You save money when you meal prep
Eating out every day can be an absolute financial killer! Assume that you buy lunch 6 days a week and spend an average of $9 per meal. This comes to a total of 54 dollars per week on just lunch. Take into account that there are 52 weeks in a year. You are spending $2,652 a year on eating out!
You can buy a box of instant rice that will make about 6 cups/servings for only $2.00. The average bag of frozen chicken breast is right at $10 and will have right at 6 breasts per bag. Daily cost is $ .34 for the rice and $1.66 for the chicken. So this example of a prepared meal would only cost $2 a day, or $624 for the year. So, your almost saving $2,000 a year based on this example and that is just for lunch! How much money would you save if you did this with all your meals?
Also, try to get groceries wholesale from Costco or Sam’s Club. Buying wholesale really helps to save money when meal prepping. It also helps when providing for an entire household because you buy larger quantities at a lower price. This form of shopping allows food to be much more abundant while saving money in the long run!
You are in complete control when you meal prep
You will be more successful with your diet and calorie intake when all your food is planned ahead. I have meals prepared in advance for the entire week to keep me from eating like shit. My food preparation is done every Sunday morning, which provides me 4 healthy meals per day. I don’t feel the urge to go eat nasty food, when my meals are readily available when I need to eat.
You save time in the long run when you meal prep
I know that spending a couple hours cooking once a week sounds like a huge pain in the ass! However, spending the time making everything I need to eat for the entire ends up being a huge convenience. It saves me a ton of time everyday from constantly having to prepare food. Whenever I’m ready to eat, I just throw a meal in the microwave!
Things you will need for a meal prep
Other than food, containers are the most important part of any successful meal prep. You can spend the money of really nice glass containers if you really want too make the investment. However, I find it much more cost effective to stick with cheap BPA free plastic containers from the dollar store. I have even resorted to putting meals into plastic bags because I wouldnt have time to do dishes that week. Whichever route you go, make sure that you get enough containers to get you through the whole week.
Aluminum foil can make this whole process much easier to clean up. Baking chicken or vegetables is much more convenient to deal with when it is contained in foil. I really like to make “hobo meals” on the grill by putting allot of food in an aluminum dome and letting it set until its done.
NON-stick cooking spray
I really like cooking spray that are made out of canola oil. This can help keep your meats from drying out on grills or in the oven. Cooking sprays also help seal in flavor and keep food from sicking onto the dishes.
This one is pretty much self explanatory but if your going to do it. Then you should do it right. Having accurate measurements ensures that food is properly made and portion sizes are controlled.
Condiments and seasoning
Seasoning your food can really break up the monotony of what you are eating. I suggest you at least buy salt, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, and hot sauce.
GRILLED LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN WITH RICE
- 8 oz chicken breast
- 1 cup of rice
- 550 calories
- 68 grams of protein
- 45 grams of carbs
- 10 grams of fat
- Total cost of $ 1.99 per meal
So your first step with this meal prep is going to be to prepare the rice. The absolute easiest way for you to make this is with an instant rice because you do not have to actually cook the rice. You only have to let the rice set in the water for about 10 minutes and it will be done. If you use 1/2 cup of dry rice with 1 cup of hot water, it will make 1 cup of rice. I am making 5 of these meals so I add 2 1/2 cups of rice to 5 cups of water.
I also like to add beef base or chicken bouillon cubes to the water for added flavor.
Allow your grill or oven to heat up to 450 degrees. Then you will need to spray your chicken with a non-stick cooking spray. This keeps your chicken from drying out and and from sticking to the baking pan. Cooking for 20 minutes at 450 degrees will yield juicy chicken.
The last 5 minutes that its on the grill, you will add your seasoning. First, add a light coat of the cooking spray, then add your seasoning. You will let them cook another 5 minutes before you pull them off the grill. Then, you are done!
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH RICE AND GREEN BEANS
- 2 cups of green beans
- 8 oz of chicken breast
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 420 calories
- 54 grams of protein
- 30.5 grams of carbs
- 10 grams of fat
- Total cost of $ 2.08 per meal
With this meal prep, I only cook a half cup of rice but still use the same amount of chicken. I find it much more cheaper and convenient to buy the wholesale sized can of green beans. I first dump the whole can into a large wok style pan on high heat. Green beans will rapidly absorb the flavor of whatever you cook them in, so I just use salt and pepper. You need to cook them for 20 to 30 minutes, so cook them and the chicken at the same time.
BEEF WITH BLACK BEANS AND RICE
- 1 cup of drained black beans
- 6 oz of ground chuck (90/10)
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 668 calories
- 67 grams of protein
- 68 grams of carbs
- 13 grams of fat
- Total cost of $2.22 per meal
You will first heat the pain up to a high heat. Put the meat into the pan into three large sections. As it browns, evenly break the meat into smaller pieces with a spatula. After it is fully cooked make sure to drain the excess grease.
Next, you will use a strainer to drain your black beans. Three cans will generally provide about five 1 cup servings. These beans are already cooked before they are canned so there is no need to cook them again.
Once you put your beans and beef into the container, add 1/2 cup of rice. Lastly, you can add some salsa or hot sauce to give this easy meal an awesome Tex-Mex flavor.
This is really easy treat that you can make on a grill, oven, or microwave. It is also an excellent snack option if you are watching your calorie intake because there are only 70 calories in an apple. It tastes really good and you can just pretend that your having apple dumpling at Cracker Barrel!
This is fairly easy to make. Use a knife to remove the apple core and use a small amount of Cooking spray on the inside and outside. Next, you will sprinkle cinnamon on the inside and sides as well. Then, wrap it in foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Then your done.
If you really want to make it taste awesome you can put other ingredients inside the core. This taste incredible if you throw in some dried cranberries and a splash of bourbon!
You can also make this in the micro wave by cutting it into slices and topped with cinnamon. Then microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.