For the past couple of years many of us were able to work from home which enabled us to be able to cook healthy meals on a regular basis. But as offices reopen and we all face the increasing hustle and bustle of life, cooking and eating at home is becoming a hurdle for many people.
A significant number of people have since resorted to buying food in the form of takeaways from restaurants and cafeterias to keep up with their busy lifestyles, which is ok, but tends to get expensive and if we’re being honest may not be the best for our waistlines.
One way to save money and time is by meal prepping.
What is meal prepping?
Meal prepping is the act of preparing your food in advance so that you do not have to come home from work and still have to gather energy to make dinner.
Essentially it’s preparing a bunch of different meals at the same time and then utilizing them throughout the week.
It’s a proven way to lower your grocery bill and help you be more consistent on your diet. The key is to adopt an efficient meal prepping strategy.
How To Get Started With Meal Prepping
The idea of preparing meals that will sustain you for a considerable time is very beneficial. Specifically, if you have a busy work schedule but still want to eat homemade food, then meal prepping is ideal for you.
Even though this approach is appealing and comes with many advantages, it can be a hard nut to crack, especially for beginners who tend to over think or over complicate it
If you are new to batch cooking, you might face a few challenges like finding the right recipes, shopping for ingredients and preparing meals without becoming tired of cooking.
Variety within the meals also is key but once you decide on an efficient, systematic guide, you will not only be able to hack it you’ll find it’s a huge time saver not to mention takes a ton of stress out of your life.
Laurie and I are usually able to cook all our meals for the week in less than 60-90 minutes as an example.
Choosing The Most Convenient Day To Meal Prep
Before you dive into meal prepping, ensure you set the right day for this assignment.
Sunday is one of the most convenient days for most people to cook the different food they wish to eat during the following week. You can do your meal planning on Thursday, get the shopping done on Friday or Saturday and be all set to go on Sunday.
And because it falls on the weekend, where you are (usually) free, it's less stressful as most people are at home and have enough time to start preparing your meals.
You can also consider Wednesday as another day to do meal prep. If you do this then you will not have to cook all your meals on Sunday, which can become quite tiring.
You will also get a chance to add new recipe ideas for the upcoming days as the week progresses so it does give you a bit more flexibility.
The day really doesn’t matter it’s whatever works for you and your schedule that does though it’s best to try and be consistent with 1 or 2 days if you can.
Once you have settled on your most convenient day(s), you can set a reminder or mark your calendar to ensure you do not miss out on the crucial dates you ought to be meal prepping. Start with those meals that can be easily prepared to save on time.
What Contributes To A Positive Meal Prep?
Meal prepping can be frustrating if you do not plan.
The day you are supposed to be making your meals can turn into one stressful episode that you will live to regret. To avoid such an occurrence, there are some factors you need to consider:
● Have the right recipe: Make sure you have gathered the right recipes that will give you the nutrients alongside the diet you are trying to follow. The recipes should be made up of meals you can easily prepare and very accessible ingredients. Even so, this should not prevent you from adding a new recipe as you wish.
● Ensure you have all the necessary ingredients. Trust me there is nothing more frustrating then going to make something and realizing you have to run to the store again because you forgot and ingredient which is why before you start making the first meal, you must make sure you have all the required ingredients.
Meal prepping is not the time to go shopping for groceries or other essential ingredients. Always ensure you have come up with a grocery list and completed your shopping ahead of time.
● Food Preservation is Key. Once you have cooked your meals, you will need to preserve
them so that they can last you throughout the number of days or even weeks!
We like to use restaurant to go containers as they make it super convenient to just grab out of the fridge and toss in the microwave.
We also have some freezer safe bowls that we use as we like to prepare 1 or 2 extra meals each week and freeze them which allows us to have more variety during the week.
Meal prepping is a task that most people would benefit from adopting into their lives. It will save you time and ensure you get through your busy schedule without worrying about what you will eat for lunch or dinner. But…
There is a catch! You have to make it as stress free and easy as possible so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Most important figure out what is the best day, Wednesday and Sunday are the two most common options and then make sure you get your shopping done a day or two before so that you’re ready to go.
As many people find out after a while it becomes second nature and because it saves you so much time and money and is so easy to do the thought of not doing it becomes a chore.