#WorkLifeHack 1. #MealPrepping: Cook Meals in Bulk to Save
Updated: Sep 21
1. Time-Saving: Cooking multiple meals at once saves time throughout the week. Rather than cooking every night, you can have meals ready to go.
2. Cost-Efficient: Buying ingredients in bulk often costs less. Plus, you can avoid the expenses of take-out or dining out.
3. Consistent Healthy Eating: By planning ahead, you're less likely to opt for last-minute unhealthy food choices.
4. Portion Control: Prepping meals in advance allows for consistent and controlled portion sizes, which can help with weight management.
5. Reduced Stress: Knowing your meals are ready to go reduces the daily stress of figuring out what to eat.
Steps for Effective Meal Prepping:
- Decide the number of meals you want to prep for (e.g., a week’s worth of dinners).
- Choose recipes that are both freezable and scalable.
- Create a shopping list based on those recipes.
- Buy ingredients in bulk, focusing on whole and fresh ingredients.
- Look for sales or discounts to save money.
- Gather all necessary kitchen equipment.
- Clean and chop veggies or meat.
- Cook any grains (like rice or quinoa) in advance.
- Cook meals in a sequence that allows for multitasking. For instance, while a casserole bakes, a soup can simmer.
- Ensure food is thoroughly cooked, especially if it will be reheated later.
- Wait for food to cool to room temperature.
- Use good-quality, airtight containers to store meals. This prevents freezer burn and maintains freshness.
- Label containers with the date and meal type. This helps in rotating meals and eating them while they're still fresh.
- Always reheat food to a safe temperature.
- Use a microwave, oven, or stovetop as appropriate.
- If possible, avoid thawing and refreezing meals multiple times.
Tips for Successful Meal Prep:
- Versatility: Choose base ingredients (like chicken or tofu) that can be used in multiple dishes.
- Freezer Meals: Some meals, like casseroles or stews, freeze particularly well, they can be reheated and still taste great.
- Freshness For salads or dishes with fresh ingredients, store components separately and assemble before eating.
- Safe Food Handling: Always practice safe food handling and storage practices to prevent foodborne illnesses.
- Rotation: Rotate stored meals so you're not eating the same thing multiple days in a row.
Meal prepping, where individuals prepare multiple meals in one go, is not only a great method to ensure healthier eating patterns but also a strategic way to save time and money. On average, a person can save up to 5 hours a week by avoiding daily cooking and clean-up processes. Financially, by purchasing ingredients in bulk and dodging the recurrent costs of take-out or dining out, an individual can save upwards of $50 a week.