Happy New Year everyone!! Did you make any resolutions this year? It’s a great time to start fresh and create some new good habits and break any not so good ones. I know I had gotten out of the habit of prepping food and meals for the week, and as a result, I started feeling more stressed and less healthy. I found myself scrambling to find things to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I ended up with less time to do things like workout or even just to relax. I’m back on track now and spent a little time yesterday getting some fruits and veggies prepped and today my plan is to get any meats done as well as to package up a few slow cooker dinners that I can keep in the freezer. Therefore, I thought today would be a great time to share with you my Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Meal Prep… if not for you than to remind myself why I do it! It can be hard to get started, but once you do, the benefits are many!
- You Save Time: when you consolidate the work into one morning or afternoon a week then you only have to clean up the kitchen once, get out pots and pans once, etc. rather than doing it over and over again every day. The bulk of the work is done, leaving you to simply add meals to your slow cooker or heat them up right out of the fridge. Plus, no time spent looking on Pinterest for what in the world you should make for dinner tonight when you have other things you should be doing instead. And no last minute trips to the grocery store for the fifth time this week. You went once, you had a complete list and it’s all done!
- You Get to Know Your Family: no more grilled cheese for one kid and cold cereal for another an hour later and a handful of chips while hiding in the pantry for yourself (just me?) because you just can’t handle getting it all done at a reasonable time. You have a plan! Dinner has been in the slow cooker since this morning, so not only can you confidently answer that dreaded “what’s for dinner” question, but you know that dinner will be ready when you are! No last minute rushing, no stress. Just sit down together as a family and talk about your day! How awesome is that? Plus, since you had the meal prep done days ago, there won’t be much of a mess in the kitchen for anyone to deal with. No arguments over the dishes required.
- You Will be Healthier: I think a lot of us actually prefer to eat more nutritious foods than we actually do. But these things require a little work and when you are under pressure to get food on the table, often a less healthy option is what happens because it’s quicker and easier (pizza on speed dial anyone?). When you have it planned out ahead of time, you can look over your list and make sure you have a nice variety of foods that will meet your nutritional goals. And since you took the time to get it all ready, there’s no excuses. Healthy food, ready to go!
- You Will Save Money: let’s face it, we often go to the grocery store with the best of intentions and buy plenty of fresh produce and lean meat and then we get home, stick it in the fridge, and end up throwing half of it away a week later because we didn’t use it. Maybe we bought to much, or we didn’t know exactly how to use it, or we just flat out ran out of time. When you have a plan, you know exactly what you need and if you commit those couple of hours to prepping it, you know it will all get used up.
- You Will Reduce Stress: how? because you will feel like a rockstar! Seriously though, when you have a plan and that plan has been executed, how great does that feel? When everyone is hungry and cranky and asking what’s for dinner, I know I can get a little stressed and just want to tell them to go away. Or I figure out what to make, but I’m missing and ingredient. Or, I spend so much time dealing with cooking on a daily basis, I don’t have time to get other things done and my list of to-do’s just keeps growing. When I don’t have to play catch-up, I’m much happier and much less stressed. How about you?
Now that I’ve convinced you WHY you should meal prep I’ve probably left you with questions of HOW! I promise to share much more with you about my system coming up in the next few weeks and why I feel it’s the best way to go. What questions do you have? How much help do you need to get started?
Did you know I have a Facebook Group where we can chat about all things meal prep and meal planning?
You can also sign up for a totally free 14 day trial of my meal plan service! I’ve already done the work of testing out the recipes to be sure they are delicious and I give you tons of options each week. You can go with the slow cooker plan that I suggest, or customize it as much as you like with quick-fix meals, sides and even suggested recipes for using up leftovers! Give it a try and let me know what you think!