Meal Prepping: Healthy Eating and Saving a Buck
There are huge advantages to meal prepping. Particularly, that it comes hand to hand with healthy eating when done right. In this article I am going to show you ways to eat healthy while not spending a fortune in the process, save time, shop smart, and how doing so can reduce stress. When most people think of eating healthy they think of eating organic foods, which are outrageously priced, but it is not necessary to purchase organic foods just to be healthy. If you want to lose weight or just plain eat healthy, you don’t have to be intimidated by high supermarket prices. You can succeed in saving money, time, and eating healthy. I plan meals at least twice a week with my husband, and we cook in bulk together, it’s a great bonding activity.
When I find an amazing sale, I will always buy much more than I’m going to eat that week. I will freeze what I know I won’t cook in 3 or so days. My freezer will be full, but it’s usually full of healthy, nutritious foods. So for example, Stop & Shop chicken breasts are on sale for $1.39 per pound when you buy 3 packages or more. I will tell you, buy at least 3 packages. You will never see it this cheap. It’s usually $1.99 or more. Take advantage of these sales, and in the long run, it will save you a lot of money. If you saw in the same circular, the Perdue Perfect Portions chicken is on sale for $5.99 for the 1.5lb package. That’s $4 a pound!!! What I’m getting at is just look for the deals. If you buy healthy food outright it gets expensive. Grab the good stuff that’s on sale that is healthy. Take the time to separate the bulk packages by putting them into freezer bags. This will make things convenient when getting ready to cook. Both Stop & Shop and Perdue chicken taste the same, so it won’t matter if you mix them.
Now that you have your protein, you need some amazing veggies. This week broccoli is .99 cents per pound, another great deal! So at this point, I would make the decision to buy at least four crowns of broccoli and that will be my vegetable for the week. I may also add one onion and a couple of tomatoes to my cart since it’s on sale. You want to have plenty available for you for the week so you don’t have to make extra trips to the store.
Time saved. YES!! Who doesn’t need more time in the day? We all wish we could get more hours in the day, but we all know there are only 24 in a day and at least 7 of them are sleeping. My normal cooking schedule with my husband is Sunday, which works out great since we both have the day off and have the whole day to prepare at any time. Since it’s summer and we have the grill, we will cook all of our chicken on the grill. We may add some spices, i.e. salt, pepper, McCormick spices, Cumin, Curry… etc. Cooking on the grill is fast, and easy clean up. Total time for prepping, seasoning, and cooking your chicken is 25 minutes max. While Brenden is cooking on the grill I will usually make the vegetables in the Wok, typically mixing them all in with a little Pam and some spices. In the Wok it’s about 15 min to cook my veggies. After everything is cooked, it’s time to put everything in portioned containers. I will get all my meals set for at least 4 days. Now I don’t have to worry about thinking about what to eat, or what to make. The time for me to separate and portion out, maybe another 10 min. So that’s a total of 50 min, less than one hour for four days worth of food. Remember it’s different depending how many people are involved. Think of all the time you will save not having to cook every meal every night? Now you can have the time to spend with your significant other, family, or even a night to just splurge on a good movie.
Overall, healthy eating habits can be achieved through meal prepping. It also saves you money in the long run, which makes your wallet happy, and as well saves you time for yourself. With this, you will be less stressed and can enjoy your daily activities without having to worry about cooking. We naturally waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to eat or make. We as well waste money having to run to the grocery store to pick up last-minute ingredients when you don’t have a plan. Meal prepping has been a lifestyle choice that my husband and I have done most of our relationship and has been a great bonding activity for us. Now you will have time after work to watch your favorite tv show, read a book, or go for a walk instead of cooking. It could work for you, too!
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