6 Ways Meal Prepping Can Save You Money, Time, and Help you Lose Weight

6 Ways Meal Prepping Can Save You Money, Time, and Help you Lose Weight

When you hear people talking about healthy eating what do you think? Expensive. Time-consuming. Tasteless. Diet food.

Most people hear meal prepping, and immediately think it’s way too much work. If you’re talking about meal prep compared to driving through a fast-food drive-thru or eating pre-packaged then yeah, it probably is a lot more work than you’re used to.

But if you are serious about taking control of your health, better yet, your life, it will take work, and it will take a little extra time, but probably not as much time as you think.  

So while meal prepping definitely takes a little extra work and a bit of time to get used to, if you’re doing it right you’ll get the hang of it real quick! PLUS, it’s better on your body AND your budget, don’t believe me? Read on below!

Here are 6 reasons why meal prepping is vital if you want to start a healthy lifestyle.

meal prepping benefits

1. Pre-Made Frozen Food Is Limiting

Buying pre-made frozen food can be convenient but it limits your options (and can be pricey). The fastest way to test this theory is to set a weekly budget for one month.

Let’s say your weekly budget is $60, for a monthly total of $300 (round up to 5 weeks a month).

That might sound like a lot of money but if you buy all frozen foods, your budget gets eaten up fast and then you’re stuck with just frozen food for the month.

Let me show you.

Say you want to buy some frozen breakfast chimichangas. A box of 12 might run you around $12. Now frozen chimi’s are delish and they might be worth it to you, but once you buy that box you are only limited to those chimichangas for the week.

What if instead, you bought some individual items that you could make breakfast burritos or something close to it.

Tortillas: $2.28

Eggs: $2.50

Bacon: $4.00

Total: $9.00 rounded up

That saves you around $3.00 per week and opens up your options. You can have eggs and bacon one day. Maybe a tortilla sandwich another day.

You can get creative when you’re meal prepping and buy a few staple items that can be used in a variety of ways. Different ingredients can be put together in many combinations!

2. Bulk Buying Is Cheaper

Is bulk buying still cheaper when you’re just buying for one? Yes! It’s the same idea we spoke about above. Choose a few staple items and use them for multiple meals and snacks.

A little pre-planning will go a long way. Buy for 5 “meals”. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. In this example day, you can use chicken, eggs, and avocado in three meals so stock up on those. If you really want to keep your grocery list simple then choose your snack to be the same. In this case, apple with dip for both snacks.

Meal planning will only work if you cater it to your preferences and personality. Are you the type of person who likes to eat the same thing over and over before switching to something else? If so, then your weekly meal plan will be fairly simple and monotonous.

If you hate eating leftovers then your meal plans might need a bit more variety. You can still bulk buy a few staple items but you will need to use them in different ways. Bulk buy chicken and use it for chicken soup, chicken sandwiches and chicken with broccoli.

3. Gets Your Mind Right (Mindset Training)

“Willpower is like a muscle: it needs to be challenged to build itself,” says Kathleen Martin Ginis, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University. Kathleen Ginis recently studieda group of people and found that using your willpower to do one thing can deplete your willpower to do another task.

So when you have a hard day at work, you’re more likely to grab that greasy hamburger on the way home. Sumo Diet, anyone?

The good news is that the more you flex your willpower muscles, the stronger they get! The more you say no to that greasy hamburger, the easier it gets to make better choices for you and your body.

It’s even easier to say no to unhealthy food when you know that you have food prepared at home. Taking Sunday to prep your meals means you’ve saved your future self of having to make 15+ decisions that week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). That’s eating smart.

meal prepping benefits saves you time

4. You Have More Control

When you’re trying to eat healthy and smart, every piece of food counts. It’s all about macros (macronutrients = carbohydrates/fat/protein). When you’ve taken the time to prep your meals, you’ve already front-loaded your work and you get to reap the benefits throughout the week.

You’ve controlled your snacks, your treats, and your big meals. It’s prepped and waiting in your fridge.

Think of the times you’ve felt out of control when you were dieting. I’m guessing it was when you felt deprived, rushed, or emotionally drained.

Meal prepping done right means you can eat food you love, portioned right, that’s packed and ready to go.

That means no last-minute pizza or fast food because you don’t feel like cooking! You’re in control and because of that, it’s easy to avoid those feelings of panic or give in the demands of hunger.

5. Grocery Shopping Gets Easier

When you have the best tools, meal prepping can be a piece of cake. Pun absolutely intended.

If you head to the grocery store without a plan or even a list, you can expect to shop around for a while, blindly putting stuff in your cart. This can lead to tremendous amounts of food waste and you walking out the door with stuff you don’t really need and likely won’t use.

Meal prepping or meal planning is your step-by-step guide to grocery shopping optimization.

No more getting your 10,000 steps at the store because you won’t be running around like a crazy person trying to grab everything you’ve forgotten.

The average person spends about 43 minutes at the grocery store about 1.6 times a week. That might not sound like a lot of time but that comes out to 60 hours in a year. It adds up! And if time is money, you’re saving up!

6. Lifestyle Change (Not A Binge Diet)

Meal prepping is not a diet or a fad, it’s smart and efficient and will most assuredly make your life easier. Not only will you become a better cook, you’ll save money, save food, and lose weight if learn how to do it right.

The average American wastes about 1lb of food PER DAY!

With that in mind, the better you become at meal prepping, the less food you’ll waste. You’ll learn how to cook precisely, store correctly, and use any leftover items.

You won’t be depriving yourself of the foods you love, so there’s no need to binge later.

It’s all about fueling your body with the right combination of protein, carbs, and fats within your calorie goal.

Meal planning evolves as your goals evolve.

What are you looking for?