With grocery bills on the rise, the need to save money on food is at an all-time high. Higher grocery bills and eating out can quickly add up. On the other hand, there is a great trick to save you money! Meal prepping once a week can save you thousands of dollars per year!
Have you ever sat down to compare the price of buying lunch and dinner every day? The costs can quickly add up and drain you of your hard earned cash!
The average meal cost between $8-10 and can add up to over $2000 spent per year! On the other hand, you can purchase a whole week’s worth of food for only $5.50 per meal! By meal prepping, this massive savings will allow you to eat better, feel better, and save money along the way.
What is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping is the art of setting aside time (usually Sunday), to prepare (prep) your meals for the week.
Cooking in bulk allows you to eat healthy, home-cooked meals every day. This money saving habit will help you put your hard earned dollars back in your pocket.
We all have busy lives, but the difference between those who save money and those that don’t simply comes down to discipline. If you exercise discipline by meal prepping your food for the week you will save money.
Buy healthy foods and make the food yourself. Do not buy lunch out every day and watch your savings grow.
Be amazed by how quickly you will reap the rewards – both financially and physically.
4 Keys to Meal Prepping for HUGE Savings
Saving money by meal prepping only works if you do the grocery shopping right. If you wonder aimlessly around the isles and come in without a plan, you will be sure to spend extra money.
However, if you can follow these steps, you can save plenty of money at the grocery and during your meal prep.
1. Come Prepped to Meal Prep
The first step in making sure you are prepped to meal prep is to have the right equipment! Since you will no longer be buying your lunches at work, you need to come prepared.
Here are a few key items you will need!
This small upfront cost will end up saving you hundreds over time. Think of these purchases as an investment in you!
A healthier you. A happier you. The version of yourself with more money!
Once you have picked up these items, you will be set to start brining your lunches to work. These tools will aid you as your craft your meals and prepare you to meal prep with efficiency!
Use these time saving tools to put you on the fast track to saving money.
2. Eat the Same Foods
While most people want to switch up their meals every day, there are benefits to be gained from eating the same foods every meal. The first meal prepping tip to save money is to prepare yourself to eat the same foods.
Decide on 2-3 meals you want to eat for the week, and prep your food in batches. For clarity, lets run through an example. Say for 1 week you are going to meal prep 12 meals for the week. You decide on the following meals:
- Chicken Breast
- Sweet Potato
- Brussel Sprouts
- Ground Beef
- Red Pepper
- Side Salad
- Chickpea Salad
- Goat cheese
- Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing
You are going to make 4 servings of each of these, and box them up in food containers. When it comes time to eat them, you will simply heat them up in the microwave! By taking 1-2 hrs on Sunday to prep your meals, you will not have to buy your lunch for the week!
3. Buy Bulk Foods
One of the most tried and true money saving tips for meal prepping is to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk allows you to stock up on foods you eat the most of. However, you need to be aware of expiration dates.
It is great to buy in bulk when you are meal prepping, but if your food goes bad, then you wasted money. Make sure you buy the food you know you are going to eat.
For example, in the scenario meals above, you can make a few bulk food choice options that will help you save money.
First, buy the big bag of potatoes instead of individually picking out potatoes. Often times you can get a deal if you opt for the larger bag.
These big bags of potatoes will often last you 2-3 weeks before going bad. Buy them if you want to save money!
Second, instead of buying the minute rice or 1lb bags, opt for the 5-10lb bags of rice instead. These bags will last you forever and are a better price per oz. When you store it, make sure you seal the bag for freshness or store it in the freezer.
Instead of buying 1lb packets of ground beef, go for the 3lb packages instead. Since you are cooking your food all at once, you will not have to worry about wasting this food.
Lastly, for your chickpea salad buy the 10 pack of canned chickpeas to save money. These will be much cheaper than going with a can here and a can there. Save yourself the headache by stocking up.
4. Keep a Strong Will
You did it! You have now officially prepped your meals for the week and it comes time for lunch. However, you head to the break room to grab your lunch, and all the sudden your co-worker asks you go to out to lunch… What do you do?
You have already made the noble decision to exercise discipline and prep your meals. And now you have a healthy, cost effective meal sitting in the fridge.
Do you take the easy road and go out with your co-worker? Or do you keep a strong will and eat your prepped meal?
This is a common scenario that plagues many meal preppers. Since you will be in the minority of people who bring your lunch, you will ofter encounter the difficult choice of saying no.
However, your future self will thank you! Your wallet and stomach will thank you.
On the other hand, you do not have to say “no” every single time. It is completely okay to go out with your co-workers to lunch occasionally. In fact, you should go to your workplace gatherings!
But do not make this an everyday occurrence. Once a month is okay, but once a week might be pushing it.
Find the balance that is right for you and your goals.
Meal Prepping for Health and Longevity
Not only does meal prepping save you money, but it gives you the opportunity to eat healthier. Once of the biggest reasons people are overweight is they eat too much and move too little.
It is easy to eat a lot if you are buying lunch every day. When you have to make the tough decision every day to choose healthy food at a restaurant, you are bound to slip up.
However, if you take a couple hours out of your Sunday to meal prep for the week, you will not have to make that choice. Choose foods that make you healthy. Choose foods that are good for you!
For example, enjoy fruits, vegetables, meats, tubers, and a whole host of other natural foods. These will fuel your body and raise your energy levels.
Make the choice – you wont regret it!
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