Reason #1 It Saves a Lot Time
I’m all for saving time – it’s something you cannot buy. Meal prepping comes down to this: spend a few hours prepping food one day, and you save tons of time and agony during the week when you are most stressed.
With proper planning, it takes me anywhere from 2-4 hours to prep 15 meals for the week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). This works out to be only 8-16 minutes per meal. It actually takes more time to order out – either for pickup or delivery – and I live in NYC where there are tons of restaurants just within walking distance.
Reason #2 It Forces You to Eat Healthy
You know that uneasy feeling you get when you bite into that juicy, delicious double-stack burger at the new fancy gourmet burger joint, the one with 2 slices of jalapeno cheese and smoked bacon? Oh I really shouldn’t have this, but… it tastes soooo good! I don’t even want to know how many calories is in this thing. You know how that ends up. Love handles and high cholesterol my friend!
Meal prepping, on the other hand, forces you to pick and choose your ingredients. You wind up buying the freshest produce and meat at the markets. You are in control of the entire process and know exactly what you’re putting in your body. There’s no guesswork involved – you will know your exact caloric intake every day. You want to lose weight? Control your diet by planning ahead, so you don’t give in to temptation at your weakest moment (deciding what to eat last minute when you’re hungry).
Reason #3 It Frees up Mental Energy
How many times a week do you stress over what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Wait until the last minute and make bad decisions on what to eat? Peek over at what your co-worker is having and think, oh that looks pretty good. You’re not alone!
I used to go through this agonizing mental process too. Because I love food, a good portion of my brain was devoted to planning my next meal. Meal prepping takes away all of that. It makes me feel good knowing that I have all of that covered. I always a delicious, wholesome, meal waiting for me.
Reason #4 It Saves Money
Ok, let’s get something straight. Eating out every day adds up big time! Depending on where you live, breakfast costs between $4-$7, lunch is $9-$14, and dinners are $15+. That adds up to $7,000-$12,000 per year. Have you ever calculated just how much you spend on food every single month? I did and it shocked the c**p out of me.
On the high end, you might be paying the equivalent of an average mortgage in the US ($950/mo). If you manage to put away $10,000 into your retirement fund, it grows to $163,114 in 40 years at an average long-term market return (7%/yr). Now there’s some food for thought.
With meal prepping, I calculate that the average cost of 3 meals in a day comes to about $4, equal to buying one (cheap) breakfast meal outside. That’s money in the bank for a rainy day!
Reason #5 It Cuts Down on Food Waste
Meal prepping is all about pre-planning. When you only buy the ingredients you need, you cut down on food waste. That meals less spoiled produce rotting in your fridge. Good for the environment, good for your wallet.
TL;DR Don’t agonize over what to eat every day, spend a few hours prepping food for the entire week and you can eat healthy and good food while saving time and money.