There seems to be a long adversary between time and money when it comes to eating. This feud is more than just some discourse on fast food and your health benefits. But it’s also about how you can manage your meal budget better.
The answer is as easy as meal prep. This concept has multiple translations that differ for each person. You can limit to meal prep for a few days or even a whole week. Some people even take it a bit further by doing a meal plan for a whole month.
But how prepping a meal can help you? Is it as effective as the claims? Let’s find out more about meal prep techniques and how to apply them to your life.
Time vs. Money
If you have to choose between spending more time for less money or spending less time for more money, which one will you choose? Not many people are aware of how their coffee affects them until much later. The same goes with their habits of going too fast food joints.
Everyone has different reasons why they prefer to eat out. But it all boils down to the inability to cook to not having time to do so. To some people, their time is very precious. Thus, they have a series of staff to help their day-to-day life.
It sure depends on personal preferences. As you know, several recipes require hours for the best result. But you don’t have to check it all the time. As you know, buying boxes of TV dinners when they’re on discount is not saving any money and time.
How to effectively meal prep
So why meal prep? For one thing, you can better manage your budget this way. Planning your meal for days ahead can help you reduce impulse shopping. You also learn to manage your time better, as you will spend almost a whole day preparing the meal.
You don’t have to splurge and buy some Tupperware containers. Any airproof and water-tight containers could do the job. The key to meal preparation is to have clean containers
- Start Small and Use simple recipes
One of the most common mistakes is by choosing ambitious recipes when they start meal prepping. Many people think that because they can cook well, they have the freedom to take on a complicated recipe.
But when it has a lot of ingredients and spices, it defies the purpose of meal prepping. Don’t take it wrong by thinking that meal prep only has limited recipes. But when it’s your first time, you need to tone down and choose the easier path.
There are two types of meal preparation. You can portion your meal and keep them in separate containers. Or you can go with a big batch for a whole week. Again, if it’s your first time starting meal prepping. You may want to try the small portion first.
- Use a weekly planner
A planner can massively help you when doing meal prep. You can use it to plan the menu for the upcoming week. Whether you choose to use your Google Calendar or go old school and print it out on your fridge, it works the same. You can write the general menu or meal ideas for the days. The key is to be consistent and take your pace.
Anyhow, keep in mind that a planner is not a fixed thing. It’s more to keep you in line and be on schedule. After a while, you are free to change the menu at any time. As you know, some recipes share similar ingredients.
- Be consistent
Doing meal prep is like joining a gym. It needs a dedicated time slot to do the prepping. The best time to do the prepping is on your grocery day. So you have a full day for yourself.
The weekend is the best time to shop and do the meal prep. You will have a full day for yourself to wash, clean, and build any flavor you want.
Meal prepping is all about being consistent. You can build your weekly menu based on your diet or whatever your fancy for the time being.
If you’re following a specific diet like keto or vegan, meal prep can help you save a lot of time and money. And if you have a health issue limiting your meal options, meal prep is the best way to control your nutrient intake.
- Menu Variation is always good
Never hesitate to try out a new recipe. The key is utilizing the items you have prepared. You can choose to have a little twist on your pasta dish or make a new meal from the leftover.
A common misunderstanding is meal prep is only about ingredients. You can apply meal prep for your spices as well. Italian families make their tomato sauce, just like Indians make their Garam Masala.
While meal prep is all about following a schedule, it also means you have the freedom to build your menu. You can have a whole Indian week or Thai week or anything you like.
Keeping wide menu variations means you will keep your spirit high. As you slowly incorporate meal prep into your lifestyle.
No more Leftovers
By preparing your meal, you don’t have to worry about leftovers. You will learn how to perfect your prepping skill. You can use all of your groceries and leave none to waste.
Meal preparation will help you to be creative with your meal and explore various dishes. You also don’t have to worry about wasting a lot of ingredients.
Today, numerous catering services can help you with meal prep. Some of them offer services where they already prepare and portion the meal. All you have to do is to cook the ingredients they send.
Meal prep can save you time and money. And it’s a highly personal thing. You may not have the same fancy kitchen as what you see on Youtube. But you’ll be just fine as long as you’re enjoying meal prepping.