Forget the notion that meal-prep is just for bodybuilders, Crossfit fanatics, and those following the latest lifestyle craze (…Paleo, Whole30, Keto, the list goes on…) Basic meal preparation and organization can (and should!) be for EVERYONE! Yes, even YOU!
Here are 10 really good reasons to give meal prep a try:
1. Best for Budgeting and Savings – What better way to budget your food expenses than by knowing exactly what you will be spending your money on? Planning out the week’s meals ahead of time allows you to “shop” your favorite store’s sales and plan meals based on what’s freshest and also best-priced.
2. The Key to Effortless Mornings - Seriously, if your job requires you to be part of the 8-9 am commute or daycare drop off line, is there anything better than starting your day by getting out of the house on time? (…maybe a way to stop your toddler from NEEDING to be attached to your pantleg as you pour your coffee? Sorry, can’t help you there…)
3. Necessary to Achieve Health & Wellness Goals – It’s not just a coincidence that the extremely health-conscious among us #MealPrepMonday (or Sunday, or Tuesday, or whatever...) It’s common sense that in order to truly control what goes into our bodies, we need to be the ones preparing and portioning out the ingredients. No matter where you are on your own health journey, however, take this bit to heart: the key to real health lies in avoiding the extras (processed foods, preservatives, sweeteners and other junk) and the easiest way to avoid those extras is to make meals at home. It’s something that your whole family will benefit from.
4. Inventory Control and Kitchen Cleanliness – Want to know the easiest way to keep your fridge and pantry clean and organized? Know what you’re storing in them! It is too easy to just slap together a grocery list and then come home with items you already have on hand. The new stuff gets put away without paying any mind to the fact that you’ve got six cans of the same navy beans you just bought again, and there’s a 3-pack of romaine lettuce going brown at the back of your refrigerator. Sound familiar? Guess what? Proper meal prep and planning prevents this kind of stuff from happening. I promise.
5. Reduces Decision Fatigue – (I initially put “eliminates” instead of “reduces” but I decided to be real here.( There will be days when nothing you’ve planned or prepped sounds good, or you’re running late, and the kids are super hangry, or you have to bring your daughter to the doctors unexpectedly…you get the picture. That’s okay. It happens. That’s why takeout exists. But…overall, having a plan in place and a couple of meals to either choose from to cook or a few ingredients to just toss together and turn into a meal is so freeing. It’s a lovely feeling coming home from a long day and not having to stare blankly at the open fridge. (that light is blinding after a while I hear….)
...Which brings me to:
6. Gets Dinner on the Table Faster – When you have taken the time beforehand (less time than you think!) to formulate a plan for your weeknights, and you have meals either ready to go or all the ingredients on hand, dinner gets on the table faster. When dinner is served faster, kids behave better. It’s science*. Seriously.
(*disclaimer: I was kidding. It’s not science, obviously. But…sometimes it works!)
7. Meal Planning is NOT “One-Size-Fits-All” – And this is great news! Because it means that you can make meal planning into whatever you need it to be. And no matter what,it will still make your life easier. And that’s why I’m here. To show you the many ways that you can effortlessly incorporate meal planning into your life. To fit your needs. Seriously.
8. Reduces Random Leftovers and Food Waste – I know I touched on this in point #4, but I really feel it necessary to reiterate. Eliminate soggy bags of browned lettuce that you never opened! Banish that one extra pork chop that you cooked because you neglected to count how many were in the package and now it smells funny! Do away with…okay, I think you get my point. Proper meal planning equals proper food utilization. And proper food utilization equals less food waste.
9. You CAN Please Everyone! (…Kind of…) – So obviously you know you can’t please everyone. But, by planning out the week’s meals you can incorporatea little something for everyone in the meal rotation. Maybe you’ve got a picky eater, or maybe someone doesn’t like broccoli. Maybe someone only eats Mac’n’Cheese. That’s okay. Because you can plan a Mac’n’Cheese night. You can serve that special little person’s fave side dish on Wednesday, but they’ve got to have a few bites of broccoli with dinner on Monday. And on Saturday you can eat a nice steak & potatoes dinner with Dad because he finally took care of that washer hose leak and the kids had cheeseburgers earlier and everyone’s happy. (Or close enough to it.)
10. You’ll Look Forward to Eating Out – You know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. And although I will certainly say that meal planning and cooking at home most nights certainly makes me look forwardto eating out, there are times when we leave a restaurant feeling like we could’ve had a better meal in the comfort of our own home, without the waitress who ignored us all night, for less money. So, there’s that, too.
…Last but not least, one reason why you should definitely NOT meal prep:
1. Because “Everyone Else is Doing it”– Because you see all these people showing off their #MealPrepMonday (or Thursday, or Friday, or whatever…) and so you go on Pinterest and follow someone else’s plan and it doesn’t work for your life, or you get super discouraged by all their awesome little toddler bento box lunches, and so you feel like a failure and quit before you even get started.
This is definitely not a good reason to meal prep. This is, however, a fantastic reason to find yourself here.
And there you have it!
Ten really great reasons to meal prep and one more reason to come to this community to find your meal prep groove. Because meal planning and prepping is NOT one-size-fits-all. Because you need a system that will work for your schedule, your family, your needs, your budget.
And that’s where I can help you.
Are you ready to get started?
Click the link below to download my free “5 Minute Food Prep Guide” right now. It’s got a bunch of useful tips, printables, and worksheets that will get you headed in the right direction, with a fresh perspective on meal prep. And please stick around, friend, because there’s more where that came from!
Stay tuned !