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Meal prepping can save you time and money and it’s crucial for any busy mom who doesn’t feel like spending 45 minutes every night in the kitchen. Doing meal prep every week or even for a whole month can completely stop food waste in your home as well.
I often chop, slice, and dice my veggies to freeze them for use weeks after purchase. It makes creating dinner easier and it saves time in prep because it’s just dumping all the ingredients in a pan or pot to cook.
If you want to know how to save time with meal prepping this post walks you through my major tips. I use these tips to save loads of time in the kitchen so I can be more intentional with my time.
How To Meal Prep For Beginners
Prepping your food days or even weeks before you make it is a simple way to save time and money. Though meal prepping does require being mindful of your eating habits, what you might want to eat, and planning your meals ahead of time.
It’s helpful to give yourself different options so you can switch and eat what you are craving in order to prevent yourself from eating out instead. If you are a last minute dinner decider like I am, it’s helpful to prep your food so you can pull ingredients to make a meal instead of preparing an entire meal at once.
You will save time by taking an hour or two after grocery shopping to slice, cut, dice, divide, and chop your meats, veggies, and certain fruits all at once. This simple task will save you 15 to 20 minutes of prep time before every dinner.
Meal prepping also saves you money on your food costs because you have less food waste in the long run. By preparing your meals ahead of time you are less likely to have moldy vegetables because you’ve already prepped and froze them.
How To Meal Prep On A Budget
Meal prepping on a budget requires you to learn to shop the sales. You want to pick up lots of anything you can prep when it’s on sale. If bell peppers are on sale you will pick up extras of them. Then you slice, chop, and dice peppers according to how you like them, stick them in boiling water for a few minutes, then freeze them.
With each pepper already prepped and in their own bag or container in the freezer you will have them when peppers aren’t on sale. Shopping the sales is the best way to stock up and prep your food.
Plan your meals around what you have in stock and what you can get on sale. Planning your meals for the week or even the month is a huge part of meal prepping. To do it on a budget you want to keep certain popular foods in your kitchen and plan your meals around what is on sale.
How To Meal Prep For The Week
Do your grocery shopping the day of or the day before you want to meal prep for the week. Then take a couple of hours splitting, chopping, dicing, and packaging up your meals. These two hours will actually save you loads of time when you go to actually cook your meals.
Google is your best friend to learn how to freeze everything. Just simply ask Google “how to freeze ___.” You will get instructions from anywhere on the web on how to properly freeze any food.
Plan and cook larger portions for easy packed lunches throughout your week. I always cook extra for dinner because we love eating leftovers for lunch the next day. When I worked out of the home I could easily take them for lunch and save money.
My husband and I currently use the leftovers to give us a quick lunch so we can get back to work. Soups, stews, and pasta dishes make great large amounts of leftovers, so cook those about 3 times a week.
Are Meal Prep Services Worth It?
Financially they don’t make a lot of sense. With a little bit of extra work you can create meals at $1.50 a serving or less. Right now the only meal prep service that seems remotely affordable is Home Chef which starts at just under $5 a serving.
To save time for busy people it is absolutely worth it. It means less time grocery shopping, less time to prepare and cook your food. So if your time is extremely valuable to you a meal prep subscription service might be worth it.
How To Meal Prep
Remember, shop sales and spend a couple hours slicing, splitting, dicing, and prepping your food for the week or month. This alone will save you loads of time but give you the freedom to decide what you want to make and eat as you go.
If you would rather plan all your meals ahead of time you can do so by using Once A Month Meals for freezer cooking. Read my full review on Once A Month Meals here.
Have you tried meal prepping? What are your time saving or must know tips? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite food boards.
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