Meal prepping is all the rage these days. But what is meal prepping?
Is it something that can work for your diet?
In this article, I will explore what meal prepping is, its benefits and some handy tips on getting started.
We’ll also take a look at how much meal prepping costs and whether or not it’s a budget-friendly option for you.
So, What Is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping is the process of preparing batch meals in advance. This can mean anything from meal planning and grocery shopping to cooking meals ahead of time.
The idea behind proper meal prepping is to make your life easier (and healthier!) by having healthy, ready-to-eat meals at your fingertips whenever you need them.
Many benefits come with meal prepping. Perhaps the most obvious one is that it saves you time.
If you’re short on time to cook healthy meals on a busy weeknight, prepping can be a lifesaver.
What Are the Benefits of Prepping Meals?
By taking care of all the best meal prepping options and preparation in advance, all you’ll have to do when mealtime comes around is reheat your meal and enjoy.
Another big benefit is that it can help you save money. Cooking at home is almost always cheaper than eating out, and meal prepping allows you to cook in bulk, further reducing your costs.
If saving money is a priority for you, meal prepping can be a great way to help you stay on budget.
Prepping meals can also help you eat healthier. When you cook meals yourself, you have complete control over the ingredients that go into them.
This means you can ensure your meals are as healthy as possible, without any unwanted additives or preservatives. If eating healthy is one of your primary goals, meal prepping can be a great way to help you stay on track.
Finding healthy food options when you’re eating out can be effortful. But when you meal prep, you can cook with healthy ingredients that you know are good for you.
Meal prepping is also an ace way to ensure you get enough variety in your diet.
If you’re bored eating the same dishes repeatedly, meal preps can help you break out of that rut and try new things. When you meal prep, you can make a different meal each day.
Or even make several meals at once, so you have some variety throughout the week.
No matter what your goals are, meal prepping can help you reach them. If you’re trying to lose weight, meal prepping can help you control your portion sizes and ensure you’re eating healthy food.
If you’re trying to save money, meal prepping can help you avoid expensive convenience foods and eat at home more often.
What Foods Are Good for Meal Prepping?
Many meal options exist, but some foods are better suited than others.
When you’re selecting ingredients, don’t forget about health-packed additions. One fantastic way to enrich your diet is to incorporate real mushroom extracts into your meals.
These superfood extracts can be easily integrated into any meal prep plan. You can consider adding mushroom extract to your stews, soups, grain and vegetable bowls, or even your pasta dishes.
This addition not only diversifies the flavours of your pre-prepped meals but also introduces a health-promoting component that supports immune function, cognition, and much more.
With that in mind, here are a few examples of good meal-prep foods:
- Grains: rice, quinoa, farro.
- Beans and legumes: black beans, lentils, chickpeas.
- Vegetables: roasted vegetables, sautéed vegetables, steamed vegetables.
- Fruit: chopped fruit, roasted fruit, dried fruit.
- Meat and poultry: cooked chicken breast, ground beef, pork chops.
- Seafood: cooked shrimp, canned tuna, or salmon.
- Dairy and eggs: hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, etc.
- Soup, stew, chilli.
- Salad: chopped salad, grain bowl salad.
- Grain and vegetable bowls: rice and beans, roasted vegetables and quinoa.
- Pasta dish: spaghetti with tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese.
- Casseroles: enchiladas, shepherd’s pie.
- One-pot meal: stir fry, soup, curry.
What Foods Should You Avoid When Prepping Meals?
Don’t include some foods in your meal prep plan, as these foods either do not taste as good when reheated or get soggy.
- Salad greens (they will get wilted).
- Deli meat (it will dry out).
- Fish (it will become rubbery).
- Cooked vegetables (they will get mushy).
Useful Meal Prep Tips for Beginners
- Choose easy recipes that can be made in advance. Casseroles, soups, and stews are all great options.
- Make sure you have the right storage containers. Glass or BPA-free plastic containers are best.
- Prep your food in batches, saving you time in the long run.
- Label your preps to know when it was made and how long it will last.
- Meal prep on the weekends so you have food for the week ahead.
- Use leftovers for meal prep. This is an ace way to avoid wasting food.
- Don’t store together foods that will cause cross-contamination. This can lead to food poisoning.
- Meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with simple and easy recipes and work your way up.
How Much Does This Cost?
The average cost to spend on meal prepping is around $60-$100 per week. The price of prepped meals depends on a few factors.
The first is the cost of the food itself. If you’re buying organic or speciality ingredients, meal prep will be more expensive. The second factor is the time it takes to prep the meals.
If you’re meal prepping for a family of four, it will take longer than meal prepping for yourself. Lastly, the cost of storage containers and equipment can add up.
Meal prepping is a healthy way to eat, as you can control the ingredients in your meals.
If you’re thinking of starting meal prep, start with simple recipes and work your way up. Check our tips to make this process more enjoyable!