Basic Meal Prepping

Basic Meal Prepping

I’m the type of person that could eat the same meal repeatedly without getting tired of it.  This comes in handy when you meal prep! In case you don’t know, that’s when you batch cook a bunch of the same meal and store it for future meals.  And fortunately, my work provides breakfast and lunch 4 days a week, so I really only need to worry about dinners. And since it’s more time efficient to cook once for all of the weeknights (and more cost efficient!), I went onto Amazon and picked up these big glass microwavable containers (affiliate link).

I don’t make overly complex meals, I tend to shoot for relatively healthy or really easy if I’m having a busy week.  Also, I’m a big fan of the ChooseFI podcast and in an early episode, Brad talked about his long term family average cost of $2 per person, per meal.  Due to my high training volume, this is harder to hit since I eat north of 3,000 calories a day, but nonetheless it’s a good benchmark to go off!

In April, I did 3 meal preps for a total of 16 dinners, which was good for the majority of the weekdays where I could simply get home from work, plop that sucker in the microwave, and have a delicious meal in a few minutes.  The first week I made sweet potato lentil bowls, next was veggie tacos, and lastly was a very easy one – frozen ravioli from Costco. In my effort to shoot for $2 per meal, I did a bit of spreadsheeting and here are my results!

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Bowls

Ingredient

Amount

Calories

Cost

Sweet potato

3lb

1170

$3.99

Brussel sprouts

2lb

400

$4.98

Broccoli

0.75lb

115

$1.62

Rice

2 cups

1200

$0.68

Lentils

2 cups

960

$1.00

Total

 

3,845

$12.27

Average

5 meals

769

$2.45

    

Veggie Tacos/Taco Bowls

Ingredient

Amount

Calories

Cost

Diced Sweet Potato

3lb

1170

$3.99

Quinoa

2 cups

1280

$1.69

Black Beans

2 cans

770

$1.58

Mushroom

24oz

160

$4.99

Onion

1 large

100

$0.59

Red Bell Pepper

2 large

100

$1.98

Broccoli

1lb

150

$2.16

Tortilla

7

980

$1.33

Total

 

4,710

$18.31

Average

7 meals

673

$2.62

    

Costco Ravioli + Broccoli

Ingredient

Amount

Calories

Cost

Frozen spinach ravioli

3.5lb

3200

$9.99

Broccoli

1lb

150

$2.16

Total

 

3,350

$12.15

Average

4 meals

838

$3.04

 

Came out to average of $2.67 per meal and 744 calories.  Not quite the coveted $2, but on the weekends breakfast is typically oatmeal or eggs and hash browns, which definitely brings the average down.  

 

Benefits

The time savings are great!  Much easier to spend an hour or two cooking on a Sunday or Monday evening than to spend 45 minutes each night to do the same thing, so this will result in a minimum of 2-3 hours per week.  This is my favorite benefit since time is more valuable than money, but the monetary benefits aren’t something to be laughed at! I happen to enjoy cooking, but not everyone does. The alternate to this could be picking up a quick meal like a Chipotle burrito.  This would bump it up to $8-10 per meal, which is much higher.

Do you do any sort of meal prepping?  If so, what are your go-to meals? I’m on a pretty big sweet potato kick at the moment, so most of my meals will include them diced up and baked.  Then I’ll typically add rice or quinoa, and then a few different roasted veggies. Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Oh also, here’s a picture just in case you thought I was going to leave you hanging!  Looks scrumptious, I know!

 

These were my taco fillings sans tortilla

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Under $3 a meal is really good for how healthy and how many different ingredients you got into the meals! Do you not eat meat?

    1. Yeah I’m happy with it! Can definitely get it lower the price per calorie if I added more potato/rice/beans and less of the fresh veg, but then it’s more bland. And I currently don’t eat meat, I haven’t for about a year and a half.

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