“Planning, preparing, and portioning your meals ahead of time is one of the most effective tools for keeping your food budget in check.” – Budget Bytes
Why Meal Prep?
Meal prep has been a key element of my fitness success. We all live busy/productive lives between family time, work, personal improvement, and trying to manage food intake. This can be stressful and lead you to make poor dieting decisions. I utilize Meal prep to lower my cost of food and ensure that I am always getting my macros in. I find it much easier to grab a Tupperware dish on my way to work, other than have to spend 10+ dollars on a junk-food meal. This method of preparation has also made it easier to eliminate cravings and helped me stay on-path with my nutrition goals.
When I talk to people about meal prep they often say “I can’t cook” or “I don’t have time to make all of those meals”. I made my meal prep this morning for the next three days, and it took me about 25 minutes. These recipes are some of the easiest out there! If you can not scrape together 25 minutes every few days to better your body and save you money, you need to get serious. I often go to Budget Bytes to help with my meal prep recipes! These recipes are super easy to make, quick, and are only a dollar or two per serving!
WHAT CAN I MEAL PREP?
“This is the golden question. As with any leftovers, the palatability of prepped meals varies from person to person. Foods that usually fair very well for meal prepping are: cooked grains, pasta, cooked beans, cooked meat, roasted vegetables, hearty fresh vegetables (think celery, carrots, peas, bell peppers, kale, cabbage, radishes, etc.), whole fruit (apples, oranges, stone fruit), nuts, and cheese. Sauces and dips, (like salad dressings, hummus, salsa, sour cream, etc.) are generally very refrigerator stable too, especially when packed separately from your meal.
Foods that don’t always fair well are softer fruits and vegetables, like lettuce, berries, and cut fruit, or crunchy items like fried food, crackers, or chips. That being said, there are sometimes ways around this, like packing ingredients individually. I tend to stay away from items that require special care just for convenience sake, but it is possible to prep these things if you don’t mind putting in the extra work.” – says Budget Bytes
Here are a few easy and simple recipes that you can use to enhance your meal prep. These meals are easy, cheap, and will save you a ton of time in the kitchen! I use a ton of these during the week to make sure my meals are ready for work, or after the gym.
One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls
Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese
Spaghetti and Roasted Veggies
Pressure Cooker Chicken
Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta
Food for Thought
Anyone who strives for success would agree that preparation, consistency, and budgeting are all valuable in building their empire. Meal prep will help you in all of those areas. I challenge you to create an outlined meal prep including when you are going to prep, what meals you will make, and how much money it will save you vs eating out. It takes two weeks to create a habit, so stick with meal prep for AT LEAST two weeks, and watch how it can help you reach your goals.
All meals listed came from Budget Bytes! They are awesome at creating easy and affordable meals! https://www.budgetbytes.com/