If you’re trying to save money or be healthier, the meals you eat on a daily basis can help make a big difference. So here are a few tips when it comes to meal prepping and planning. Later on, I’ll probably do something a bit more detailed and/or specific, but this is kind of an overview for now. I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know if you try any of these out.
Make several recipes that require similar ingredients. I’ll use Taco Bell as an example of this. Almost everything on their menu has some variation of the same key ingredients, but people still have various items they like getting there. In a similar way, you could choose to buy a few items that you can cook in a few different ways throughout the week. This is useful because you’ll only have to worry about getting a few types of ingredients and also you’ll have several ways to use them all up. With produce especially, it’s easy to overbuy and then accidentally let half of what you bought go bad. This way, you can avoid that.
Master a few quick recipes. Let’s be real. Sometimes you’ll feel lazy or you’ll be short on time, and it’s easy to just go for the frozen dinner you bought on a whim or buy some fast food on your way home. In order to avoid this type of scenario, learn a few quick, easy recipes. There are a lot of cookbooks out there that are solely dedicated to quick meals. If you learn two or three meals like this, you can cut down on the amount of meals you eat out or the amount of frozen/less healthy meals you eat.
Choose a day to do some level of meal prepping. You don’t need to do everything on this day, but you can make sure you have what you need for the meals you’d like to do during the week ahead. A few things you can do on this day would be: go over your shopping list and make sure you have everything written down, go grocery shopping, and cook what you can. Maybe you don’t want to do all your cooking for the week, but you could get started on the first half of the week. Whatever the case, if you have a routine and a plan for the week ahead, you’ll feel a lot less stress surrounding meals.
Plan for the occasional meal out. There’s nothing wrong with eating out once in a while, but it’s good to be prepared for those situations. If you’re making a budget for meals, make sure you take this into account. Also, be realistic about how often it is okay for you to eat out, based on the time and money you have available. And, when you’re preparing for the meals you’ll cook for the week, make sure you factor that in there as well.