When I explain to people that I meal prep for my entire week in one afternoon, people look at me like I have six heads. Meal prepping can seem to be a daunting concept to those that aren’t used to doing it. In the beginning, it was a long, grueling, and tiring process. But now that I’ve been meal prepping for the last two years, I’ve finally reached my stride with it. Here are my tips and tricks that I stick to so I can feel just as accomplished as all those Instagram fitness account pictures look.
Pick A Time and Day
I personally choose to prep on Sunday afternoons. I work Monday-Friday and on Saturday morning the last thing I feel like thinking about is the upcoming week. I take each Saturday to decompress, so that come Sunday, I’m ready to think about the week that lies ahead.
I strongly recommend going to your family members for recipes. When I began the process, I first asked my mom if she had any meal ideas. Considering she’s a great cook, she had a plethora of options to choose from. I then headed to Pinterest, which has been an absolute godsend. The options on Pinterest are endless and usually really yummy, when done correctly.
Start Your Own Recipe Book
After getting in the groove, I started to come up with a nice collection of recipes that I rotate through. Some weeks, I forget what I’ve made in the past, so I started keeping a list of recipes that have worked so I can reference them when I feel stumped. I live with two other people, so we decided to use a Google Doc so we can all access it at any time to add recipes.
Invest In a Crockpot
My crockpot has been just as important to this process as Pinterest has. On the weekends that I don’t feel like cooking, I dump ingredients into a crockpot, set a timer, and take a nap. A crockpot is truly a lazy (or busy) person’s best friend. There are a few that you can find for a pretty good deal on Amazon or even eBay.
Only Go Shopping Weekly
To save money and time, I only go grocery shopping on a weekly basis. I make a list throughout the week and shop on Sunday mornings. This way, I don’t go in blindly. I also eat before I go so I don’t buy everything. Going shopping with a list and a full stomach are keys to any successful and cheap shopping trip.
I’ve found that if I don’t take the time to portion all of my meals and snacks ahead of time, I feel lost throughout the week. My mind isn’t fully functioning in the morning, so it’s nice to just grab a proportioned meal out of the fridge every morning and after work each day. It also makes my weeks feel easy and I always thank my past self for setting my present self up so well.
All in all, my prep time usually takes about two to three hours from the time I get to the grocery store to the time I’m done prepping – depending on what I make. I only spend about $50 a week on my portion of the grocery bill. That’s right, I spend just over $7 a day on food, or less than $3 per meal. The best part is that it’s all pretty healthy too, so I’ve lost almost 20 pounds along the way. I’m all about a healthy, quick, and cheap recipe. Not to mention, meal prepping makes me feel like I have this whole adulting thing down pretty well. At least I have that going for me.
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