5 Ways Food Prep Is A Lifesaver

April 04, 2019

5 Ways Food Prep Is A Lifesaver

We've all been there. You get home from work, glance in the fridge, look in the pantry, look in the fridge again, and then decide to order takeout for the third time that week.  

American's have enough food stocked for weeks and months, yet why is it that we look around our kitchens and see nothing? I think there's a few reasons to this, but one reason is the fact that we are failing to plan (even a little bit) what we put on our plates, and eventually into our mouths. 

This failure to plan creates a few unhealthy patterns- spending more, eating less healthy, wasting food, and wasting time. Below are 5 ways that food prep can save money, help you stick to a healthy lifestyle, save food, and save time. Even if you create a habit of just one of these tips, you'll be better for it!

 

1. Prep on the weekend

Find time to spend 2 hours between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening to prep food. This may include writing down your meal plan, creating a shopping list, going to the grocery store, and prepping your a few meals for the week. Food prep not only gives you a sense of preparedness, but it also saves you a ton of time throughout the week while helping you stick to a healthy menu.

When we say meal prep, we don’t mean that you have to prep over 21 meals for the week within a 2 hour window. What we mean is that by taking a few hours to thoughtfully create a guide for your week, you will not only free up time to do what’s important in your day, but you will find it easier to stick to health eating habits.

2. Create a revolving breakfast menu and stick to it

We find that if you stick to a revolving breakfast menu (eggs on Monday, muffins on Tuesday, oatmeal on Wednesday, eggs again on Thursday, yogurt/granola on Friday), it makes mornings more seamless.

Try baking up a double batch of muffins over the weekend and separating them in freezer bags (and put them in the freezer) to take out for the mornings. Hard boil 6-12 eggs to eat as a quick protein-packed morning. Or make up a few jars of overnight oatmeal to grab-and-go in the am. And might we add that you could also prep you morning coffee and set it on a self-timer every morning? Every little bit helps!

 

3. Simplify your lunch

For lunch, our motto is simply healthy. Lunch doesn’t have to be anything fancy- maybe this means frying up chicken breasts and using them on salads throughout the week. Maybe this means cooking up a pot of soup and eating a yummy bowl every noon hour. Or maybe you’ll plan to have leftovers each evening meal that you can take for lunch the next day. The trick here is to keep is simple, and if you stick to an un-fancy lunch, it’ll make you more excited to experiment and make your evening meal more exciting! 

 4. Start with 4-5 meals

If you meal plan anything, meal plan your dinner menu. Even if you're sort of a ‘fly by the seat of my pants and eat anything for breakfast and lunch’ kind of a person, listen up! We find that planning 4-5 meals creates a world of a difference.

Not only do you free up brain space, but you don’t have to scramble to get dinner on the table the minute you arrive home from work. Over the weekend, choose a few meals to shop and prep for to make the evening that much more relaxed, so you can focus on the people in your home rather than whipping up yet another meal of frozen burritos. 

5. Create a recipe go-to list

To do this, pull out a pen and piece of paper and start jotting down all of you or your family’s favorite recipes. This can be as simple as fried chicken breasts and a salad, a slow-cooked dinner roast, or Julia Child's famous Coq au Vin. Then tape it to the inside of one of your cabinet doors (spice cabinet) for easy access when you create your meal plan for the week.

If you’re really excited about this, you can also create a separate list for lunchtime meals, breakfast, quick snacks, new recipes to try, meals to take to others, and even dinner parties. 

No matter how you choose to prep for the week, the goal here is to feel a little bit more prepared as Sunday evening rolls around. Do what works for you and stick to it!