In this article, we are going to teach you some meal prep basics, give you some healthy meal prep ideas and show you how meal prep can save you money, time, and energy. You can then invest the time, energy, and money into yourself to help you get closer to your financial goals.
Make A Meal Plan
The first step to excellent meal prep is planning. Keep your meal plan simple and think of ways to crossover foods; for example, use oats for porridge in the morning and then again in bean burgers for dinner. This will make it easier for you to do your weekly shopping and save you money because you won’t buy anything you don’t need.
Set Aside Time To Prep
We recommend planning 2-4 hours for meal prepping and batch cooking. This means you can get in the zone with what you’re doing and spend as little time as possible in the kitchen throughout the week.
This may sound a tad bit boring or even overwhelming. To make it a more enjoyable experience, put on your favorite TV show or a musical soundtrack you love to sing along to while you cook to make it a more enjoyable experience.
Meal Prep Ideas
Foods that we love to add to our plan include:
● Carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, and couscous.
● Mediterranean vegetables, such as zucchini, peppers, and eggplant.
● Vegan proteins such as lentils, chickpeas, and tofu.
● Meat such as chicken and turkey mince.
● Dips and sauces such as hummus, salsa, guacamole, and french dressing.
5 Meal Prep Hacks
● Freeze backup meals for when you’re running low on supplies in the fridge.
● Batch 4-5 sauces for the week to mix and match between your meals. This helps add variety to your meals and saves you from that ‘oh no, not again’ feeling when you reach for the containers at the end of the week.
● Use Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration.
● Take photos or write down meals that you enjoyed. This will help you when you come to a meal plan in the future, as you’ll have a personal food diary of all the meals you love.
● You may get hungry between meals and feel tempted to buy some granola bars or a bag of chips, so don’t forget to prepare snacks too.
3 Ways Meal Prep Saves You Money
• Reduce Waste
Allowing food to go bad in the fridge is the equivalent of throwing money down the drain. Therefore, when you meal prep, you can be more mindful about your purchasing habits and reducing your overall food waste. This may also inspire you to use foods in creative ways such as blending broccoli stalks in a green smoothie or using them as sticks with hummus.
• Buy In Bulk
Planning ahead means you can plan to buy certain foods in bulk. As some of your finance and economists will know, economies of scale will see the price of items drop as you purchase more of the item. It is no different with food. When you buy more kilograms of rice the price falls and you could see some serious savings over time.
• Cut Back On Takeout
By far, the most effective way to save money on your food bill is to stop eating out and using food delivery apps. Being organized and getting down with the meal prep basics will reduce the temptation to grab something at the drive-thru on the way home from work. It will also save you money with food delivery apps because, let’s face it, these orders can add up, especially with additional delivery and service fees.
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