30 Mar Want To Minimize Your Trips To The Grocery Store?
We are all feeling a little shaken up right now heading out to the grocery store so I wanted to provide everything you need to know about meal prepping. Here’s 7 benefits to meal planning:
1. Lower grocery bills. Knowing what your planning to eat will lower grocery bills because you won’t buy things you don’t need and you can buy items in bulk.
2. You will spend less time in the grocery store. This is an added advantage especially during a time like this. You won’t be wondering around the isles wondering what to buy.
3. You will make smarter meal choices when you are more intentional about what you’re eating.
4. You will reduce your food waste. When you know what your buying and shopping for you won’t ever throw away spoiled or wasted food again!
5. You will have better portion control and weight management. Divvying up your meals into the appropriate portions ensures you won’t overeat.
6. You will reduce your stress. Having your meals planned takes all of that frazzled energy and time you spend trying to figure out what to eat. This allows you to spend time enjoying loved ones or doing things you want to be doing.
7. You’ll spend less time cooking. Unless you are like Rachel Ray you may actually desire spending less time cooking. If this is you, then you will absolutely love meal planning!
There are a variety of ways to meal prep, however, here are a few options to choose from:
Make Meals Ahead Of Time – Take one day of the week (most people like Sundays) and prepare a few of your meals for the week and then store then in containers in the fridge so you can easily pull them out at dinner time to reheat.
Batch Cooking – Make a big portion of one or two meals that you will eat as leftovers for the week.
Ready To Cook Ingredients – Pre-prepare a lot of the ingredients you will be using in your meals ahead of time so that meal times are more efficient.
How To Meal Prep:
Pick one day of the week and set aside some time to make your list, shop and prep your items for the week. Most people find Sundays the best day for that but do what works for you. You can also make your list on Sunday, for example, and then shop and prep on Monday for the week. The most important thing is to set this time aside weekly for these tasks. If it feels overwhelming to do this for the entire week, simply start meal prepping for 4 or 5 days/week and work your way up (or stick with that schedule).
Choose and schedule your meals. This is where the fun and creativity come in! You can decide which meals you want to prep for. I would start with the meals you find most challenging to prepare first. Most people choose dinner because that’s the meal that’s most challenging after a busy day.
Purchase Your Ingredients. Have your list and go to the store (s). You can also consider an organic veggie CSA delivery service and grocery delivery straight to your home! There are many options for food delivery. Most are even quite affordable. We’ve been going online to our local grocery store and having our items ready for us for pick up outside due to this pandemic. It takes just a bit of planning but saves you so much time and stress. Give your grocery workers some extra love right now. They are working so hard for us.
Get The Right Containers. Have a nice array of air tight containers on hand so that you can easily store your food. I, personally, enjoy the glass containers. There are many eco friendly options these days to choose from to store your food.
Organize Your Ingredients. You can do this in one of two ways. First, you can prep and display your ingredients in containers so that they are easy to find and partially cooked. Or, you can simply have your refrigerator organized efficiently so that you know where everything is.
Get Cooking! Again, you have a few options here. You can cook most meals all in one day or you can cook the meal you are planning to eat that night for dinner since you now know what meals you are having throughout the week. Whatever works best for you. What you’re wanting to do here is establish a new routine. This takes time and also needs to be a routine that you truly can and want to stick with long term. If you are preparing more than one meal please follow proper storage protocols and hygiene.
There are many ways to approach meal prepping. I hope these suggestions serve you well! Happy cooking and eating!
Photo credit: Micaela Malmi Photography