Let’s face the facts: Meal prepping is a lot of work.
That’s why many of us begin our meal prepping routines strong only to fizzle out in a few weeks.
But whenever something is clearly delivering more benefit than cost, it’s a no-brainer. That’s why it’s so helpful to get the most out of every meal-prepping effort. And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this post.
Below are five ways to make the most out of your meal prep routine.
#1. Use a meal planning service
Meal delivery services’ popularity has recently exploded, but they can be expensive. As a more affordable alternative, you can sign-up for a meal-prepping service. Most services allow you to choose recipes to plan your meals for the week, and then you can create a shopping list and order groceries online or take the list to the shop yourself. Some connect your shopping list with Instacart and others connect with Walmart curbside or delivery. Generally, services come at a small fee, but the planning time they save you may be worthwhile.
#2. Order groceries online
When you have limited time (as we all do), it helps to save where you can. And when you’re planning your meals in advance, you have the luxury of planning your shopping list in advance too. That extra time can now be used on meal prepping (or whatever else you want).
Most grocers offer curbside at no additional cost, and you’ll save the time of having to shop around yourself. Or, if you have additional money in your budget, you may want to opt for the delivery service.
#3. Buy pre-chopped foods when it makes sense
Whole, fresh foods are always best, but there are some times when pre-chopped foods mean the difference between having a homecooked meal and ordering takeout. If shaving a couple of minutes off of your prep time is important, opt for pre-chopped foods like broccoli, garlic or ginger.
Not only does the pre-chopping help with time, but it can help with motivation too. Nothing can make you feel like a pro chef like having pre-chopped food ready at your fingertips.
#4. Designate one day for prepping
Most people find that Sundays are ideal for food prep, but that may not be the case for you. Sundays work well for people who have a Monday through Friday work schedule. If you have a different work schedule, simply choose the day before your work week begins for meal prep.
When you designate one day for prepping your meals, there’s no question about whether it will get done. It simply becomes your priority on that day.
You’ll want to make sure you have all your groceries and food containers ready before you start the prep work. And if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you may want to make and freeze a few meals for the week. This will help you serve home-cooked meals on those frantic weekdays when you barely have time to set the microwave.
#5. Keep it fun!
One of the most important aspects of meal prepping is to make the process fun. When you’re having fun, the chances are greater that you will keep it up. Try to enlist the help of your family members or roommates. And do what you can to make it fun by adding music or playing trivia while you prep.
If you’re not trying to maintain sobriety, you can even pop a bottle of wine while you sort and chop. Food prepping doesn’t have to be something you dread. On the contrary, you can enjoy yourself while preparing healthy meals that will satiate you and your loved ones. These activities are some of the most important things we can do, so why not have fun with it?
When you make meal planning fun and productive, you’re much more likely to stick with it and the deliciously healthy meals meant for your family will keep coming! Make a habit out of meal prepping and streamline the process, so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
When you dread meal prepping, you’re not likely to follow through for long. On the other hand, when it’s a fun and rewarding experience, you’ll look forward to the time you spend on it every week.