As you know, I’m a recent convert to meal prepping. This is a pretty loose term and people use it mean different things – so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and experience (thus far) and what I mean when I say that I’m ‘meal prepping’.
I use the term meal prepping in a broad way – I am preparing and packaging lunches and breakfasts well in advance (about a weeks worth each Sunday) and I am also doing some dinner prep ahead of time (why not since I’ve got the kitchen ‘open’!). I’m not yet to the point of cooking in advance and freezing meals, but that may come!
Why I meal prep:
1. Money savings!
Cha-Ching!! Who doesn’t want to save money!? Meal prepping has definitely saved me money. I throw away FAR less food and I am buying a lot less food as I can see what a week’s worth ‘need’ actually is now. For instance, I used to buy apples and just put a bunch in a bag figuring it will surely last a week – and they did, but normally more than a week. I was actually overbuying. I wasn’t wasting them, I found uses and I carried them over into the next week, but the bottom line is that I have found I don’t NEED that many. It’s that way with several things I buy. Prepping in advance REALLY allows me to see what I use and then I can plan for the following week. I am learning how much of what items to buy and THAT is cost effective! I also have found that I’m not throwing away as much. Things that I may decide I don’t’ want to eat this or that day or things that get shoved to the back of the fridge. Now I eat what I pack and my fridge is much more organized.
2. Time! (we have JUST enough hours!)
At first blush it may seem like an overwhelming and time consuming task. Making 5-6 lunches and 5-6 breakfasts all at once!?!! WHAAAAAAT?!??!!!
But really, I’m cooking anyway on Sunday, this is like making one more meal (a big meal, yes, but just one more) and then dividing it up into containers. Really, it’s quite simple . That extra bit of time on Sunday saves me LOADS of time each morning trying to make something to take to work for Bfast and Lunch. And repeating it EVERY morning, instead of doing it once on Sunday. It’s one prep, one mess, one clean up rather than 5 or more. With a little thought I can cook two or three different things in the oven at the same time. I can bake AND broil at the same time. REALLY. It is saving loads of time. 🙂
3. Peace of mind
Ahhhh, another lovely benefit. I am not worrying over what to make. I’m not thinking about what I have and how I am going to have to rush to throw it together. Trying to make something FAST so I won’t be hangry during the day. In fact, I began by prepping bfasts and lunches a week in advance and then taking them each day, now I take the entire week’s worth in with me on Monday morning! I now have a calm morning and can jet out the door without even opening the fridge to grab what I’ve prepacked!
4. Health Benefits
For me, prepping has made me more conscious about what I’m eating. And even more than that – how much I am eating. Portion control is a big benefit I hadn’t thought of and actually hadn’t started out thinking about. I had purchased containers that looked great – big enough, divided – a large side and a smaller side. And then the other day it hit me that the larger side was still quite large. So when I was at Target this past weekend I looked for various individual containers….in various sizes. Now I have a half cup size, a one cup size, and a larger size. I can mix and match and I know without measuring if I’m putting in a half cup of yogurt!
Those are some reasons why I meal prep – what about you?
Leave a comment below with your reasons or questions, comments, experiences of meal prepping!