As I’ve talked about before in a different article (How to Travel Cheap: 10 Methods for Success), one of the key stages of travel preparation is saving up as much money as you can before you set off. One of the best ways to do this is to cook your own meals. It’s no secret that eating out is expensive, and that money will pile up over time, so the key is to prepare all of your meals yourself, otherwise known as “meal prep”.
What is it?
If you are someone who just doesn’t have the time to cook 3 separate meals every single day, then meal prepping is greatly suited to you. It is simply preparing your meals for the week or just the next few days, at one time so that all your food is just ready to eat when you need it.
So, what we’re going to talk about is what you can do in order to master meal prepping and go through the simple steps to make that happen.
First off, if you’re serious about this whole thing, you’re going to need some good quality food containers. These would preferably be microwavable and also all the same shape and size, so that you can easily stack them in your fridge.
Make a Schedule
This will be the easiest way to stay on top of things and make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed. Pick a day when you’ll do all of your cooking. A Sunday afternoon is a very popular time to do this, so that you have everything ready for the week.
If you don’t want to prepare everything all at once, you could split the cooking over two days, like Sunday and Wednesday, for example. This may also help make sure that you don’t have smelly meals by the time you get to Thursday!
Work Out Quantities
Before it comes to the actual meal prep itself, you’ve got to know what you’re going to be making. Work out how many meals you are going to be making and for how many days. It may help if you write this stuff down.
Keep it Simple
This one is super important!
Now, when I say “keep it simple”, it doesn’t have to be really boring, plain food. Experiment with different flavors and you will come up with some pretty tasty dishes.
Here’s 5 examples of meal prep recipes you could use:
Just make sure that the meals are easy to make and be sure to use ingredients that can be stored and keep well. One bonus tip would be to hold back on overly smelly foods. This could make your whole fridge very unpleasant!
Go Grocery Shopping
I know, obvious one, right? But, it doesn’t work just heading to the supermarket and chucking a bunch of random ingredients into your basket and just hoping you’ll be able to make your meals from it. No, again, we’re circling back to this preparation idea.
First, work out how many days worth of ingredients you need. Then, decide how many meals you need to cook and, most importantly, what you want to cook. Then, you’ll just need to write down the ingredients you need for those meals. This will save you time, money and will minimize the amount of food waste you produce!
Why you should do it?
Without meal prepping, you are far more likely to spend your money on more expensive, and lets face it, crappier food! It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but if you have a plan and a schedule, it will become a habitual routine that will just feel like second nature to you.
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