In a perfect world, we would all have the luxury of a personal chef who takes care of all of our meal prep, as well as someone who will take care of buying the groceries…and while we’re at it, someone to clean everything up. The reality is, most of us can’t afford to have this kind of help, and meal prepping is one of the most difficult things to incorporate into our schedules.
This can lead to two undesirable things: spending way too much money on eating out on a regular basis (which can also mean a lot of unhealthy choices as well), and also the worst of all: throwing out ingredients that have spoiled because we haven’t used them in time.
Both of these options are less than optimal, since both involve spending and/or wasting large amounts of money that can otherwise be avoided. There is one key way to avoid both of these pitfalls, and it may come as a surprise: leftovers!
Okay — we know, leftovers don’t exactly scream out “exciting,” but we promise if you follow our advice, both your tummy and your wallet will be thanking us.
So we should clarify, when we say “leftovers” we don’t mean day-old stale pizza, reheated in a microwave into a sad, limp lunch. In fact, we want to redefine the word “leftover” for everyone. The key to successfully saving ingredients from ending up in the trash, and in turn, your hard-earned money, is meal prepping.
Meal prepping is the solution to all of these problems. Yes, it does involve some work, but with careful planning, you can actually save yourself some time and money, and we promise you’ll be really happy with these results.
First of all, the main thing is planning ahead. We suggest to meal prep on Sunday evenings, that way you can tackle the rest of your week without having to worry about your meals. Take a few minutes to think about what your upcoming week will look like. How many lunches will you need? What about dinners? With that information in mind, you can strategically plan what you’ll make and when. At first this may seem daunting, but within a few times, you’ll become a pro at this.
While we suggest Sunday evenings as meal prep time, we suggest that you plan earlier on Sunday, so then you can grocery shop and know exactly what you’ll need. That way, you won’t buy things you won’t really use (and will most likely end up in the trash).
The next thing that will end up being your best friend is the Crockpot. This magical device allows you to throw some ingredients in and will do the hard part for you: the actual cooking. This will come in handy if you need to prep in the middle of the week, that way if you have the ingredients on hand, you can throw them all in the night before and have an amazing meal ready for the next few days.
Our most valuable suggestion? While you’re already meal prepping, go ahead and double that recipe. Why? Well, if you’re already taking the time to prepare your meals ahead of time, why not double the amount and freeze it? This will save you tons of time, and trust us, we know how valuable that is. This way, on days when you’re not feeling like cooking or simply don’t have the time, you can have a meal ready on hand. We also suggest freezing portions in separate containers to really make your life easy.
What do you think of meal prepping? Do you have any other time and money saving tips?