Meal preparation is nearly impossible without a plan. Here are some questions to help you discover how to choose recipes, schedule to your needs, and grocery shop efficiently while you meal prep.
What do you like to eat? What are foods that make you excited?
There are hundreds of recipes at your fingertips, even meal prep apps to help you find dishes you really want to eat and not just food you have to eat. My favorite thing is making a meal that I love and having it on hand for the next couple of days. For example, I made a sheet of enchiladas and was able to enjoy it throughout the entire week. Think about the foods that make you excited to eat and find counterparts on the internet. A great resource is Budgetbytes, which has a library of simple, budget friendly meals and also breaks down their costs for you.
Schedule to your needs
How often do you eat? What are your portion sizes?
These questions above will help you determine how many meals you’re going to need during the week. I don’t make my breakfast in advance, but I do plan for and cook at least three meals a week. These meals last me two to three days, I save these in Tupperware containers to carry with me, however, your eating habits may be different. The best thing to do is experiment meal prepping for a week with recipes you want to try to discover how much you eat, how much you’ll need to buy, and how much you’ll need to budget.
Grocery shop effectively
Do you have a list to help you stay on track? What ingredients can you use over and over again?
Now that you have chosen your meals and decided on how often you’re going to eat them, it’s time to face the grocery store. Make sure you have a list to help you stay on track and stay within your budget. If you find similarities with the ingredients you’ll need for your recipes, or keep track of what you already have in the pantry and fridge, this will reduce waste and food costs. Also- make sure and go to the store after you’ve eaten, otherwise you might give into impulse purchases
Establishing these shopping habits will help you stay within your budget and stop you from buying things you really don’t need.
For the next article in Meal Prep 101 we’ll be getting into easy recipes you can try at home.
Not sure what you’ll need for your meal prep journey? Visit our last article here
Yummly– A free recipe meal prep mobile app for every kind of eater.
How To Save Money At The Supermarket: a video by PBS
Photos taken by Ysabel Berger