The Top 3 Benefits of Meal Prepping and 3 Helpful Tips to Get Startedon
Should you meal prep, or is it a waste of time?
What exactly is meal prepping anyway?
Meal prepping is when you choose one day of the week to prepare all or most of the meals and snacks you’re going to eat for the next few days.
If you’re tired of having to cook multiple healthy meals every day, or you’re just super busy and don’t have the time to do that, learning how to meal prep may be a giant help.
But if you’re still unsure whether it’s worth your time, we’re going to share the top benefits of meal prep before showing you the best way to go about it in today’s guide.
The Top 3 Benefits of Meal Prep
Designating one day to cook or prep a week’s worth of good eats may seem like a lot of work. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the following perks when you adopt this healthy habit:
1. Meal Prep Ultimately Saves Time
Despite the upfront effort, meal prepping actually saves time compared to cooking every meal fresh.
Rather than washing and chopping veggies, cooking your protein, and cleaning up each time you need to eat, you’ll only need to do these activities once to create multiple meals you can grab whenever you’re hungry.
So instead of spending one hour in the kitchen every day (sometimes multiple times per day), you might spend two hours on meal prep and just 15 minutes in the kitchen each day after that.
2. You’ll Always Have Healthy Meals on Hand
Meal prepping helps you stock your fridge, so you always have healthy options to eat or take with you on the go.
If a busy, stressful day at work means you don’t feel like cooking, you won’t be tempted to order takeout because a healthy meal will already be waiting for you when you get home, thanks to your meal prepping efforts.
3. Meal Prepping Also Helps You Save Money
Meal prepping in large batches is cheaper to do and better for your budget than cooking individual meals and snacks.
You can buy your meat and veggies in bulk, which costs less money than buying one or two items at once. And you can score bonus points if you buy bulk quantities when they’re on sale.
Plus, meal prepping means you’ll be less likely to buy expensive pre-made meals and pre-cut veggies, which always come with a significant up charge for the convenience.
So now that you know the benefits of meal prepping, you’re probably wondering how to meal prep for the week.
3 Tips On Meal Prepping To Get You Started ASAP
These three tips on meal prepping will help you get the most out of it without wasting any time or money:
1. Aim to Make a Few Meals at a Time, Not an Entire Week’s Worth
Browse Instagram, Pinterest, or a Google search on meal prepping, and you’re bound to find pictures of perfectly organized Tupperwares lined up in fully-stocked fridges.
But if you’re like most people, this is a level worth working up to and shouldn’t be considered a realistic goal for beginner meal preppers.
If you attempt to copy these experts, you may find yourself too overwhelmed to begin or enjoy meal prepping.
So a better approach is to keep it simple. Meal prep a few days worth of meals at a time instead of the entire week.
2. Find Easy Recipes Online
Try to look for the easiest recipes you can cook at once that make a big batch you can parcel out for the next few days.
Single pan recipes, one-pot wonders, and sheet pan meals are all great places to start. You can throw your meat and veggies in at once and cook everything together instead of dirtying every pan in your kitchen.
You may also want to invest in a time-saving countertop appliance like a slow cooker or Instant Pot to get the heavy lifting of cooking done for you. They handle big batches of food with ease and less mess.
Save the more complicated recipes for special occasions like Friday date night when you have more time on your hands.
3. Balance Home-cooked Options With Easy Grab-and-Go Choices
Meal prep also includes preparing and planning out your snacks for the week. But there’s no reason to overextend yourself by trying to make every single meal and snack from scratch.
Again, this is a recipe for creating an overwhelming and exhausting experience instead of a simpler one.
So choose a few big batch meals to make and then supplement those with easy foods you can quickly stock in your fridge or pantry and grab as needed.
Protein bars, yogurt, fruit, nuts, and veggie snacks make fantastic, healthy choices that don’t require much time or effort (if any!).
Final Thoughts on Meal Prepping
You now know the benefits of meal prepping and how to get started. You also have some excellent tips for keeping this process simple, so you’re not stuck in the kitchen all day.
All that’s left to do is find some delicious recipes to try! Once you do, you’ll figure out the best way to meal prep for yourself, your schedule, and your and your family’s tastes. Then you’ll be well on your way to achieving expert-level meal prepper status in no time.
You got this!