Zero Waste Challenge Day 12: Meal Prep

A lot of people struggle with eating healthy. They say it takes too much time, it's not easy, and it's expensive. So, I want to talk about how I eat healthy every week and do it on a budget. It all starts with just a little bit of prep. 

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make it easy:

make a plan:

I am not a hardcore meal planner. I eat what's in season, and I like keep it simple. I keep my pantry stocked so I can make almost anything I want in thirty minutes. My top two tips for meal planning below.

  • Make a list of 30 easy meals for each season: Ask everyone you live with/cook for what their favorite meals are. I keep 15 seasonal and 15 year round. (Nachos and Pizza ;)
  • Examine what you have before you go shopping: If you have an eggplant leftover from last week, you know you need to buy food to go with that first, and then think about what would go with those ingredients and so on. 

the most expensive food; is food uneaten:

You go to the farmers market and you buy all these fresh fruits and veggies, but they go uneaten. They rot and you throw them away. 

Why aren't they eaten? Because they aren't prepped. When you're hungry and you want a snack are you most likely to reach for something that needs to be prepped or something that doesn't? Ready to eat food wins every time. 

save time:

prep it:

So, make you're fresh fruits and veggies ready to eat! Slice them how you like them. Wash them if they're being stored in an open container like snap peas, peaches, plums, and cauliflower, and radishes. Store berries and lettuce in an air tight container. Still slice them how you like, but wash them right before you eat them. Or make sure they're very dry when you store them; because, they will get soggy and mold quickly.

cook once; chop twice:

If I'm making pizza today and know I'll be making nachos in the next couple of days, I'll chop the whole bell pepper. I'll use half for the pizza, and I'll use the other half for the nachos. My veggies are already prepped making dinner come together just that much faster! 

save money:

buy local; buy with the season: 

The farmers market is the best way to get a deal and get to know your local farmers. The farmer is selling directly to you, so there's no overhead. My entire grocery haul below cost $35. It will feed two people for almost the whole week. I need to go to the deli to get turkey for Justin for a couple of sandwiches, and I'll use some dry goods from my pantry. On average we spend $55 a week for food.

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping at the Farmers Market from www.goingzerowaste.com

the challenge:

Set a timer for 30 minutes. Put on some music (because dancing and chopping are synonymous in my house) and prep some food. 

Prep veggies for dinner, prep some snacks, or prep stuff so you can pack your lunch quickly in the morning. Just set aside 30 minutes, and you'll be amazed how much easier it will be to eat healthy, quickly, and without spending a lot of extra money.