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Have you’ve been thinking of trying meal planning, but just wonder if it’s worth the time? Do you really save money? And do you have enough room in your refrigerator?
If you usually skip making home-cooked meals during the week because you don’t have time, then meal prepping might be the best solution for you.
Read on to find out why you should consider meal prep and and how it can really make a positive difference for your family.
What are the benefits of meal prepping?
1. Saves you money
One of top reasons people start meal prepping is how it can save money on your monthly food bill. This is because you’re buying more foods in bulk.
Think about how you could save money by purchasing your meat and veggies in bulk, instead of just for one or two meals.
You’re also not turning to fast food because you know that you already have a prepared meal waiting you and your family in the fridge when you get home.
And, since you’re planning your meals in advance, you don’t throw as much food away because you use the ingredients when you buy them.
So, if you want to save money and cut food waste, meal prep is definitely the way to go.
2. Saves you time
One of things that really appealed to me about meal planning is saving time.
For me, I’m usually taking my daughter to cheer practice 4 night a week. Sometimes we don’t get home until 9:00 pm. The LAST thing I want to do when I get home, is figure out what to make for dinner.
Instead, when I get home, I can take one of the prepared meals in the fridge and heat it up in the microwave. Voila, dinner is served! And my husband and son can heat up their meals even when I’m not there.
3. You eat healthier
Another benefit to meal prepping is that you can eat healthier. Since you’re the one planning the meals, you get to pick healthier recipes which means healthier ingredients like fresh or frozen vegetables.
You can also benefit from portion control if you decide to use meal prep containers which include separate sections for different food groups.
How to get started meal planning
1. Pick a day to cook your meals.
Some choose a weekend day like Sunday or a day during the week. Sunday and Wednesday are the two of the most common choices.
2. Choose one meal.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by choosing all 3 meals. Usually, dinner is the one meal that people commonly buy fast food.
3. Decide on how many meals you want to prep.
Keep it simple by starting out prepping for two or three days. See how that goes, and then expand to 7 days.
The Best Free Meal Prepping Apps
This handy meal planning app gives your suggestion based on items as you type and organizes them into categories. Available for iPhone and Android.
This meal prep app suggests recipes to help build a weekly menu based on your food preferences or dietary restrictions. Available for iPhone and Android.
You can add dishes from your favorite food sites or even take pictures of ingredients to get recipe ideas. Available for iPhone and Android.
Meal prep doesn’t take as much time as you would think. If fact, just a little preparation goes a long way!
Not only are you saving money, but you also get the benefits of creating a healthier meals for your family.