Basics of Meal Prep
We are back again with another trick to cut your grocery expenses! This time we want to help you understand the basics of meal prep. We have gotten a lot of questions. What is meal prep? How can it help you? I don’t want to eat the same thing all the time. Why would I meal prep? Turns out there is a lot of confusion around what meal prep is and isn’t.
What is meal prep?
The first thing we need to address is the concept that meal prep has to consist of make ahead meals this is quite frankly what discourages most people from trying this out. This is simply not true. Meal prep is the act of preparing for upcoming meals. You can meal prep without fully cooking your food ahead of time.
Meal prep can include things such as pre-seasoning or marinating your meat, cutting your vegetables in advance, or portioning out your ingredients. It can also be having make-ahead meals on hand for particularly busy days. The choice of which method you prefer is totally yours and yours alone. What works for others may not work for you and vice versa.
How Can Meal Prep Help You?
There are many benefits to meal prep. One of the biggest ones being it can help you to stay on track with your goals to eat at home. You won’t be as tempted to just grab a quick take out meal as you’re time crunched or dreading the work to cook your dinner.
I also find that when you prep your food in advance it is more likely you will use the food. This will save you money in two different ways. No wasted food and it’s definitely cheaper to eat at home than grabbing that take out.
It can make busy mornings or evenings a lot easier to handle. I know there are nights in my house where having everything prepped for my meal has been a blessing.
Ways to Meal Prep with Variety.
Breakfast oats are a great one I do. I make the base the same but I add different fruits and flavoring to them. I also only have those 3 days of my week. I prep and freeze egg muffins in batches and usually have these 2 days. I choose a fresh breakfast the other two days. By prepping my weekday breakfasts a head of time I ensure I can have variety and not be time crunched.
I prep and cut all my vegetables at once. Usually on grocery day. This way I am less likely to be cleaning rotten unused veggies out of my crisper in a week. I separate and season what I need for certain meals and I am able to put the rest in containers for snacks for the week.
I season and repackage all of my meat for my meals once a week. This does not mean I need to eat the same meal all week. I do tend to season a batch of meat at once and marinate or season it together and then divide and freeze what I won’t use this meal for another weeks dinner.
Meal prep does not need to mean no varieties in your meals. You will find what works for you.
Tips for Successful Meal Prep
When you’re planning your prep there are some things you should keep in mind.
The most important of which is how long things will stay fresh. I would not eat chicken stored in my fridge for 9 days. It is counter productive if your foods are going bad before you can partake in them.
Plan your prep for when you have time. Don’t try to meal prep on a night you have a million things going on. This will not work out well.
In order to properly prep you will need to meal plan we have a whole article to help you to do that HERE!!
For more great ways to cut expenses and keep your money in your pocket check out our website HERE!
We hope this basics to meal prep has been helpful to you!