned goods or dry foods in bulk.
Sometimes you may not have all the ingredients you need to complete your next meal. Instead of stopping right there, consider using substitutes to help finish the dish.
Can Vegetarians Meal Prep?
Certainly! There is no limit on who can meal prep. For vegetarians, you might need to spend some time find a recipe that works for your taste and nutrition requirements.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Meal Prepping
Meal prepping has various profound benefits ranging from a healthier lifestyle to more money left in your wallet at the end of the month.
By dedicating time to meal prepping each week you can eat healthier, save time during the week, and reduce food waste.
What are you waiting for? Get started meal prepping today!