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Markus and I have gone through many stages of life together. High school living off of our parents, broke college students, on to a pretty well off family. I wish I would have known some of the things I know now, when it comes to diet, meal prepping and budgeting.
Back in high school I used to get Jack in the Box for breakfast almost EVERY MORNING, ugh, that makes me sick thinking about it. Because HELLO EXPENSIVE, even though I wasn’t paying for it; and hello to the weight I gained that year. Not to mention how sluggish I felt every day, and not knowing why.
When we headed off to college, we had meal cards that we could use, kitchens in our dorms, and healthy food choices. We still didn’t properly fuel our body, I mean…#college. Lol. Once we moved into our own place with our roommates, we were able to meal plan a little better. We would write out our meals for the month, try to use ingredients we already had, but by month end it was easy mac, frozen pizza, ya know, whatever we could scrounge up.
Now we know how to meal prep, buy exactly what we need, and use almost all of it. Don’t get me wrong, we still have those brown veggies at the end sometimes but we aren’t perfect.
Alright, enough of my history recap. How do we do it now? What makes it easier? Are we saving money this way? How many ways have we done this?
If you are anything like me, you do not love eating the same thing for breakfast all week, same thing for lunch, and so on. Some people don’t mind though. One of the easiest ways, is doing it like this. For example, oatmeal, eggs, and some bacon, 7 days a week for breakfast; chicken, rice and broccoli for lunch; ground beef, sweet potato, and asparagus for dinner, protein shakes in between. Simple, repetitive, could save you quite a bit of money because its minimal ingredients.
Another way we have gone about meal planning is, Pinterest. Duh. We would spend way too long looking up recipes, making lists, remembering to save these recipes, and cooking. This way wasn’t bad when we didn’t have kids. We loved trying new meals this way, getting creative, making the meals in our own way, but now, we just don’t have that kind of time. We would try and pick meals that had similar ingredients, so we could budget a little better, instead of buying a huge roast, and only needing a quarter of it, we would pick a couple more meals with roast, or eat that same meal multiple times.
Now let’s talk about one of my favorite ways to meal prep. It’s ALMOST painless lol Emeals. One of the best meal prepping inventions, in my opinion. They have an app, AND you can usually get a really cheap subscription through Groupon. They have different meal plan options, including low carb, clean eating, kid friendly, keto, paleo, etc. Once you pick your meal plan, and family size, you ARE able to switch it up, which is super nice to be able to get some kid friendly ideas, but go back to clean eating or whatever you chose. After you pick your plan, you scroll through, and pick meals, click add to list, and it builds your grocery list for you!! Not only that, you can send it to Instacart or Walmart, and not even have to shop. SO CONVIENT. It was mind-blowing lol now with two kids, coronavirus, and everything else happening in the world, the last thing I want to be doing is going grocery shopping weekly. Even though you have to pay for Emeals, it is a very small amount, and overall we have saved money using it, because we knew exactly what we needed, we weren’t roaming isles grabbing things we don’t need, and it helped us not eat out so much, because we didn’t want to waste food.
Lastly, a meal prep service. Right now, we are using Clean Eatz. I have written a little review about that in a previous blog. You can find that here. This may not be affordable for everyone, or even available for everyone. This works very well for my family’s life style, right now. Clean Eatz is frozen prepped meals, shipped straight to our door. We usually track our macros, and this make it so easy, because they provide all that information. There are different plans to pick from, and a lot of different meals. We go with the cheapest in the long run option. 30 meals for $175, comes with 5 servings of 6 different meals. They are so so tasty. Sometimes, for us, time is money. By the time Markus gets home from work, it’s almost time for the boys to go to bed, and we really cherish our family time. SO something healthy that we can just toss in the microwave is ideal for us.
Overall, I think the most budget friendly option is Emeals, especially if you have a large family. It’s hard to over purchase when you have exactly the amount you need, put together for you. There are so many other ways to go about this topic. These are just a few of the things we have done. What have you done? What do you currently do? What’s your favorite way to prep? What’s your favorite meal? Tell me all the things in the comments!
Stay Confident <3