Trying to be a little better with your grocery and eating out budget? If you're curious about meal prepping for yourself or for your family, here are 5 quick tips to get you started.
#1 Plan Ahead
This is a big one and may seem like a “duh” moment, but creating a solid meal plan for the week and a thorough grocery list will save you so much time and headache through the week.
When planning ahead, take into consideration your schedule for the week. Can you meal prep Sunday through Wednesday and then visit the grocery store again mid-week? Or are you busy and need to prep for the entire week? A lot of people fall out of meal prepping because they get tired of the meals they’ve made for the week. So if you can switch it up mid-week, do it!
#2 Shop your kitchen first.
After you’ve made your initial shopping list, take a moment to shop your pantry and refrigerator. You might find a few supplies you forgot you had and this may adjust a few of your recipes (and save you money on your grocery bill).
#3 Save and store your favorite recipes.
If you’re like most people, you either pull recipes from your favorite cookbook or research new recipes online. If you pull recipes from the internet, save yourself the future frustration of having to look them up again by writing them down!
Writing down the recipes instead of saving them to a folder on your computer gives you the opportunity to make notes and adjust the recipe how you like.
#4 Make batches and get used to leftovers.
Cut your meal prep time in half by making the same recipe for multiple meals. This is called batch cooking. Like we mentioned earlier, sometimes people give up on meal prepping because they get tired of eating the same thing each day during the week. Mix up your recipes by batch cooking rice, noodles, or a large tray of vegetables. Then switch up your protein for each meal. With this method you’re going to save a lot of time, but you have to be a leftovers kind of person for this to be successful.
#5 Make it fun!
Meal prepping is a chore but you’re doing it for a reason. It’s going to save time during the work week, it will prepare meals that are ready to heat up when the kids start asking for dinner, and it will save your food budget by not spending on takeout. Make this chore fun by involving the kids! Or if you need some quiet parent time, meal prep while listening to your favorite audiobook or podcast.
Once meal prepping becomes a weekly habit, it will get easier and you’ll get faster. Happy eating!