Meal Prep Mistakes You're Probably Making (And What to do Instead)
Meal prep is by far the best way to make sure you and your family save some dollars and eat real, healthy food all week, even when your schedules become intense and time is tight. But do you find the process overwhelming and give up after a couple of attempts? To make the process easier, I'll be highlighting some mistakes you might be making and what to do instead for an effortless prep.
1.You’re trying to prepare too much
That’s right. You only need to select 2-3 recipes to prepare for your week. If you struggle with breakfast, consider preparing overnight oats, egg cups or blueberry protein muffins. If you tend to make poor food choices around lunch, consider a make-ahead salad or preparing some healthy ingredients to add to a wrap. if you know you’ll be home to make dinner, prep some of the ingredients you’ll need or make the entire recipe ahead. Keep your prep simple.
- You think you need to cook everything
It’s important to remember you don’t have to cook everything. Add a couple of ‘non-recipes’ to your meal prep list. These kinds of recipes are so simple, they don’t even require instructions. Think items like ready-made snacks, hard-boiled eggs, veggie sticks, fresh fruit, mixed nuts, raw zoodles or even roasted veggies. This will save you time and energy.
- You go shopping without a list
Once you have your prep planned out, create a list and divide it into store sections grouped by how you typically walk around the store. For example, when I walk into my local grocer, I typically walk around in this order: Fresh produce, meats, dairy, canned etc and that’s how I organise my list. This ensures I never miss an item and I’m in and out in less than 20 minutes. I also like to enforce the three-item rule, where I allow myself to purchase three items that weren’t on my original list because there are always going to be items, I’m either curious to try or don’t necessarily need but will enjoy. This kind of flexible structure will save you time and money.
- You don’t schedule time to prep
Find it hard to make time to prep? Schedule in time just like any other commitment during your week. I like to set aside an hour or two every Sunday morning, but you can select any time that works for you. Once you’ve committed to a time, you’re more likely to make it happen.
- You take too long
Cap your prep time. Meal prepping can seem like an intense task, particularly if it’s new to you. Determine a set amount of time, 1 hour for example, to complete your meal prep in. Then do what you can within that time before calling it quits. Even if that means 1 recipe and 1 non-recipe, you’re still better off than if hadn’t prepped at all. Eventually you’ll become more efficient within your allocated time frame.
- You prep alone
Ask for help, you don’t have to meal prep alone. Invite a friend over or family member to help you in the kitchen. Cook double batch recipes to split, have your kids help with chopping, or recruit your partner to wash and store the veggies. Find ways to share the meal prep load and make the process fun.
Now it is time to get prepping! Meal prepping will not only save you time but also money that you would have otherwise spent eating out on processed and unhealthy options. Once meal prep becomes part of your routine, your week will go much more smoothly, you’ll see!
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