How to Save Money with Meal Prep
Over this past year, the meal prep trend has become increasingly more popular. It encourages people to plan their meals ahead of time to eat healthier, save time and save money. From social media posts to online videos and how-to books, you can become a meal prep expert in no time. How can you benefit from the many advantages of meal prep?
- How Meal Prep Promotes Healthy Eating
Have you ever had a terrible day at work and hit traffic on the way home, only to walk in the door to hungry teenagers asking what’s for dinner? In many cases, you probably picked up the phone and ordered takeout to escape the stress of the day. While most people love the occasional pizza or Chinese food night, it can become an unhealthy habit. With meal prep, you can prepare large quantities of foods that freeze well, including lasagna, meatloaf and pot pie. On a busy night when you’re home late from work or the kids have soccer practice, toss a premade meal in the oven and have dinner on the table in no time.
- How Meal Prep Saves Time
At first, it may be overwhelming to think about spending an entire day in the kitchen prepping meals for the week ahead. Start small by chopping up a few extra vegetables with dinner or doubling a recipe for additional portions that you can freeze. Once you develop a system, set aside a couple hours every Sunday to make healthy meals for the week ahead, like hearty soups, protein-packed salads and unique breakfast quiches. Keep staples on hand that are versatile, so you never get tired of eating the same meals.
- How Meal Prep Saves Money
As mentioned, meal prep can save you from spending too much money on takeout. For example, cooking a vegetable lasagna you froze two weeks ago in favor of a $20 pizza saves on cost per serving. Meal prep also encourages you to buy in bulk. Shopping at large warehouse stores, you make less trips per month and often spend less money on more items than in a traditional grocery store. However, if you will not be using an ingredient right away, be sure to have reliable storage containers on hand so no food goes to waste.
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