Many nowadays struggle to bother keeping up with cooking their meals with the convenience and affordability of local and fast-food restaurants. Eating out saves you time, tastes delicious and is much easier than going through the arduous process of cooking every meal. To bypass the inconveniences of cooking, one trend that has recently gained traction is weekly meal prep. It saves you time while still allowing the healthier option of eating a home-cooked meals.
Prepping your meals can be a worthwhile endeavor. Read on to discover five reasons why.
Spend less time cooking
Have a few hours to spare on a Sunday afternoon? The time could be put to valuable use prepping meals for the rest of the week. According to a 2016 report by the US Department of Agriculture, most Americans spend approximately 37 minutes each day cooking. By instead shifting your cooking time to a short, dedicated period with bulk ingredients on a weekend afternoon, you can free up a pretty significant chunk of free time each weeknight to focus on other things.
Save your money
A 2017 report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average adult American spent roughly $3,008 per year on food away from home (a.k.a. eating out). This translates to about $8.24 a day on outside food. That may not seem like a large amount of money, but you might be surprised at how much cheaper you can cook a tasty meal of your own at home. A double serving of rice and beans, for example, could easily cost less than $1, for example, and last for several days after.
Freeze leftover meals
One great thing about meal prep is the ability to work in bulk. Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club offer the ability to buy ingredients in larger amounts. By cooking in bulk, you can produce several more meals than you would normally be able to during a conventional meal preparation. The best part? Any extra meals you make can be saved by freezing, extending the lifespan of your perfectly-fresh food.
Eat healthier with meal prep
Studies have shown meal planning helps you have a higher quality, more varied diet, and a lowered likelihood of obesity. You can select your own healthy ingredients, and live in the satisfaction knowing just what exactly is in each meal you consume – a stark difference from many fast-food meals, which can contain a plethora of chemicals, preservatives and other less-than-desirable ingredients.
Have a ‘cheat’ day
Any food can, of course, can be consumed as long as it is done mindfully and with moderation. The higher level of control meal prep affords makes it easier to schedule out your diet for the week. But sometimes, you may desire a ‘cheat’ meal. A delicious restaurant meal or tantalizing dessert item may pervade your every thought. You no longer need to feel guilty when consuming these things. After all, you’ve earned it after going through the sensible practice of meal prep.