Cheaper, Tastier, Healthier, Easier: The Meal Prep Hack

What if there was a way to save time, eat higher quality delicious healthy food, AND save money?  What?!

Meal Prep!

If you do this right, it doesn’t take a lot of your time and then it absolutely SMASHES the MYTH that eating healthy is less convenient, more expensive, and doesn’t taste as good.  You probably don’t have a discipline issue with resisting junk food.  You probably do have a discipline issue with setting yourself up for success and not treating meals like these unexpected surprises.

The more you eat out, the more weight you’ll gain (and money you’ll waste).  I don’t care how many little tips and tricks you try to employ to eat healthy while eating out, the odds are very stacked against you.  Eating out should be for special occasions and irregular treats, not as a solution to an empty fridge and poor planning.

If you are struggling to lose weight this is probably the NUMBER 1 thing you can do to get the nutrition thing right.  Combine that with strength training 3 days per week and some daily walks and you have superpowers and live practically forever.

In the past, I’d get hung up with meal prep thinking everything needed to be these perfect, chef caliber elegant meals that look good in pictures on Instagram.  Not so!  I am going to break down how darn near anyone can incorporate this discipline into your weekly routine.  You will have occasional weeks where you can’t do this but as long as you do it most of the time, you will effortlessly eat well, trim fat, have great daily energy, and save a buck.

Here is how to NAIL Meal Prep the simple way:

  1. Do groceries and cooking on different days.  I now do my grocery shopping on Fridays and instead of Sundays.  Shopping and cooking on the same day is just too long and not realistic.  By grocery shopping Fridays, I get it done faster because the stores are less crowded and I am less tempted to eat out excessively over the weekend because I have a stocked fridge.  I am ready on Sundays to quickly knock out the cooking.

  2. Invest in a good set of latching glass tupperware containers.  You don’t want to microwave food in plastic containers because chemicals leach into the food.  I’m a fan of the latching lids because I’ve had lids pop off in transit before.

  3. Try to make sure the kitchen is relatively ready for cooking.  If you leave a giant pile of dishes in your kitchen and try to food shop on the same day, meal prep will be an 8 hour work day.

  4. My grocery list: giant thing of lettuce, tomatoes, oil/vinegar for salad (most dressings are full of seed oils and sugar), lots of fruit, lots of eggs, 2 giant bags of little potatoes, rice, 96% lean ground beef, burger patties, chicken breasts or pulled pork, and various hot sauces / mustard / bbq sauces / seasonings.

  5. Cook time!  Broil the burger patties at the same time that I roast the potatoes.  I buy the little potatoes so I don’t have to take time cutting them up.  I just throw them on the pan, light olive oil, salt, pepper, and put them in the oven.  While the oven is going, I throw the chicken/pork in the slow cooker.  When that is cooked I shred it.  While all that is going on I’m also cooking the ground beef on the stove.  I usually stick with potatoes but Abby sometimes makes rice or noodles for some of her meals.

  6. By the time we’re done cooking I have 3 proteins (excluding eggs), potatoes, maybe another carb, and a lot of fruits/veggies in the fridge.  Meals should look like 1 part meat, 1 part potato, and 2 parts fruits and veggies.  Simple.

  7. The lunches get fully packed up in to go containers.  We typically just put dinners together ourselves.

  8. How to make this delicious: I keep the seasoning of the staple incredients light, just salt and pepper typically, when cooking.  This way I can incorporate different sauces and flavors to the same staple ingredients for different meals.  Sometimes I will have a burger patty with a little BBQ and hot sauce.  Other times I might have it with some mustard and sauerkraut.  WARNING: Most salad dressings, sauces, spreads are full of seed oils / added sugars and will turn a healthy meal into a not so healthy meal if you aren’t careful.  You have to check the label, portion control, and find alternatives when appropriate.  Don’t trust any “healthy” marketing and check the label.  Nothing with added sugar, nothing with seed oils.  If it is olive oil based, still measure your portion.

  9. DO IT!  Do this most of the time.  If you have a weird week / weekend, just know that you still need to figure out when you will grocery shop and when you will cook.  Don’t let it be an option not to.  As I write this, my apartment is a disaster.  The guy redoing the floors has been…untethered by concerns of timing haha!  I will probably need to grocery shop on Sunday and do the cooking Monday night realistically.  That will still be better than blowing it off for a week.

This process takes us less than 3 hours (not including dishes but those aren’t crazy with this simple of a cook plan).  By the time it is all said and done, I have several options that are tasty and easy.  My meals are costing me around $5 on average, which you simply can’t beat.  $20 mushy take out meals are no longer in any way a temptation.  It will take longer, cost more, and does anybody love when you get take out that has ALWAYS been sitting around before you got it?  Now choosing what to eat requires zero willpower to make the best choice, I’m full, energetic, and healthy.  You can’t beat it!

When you are ready to strength train 3 days per week, walk daily, and eat real food, I am here to help!  Fill out the form at the top or bottom of this screen and I will be in touch : )

Serving Portsmouth, Kittery, and the broader Seacoast community, we help people finally get in shape, feel confident, and have all day energy, even if getting everything done is a constant struggle.


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