I’ve finally done it. I’ve resigned myself to doing weekly meal preps. And you know what? It’s been AH-MAZE-ING.
For years I have tried on and off to do some sort of version of meal planning or prep. Inevitably every time I did it I would end up having a bunch of wasted food and/or would not follow through with the plan leading to more wasted money in the form of take-out and busting the grocery budget.
But, earlier this year I decided to give it one more go, with a slightly different approach.
I’m happy to report that about 4 months later I’m still going strong and loving it.
As someone who was a bit resistant and slightly skeptical, I thought I’d share with you why I’ve changed my mind.
I’ve created a list of the top 5 reasons that I’ve been digging it: how it’s been helpful in this season of my life and why I’ve been sticking to it this time around.
- Time Savings on Weeknights
I have been doing one big meal prep each week. This generally takes me anywhere from 2-4 hours (this time frame has leaned closer to the 2-hour mark as I’ve gotten more efficient). Even though this seems like a large chunk of time it ends up meaning I spend <30 minutes prepping dinner on weeknights and/or meal prep that is easily delegated to my husband (plus fewer dishes during the week 🙌). As many of you mamas know, saving time during weeknight evenings is huge. It means more time spent with my son between daycare and bedtime. Big. Win.
By planning out and prepping food in advance I’ve been able to be more mindful about the food we are purchasing and this leads to fewer impulse buys (planning, in addition to food delivery, have been amazing for this! More on food delivery in a future post).
- Food Waste
Going hand in hand with being budget-friendly, meal prep has also been helpful to reduce food waste in our house. I have found that we are “forgetting” about leftovers less frequently and we are using most, if not all, of our fresh produce before it goes bad. Again, a positive for our wallet and Mother Earth. 🌎
- Eating Well Consistently
By preparing most meals in advance and having easy prep time we have been less likely to “get lazy” and opt for convenience and take out foods on nights that get chaotic. We all have days when we just don’t feel like cooking or our day gets busy and before we know it, it’s dinnertime. By having meals that are easy to prepare it makes it so much more manageable to get something healthful on the table rather than calling up a local take-out joint.
- Offers Flexibility
I only prepare meals for 4 -5 nights per week, leaving our Fridays and Saturdays open for more flexibility. We love to go out as a family, order pizza occasionally or going out on a date night. By leaving a couple of nights open for last minute decisions a week of prepared meals feels less confining. It’s really a win-win, I feel good about what my family has eaten most of the week and I don’t feel guilty for ordering from our local pizza place on a Friday night.
There you have it! The top five reasons that I have been loving meal prep for this season of my life.
What do you think? Do you meal prep? Come on over to Instagram @coach_margaret_achu and let me know what questions you have about meal prep, or if you already do it- why do you love it?