We’ve all been there; staring into the fridge for over five minutes, or searching through our pantry for something to eat, then ordering a pizza because the thought of cooking an entire meal is exhausting. Meal prepping can be extremely overwhelming – along with the guilt you might feel for wasting food if you don’t eat everything you purchased. And with the state of the world right now, energy and motivation is tough to find.
Take a breath and follow these tricks.
FIVE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
ONE | Consider skipping the pricey health food trends
We all read and hear way too much from the internet when it comes to food, but all nutrient dense foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats can be considered “superfoods.” It might be an unpopular opinion but you don’t need bee pollen or chia seeds to change your life. There are plenty of affordable foods like cranberries or a variety of seeds that work just as well! Don’t let everything you read on the internet guilt you into luxury food items. The key word here is luxury, not necessity.
TWO | Invest in clear glass containers
Typically, glass containers will be better to use than plastic for your prep in terms of longevity – especially if you’re going to be microwaving them. Wirecutter has a list of 2020’s best food storage containers.
THREE | Search for produce that’s in season
Consumers who buy produce during it’s growing season will get the most nutrition, freshest ingredients and get this – the lowest prices! We suggest shopping local for some of your produce if you can – it will help nurture a healthy agricultural community nationwide.
FOUR | Buy items in bulk
This is a key hack for those really trying to be budget conscious when it comes to meal prep. When you plan out your meals, pick out some of the staple ingredients you will be using and see how many of them you can buy in bulk. It will absolutely save you money in the long run.
FIVE | Make a list before you shop
Planning out your meals ahead of time will help you when it comes time to grocery shop. It’s easy to see things that look good
FIVE WAYS TO SAVE TIME
ONE | Dedicate one day to cook all meals
This is probably one of the TOP hacks. Meal prepping for an entire week is extremely time consuming, but it will help you stay on track with your nutrition goals throughout the week, which may be arguably more important than working out like an animal everyday. Maintaining a well balanced diet is crucial to your health.
TWO | It’s worth it to splurge on pre cut produce
Chopping and prepping your ingredients probably takes up more than half of the time during meal prep. You can avoid this and save even more time by splurging on pre cut produce. I.e onions, tomatoes, peppers. If you are extremely specific with the brand of produce you use, one way to save yourself time would be to cut ALL of your fresh bought produce in bulk for the entire week the day before you meal prep. Veggies are easy to freeze or leave in the fridge for when you’re ready to throw it all together!
THREE | Cook all of your proteins at once
If you’re going to make 3 or 4 standard/vegetarian/pescatarian etc. meals during the week, COOK THEM ALL AT ONCE. We can not stress this enough. Prepping proteins will be your lifesaver – and if you’re thinking to yourself “I can’t eat the same thing everyday”… we were just thinking the same thing! (props to those who don’t mind). Throughout the week you can add different spices or sauces to give yourself variety.
FOUR | Don’t complicate your meals
Not every meal you make needs to have a thousand ingredients. Pick recipes that have few steps that you already love. Less is more when it comes to this too.
FIVE | Make more one-pot dishes
One pot meals are an easy way to put dinner on the table in a short amount of time and save yourself time from all of those pots, pans and other dishes you would have to clean if you made a different meal. Your weeknight saving grace is here!
Being a parent, full time student, or having a full time job where all of your meals are consumed on the go, standing up, or in an office — we all understand how important it is to find ways to save ourselves time with the daily tasks that come with all of these responsibilities. Taking charge of your health is extremely important while trying to keep up with all of these things as well. It’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves with thousands of things going on in our lives and in our brains. We hope you use these meal prep hacks to put you on the right path so you have time to crush your workouts, plan your meals, and everything in between!