By JAI FAITH

I’ve gotten some DMs recently in regards to meal prepping and any additional tips I can share.  Meal prepping just saves money when done right.  I have a family of four where Mateo and I are vegetarians. 🥑  Ron and Maddox are carnivores. 🍗  Here is how I map it out and save some money.  

  1. Let nothing expire: When I am making my lunch and dinner menu for the week, I always start by looking in the fridge, freezer and cabinets at what is in house.  That is how I start my menu so nothing goes to waste.  Half a bag of broccoli 🥦 left… that will be added to something in the beginning of the week.  Half a bag of potatoes… let’s throw in baked potatoes for a lunch side.  You get the point. 
  2. Building Your Unique Plate: I use ChooseMyPlate.gov model for the most part when making a meal concept with personal variations.  My plate usually looks like 1/2 plate of veggies, 1/4 protein and 1/4 Grains.  That works with my body but let me be 💯 clear… Check with your doctor on what is right for you as some conditions require more or less of a specific food group.  Don’t just do what someone else does because they are getting results.  What works for them might not be what your body needs.  So build YOUR unique plate based off of what YOUR body needs.  
  3. Limit the Pre-Chopped & Canned Food: The convenience of Pre-Chopped food cost more as opposed to buying the food and doing the work.  CBS News and Moneywatch shared that “a pound of whole pineapple typically costs about $2.75, while one sold cut up averages about $4.28 per pound”.   Also, canned and processed food typically have higher sodium then if we just started from scratch.  An example would be canned beans verse beans you soak yourself.  Also from CBS News, “a ½ cup serving of pinto beans cooked from dry beans with no added salt is virtually sodium free while a ½ cup serving of canned pinto beans contains approximately 200 milligrams of sodium.”  Digging deeper, many people tell me they are eating healthy and not seeing results but don’t account for the sodium and sugars they are consuming by buying pre-packaged “healthy” foods.  Yes, one might be eating beans but there is a difference in the nutrition from canned beans verse dry beans.  Beware!
  4. Cook in Bulk:  I cook in bulk so I can mix and match during the week.  Freeze prepped food in containers and use throughout the week.  Having these meals prepared helps us not order out food which is a benefit for your health and finances.
  5. Remix Your Leftovers: Easy scenario.  I made a huge batch of Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana for Ron and Maddox this week.  Him and Maddox had it served with Gnocchi one night. Then as Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana Sandwich the next day for lunch.   The following day, it was diced up in an Italian Salad.  Creativity is the spice of life and our leftovers can spark an idea for a new meal concept.  Have fun!!! 
  6. Drink Water:  Why am I throwing in drink water under meal prep tips?  Many drinks are loaded with calories, carbohydrates and sugar.  If you are working hard to put the right food in your system, take into account your beverages as well that you bring into the house.  Many sports drinks, iced teas, sodas, fruit juices and flavored coffees contain 25-35 grams of sugar according to Healthline.com.  They have been linked with obesity and metabolic disease.  Just not worth it.  Water is always worth it.  💦 

Feel free to share which of the above tips you will incorporate into your Meal Prep routine with me.  See you on the turf.  

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