Don’t let the thought of meal prep stress you out! Here are 7 benefits to meal prep and how they can rock your world this weekend.
So you’ve decided you want to start meal prepping! I’ll be the first to say that I was on the fence about meal prep and whether it would really help me during the week. The answer is a resounding YES!
Maybe this is your first time hearing about meal prep, or you just don’t know if meal prep is for you. Let me tell you, it IS for you. We’re all busy, but we all need to eat.
Meal prep isn’t just cooking all of your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the entire week. It could be as simple as making up breakfast for the next few days, or slicing some carrots or washing grapes so you have easy-to-grab snacks. You can make meal prep work for you, no matter where you are in life!
Here are 7 benefits to meal prep that I’ve found can seriously change your life:
7 benefits of meal prep
You’ll Save time
Seriously- as moms, we need all the extra time we can get. Especially if you work and your kids are in school. You’ll have, what, maybe 4-5 hours in the afternoon for homework, dinner, and playtime?
This year is a huge transition for us, as Allison is starting Kindergarten and will be in school all day, 5 days a week. Plus I’m going back to work part-time, so now suddenly our quality time is very limited.
If all I do is cut some vegetables on Sunday, I’ve shaved off at least 10 minutes from cooking dinner. That’s 10 extra minutes I can spend with Allison or do other productive things.
You’ll Avoid food waste
If you pre-chop your veggies ahead of time, you’re more likely to use them instead of letting them sit in the back of the fridge and go bad. I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me!
Having enough containers for this is essential for streamlining your meal prep. I use simple Rubbermaid containers for everything, including freezing individual portions at times. Our cabinet tends to overflow at the end of the week, but I’ll use up about half during my meal prep sessions.
You’ll Eat healthier
Having healthy food already prepared means you’re more likely to eat it! Many times before, I’ve eaten a bag of cookies because I didn’t have anything else already made for me to grab.
But slicing up some carrots or cucumbers, or having some fruit or trail mix available, makes it so easy for you and your kids to take as healthy snacks.
You’ll feel more productive
I certainly feel more productive after I’ve done some hard work! Every Sunday, I spend about 60-90 minutes making breakfasts and snacks, and chopping any produce that needs to be prepared for the week. Afterward, I get this huge sense of accomplishment knowing that I’ve done something good for my family and that we have easy dinners available for the week.
You’ll save money
How many times have you gone out to eat because you didn’t have anything already prepared at home? Even something as simple as cooking a bunch of chicken in your Instant Pot and freezing it will help you get an easy dinner on the table. Meal prep saves time AND money, as now you’ll have something available at home to get you started cooking!
You’ll have less dirty dishes
Sure, you’ll create a few extra dirty dishes while you do the prep. But when it comes to dinnertime, you’ve already got your veggies chopped so you won’t need to wash your knife and cutting board.
And John definitely appreciates this because, well, he’s in charge of dishes every night. We’ve got a good system going here, and every little bit helps.
You’ll feel less stressed
Let me tell you, I certainly get stressed during dinnertime. Especially if it’s a complicated recipe that requires lots of ingredients and pre-cooking. Even if all I do is cut up some vegetables beforehand, my evening goes MUCH more smoothly.
See, I hate the word “Hangry”, but it describes me so well. Any little setback that prevents me from eating sooner is pretty much the end of the world. Who’s with me here? Happy moms = happy families. So seriously: Do some prep beforehand. You won’t regret it.
Don’t panic! If you’ve never done meal prep before, it doesn’t have to be hard. Check out my post on Meal Prep 101 so you can learn the basics and take baby steps so you can soon be a master of meal prep!
What other benefits have you seen from weekly meal prep? Share in the comments below!