5 Healthy Meal Prep Alternatives That Save Time and Money
Meal prepping is an excellent idea in theory. Allegedly, it saves time and money by cooking all your meals for the week ahead of time. But let’s be honest — who has an entire Sunday to spend in the kitchen? And even if you do have the time, there’s a good chance some of your food will go bad before you or your family can eat it all. In addition, meal prepping is just too much work for most of us.
Fortunately, there are other ways to save time and money on your meals while still eating healthy and without meal prep. This article will treat you to five of those secrets. From following a diet plan to using Mediterranean meal delivery services, we’ve got you covered. So read on, and happy eating.
1) Follow a Diet Plan
When it comes to meal prep alternatives, following a diet plan like the Mediterranean diet or low-FODMAP diet plan can be a great alternative to simply guessing what to eat. These plans give you specific parameters to work within, which can help eliminate unhealthy choices and make it easier to know what’s on the menu.
For example, the number one ranked Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. The low-FODMAP diet limits high-FODMAP foods that can trigger digestive issues. By following one of these plans, you can ensure that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs and avoiding foods that could make you feel sick. Plus, having a plan in place can help to reduce anxiety around food and make it easy to know what to reach for.
Many people meal prep because they want to limit the amount of thought and effort that regularly goes into the daily planning of meals. But with a versatile and sustainable diet like the ones we’ve mentioned, you won’t waste money on takeout or uneaten food, and you’ll always know what to cook.
2) Use Meal Delivery Services
There’s no denying that cooking can be time-consuming and sometimes even daunting. That’s why meal preparation became so popular. The downside was the lack of variety you get through the week and the potential for food to spoil.
Thankfully, there are now meal delivery services that can take care of the hard work. These services save you time, but they can also save you money by helping you avoid overspending on ingredients or eating out. And, of course, home-cooked meals with nutrient-dense ingredients are healthier than takeout. So you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re eating well.
One meal delivery service that has become increasingly popular in recent years is Mediterranean diet meal delivery. This type of service offers pre-prepared meals that follow the globally-recognized healthy and delicious principles of the Mediterranean diet. In addition to being good for your health, a Mediterranean diet meal delivery service can save you time in the kitchen.
3) Visit Your Grocer’s Deli/Pre-Made Food Section
If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you may have noticed that things are changing. The deli and pre-made food section are getting a makeover. In addition, there are now more quick and healthy lunch options than ever before, including various salads, sandwiches and hot meals. This is excellent news for those looking for a healthy alternative to fatty takeout food.
We get to enjoy greater variety and flavor. We can also save money on ingredients that we would never use (like certain spices or herbs). And don’t shy away from the family pack options. Often, you can get three or four meals out of them, making them very cost-effective. So next time you’re looking for a quick and healthy lunch option or some dinner takeout, check out the new offerings at your local grocery store. You might just be surprised at what you find.
4) Cook Double
If you’re tired of meal prepping, cooking double is a great alternative. You won’t be eating the same thing for the entire week, and you’ll get to spend more time in the kitchen if that’s your jam. But not too much time, so you’re still adding to your weekly time budget in the long run. You’ll save money by using all the ingredients and not leaving any to waste. Just think of that poor half a green pepper that didn’t make it into the sauce.
You also don’t have to cook double of every ingredient or part of your dish. For example, double up on the chicken breast you’re cooking. Then, eat one with your gluten-free pasta and the other in your quinoa and kale salad the next day. So go ahead and ditch the meal prep. Your taste buds and culinary itch will both thank you.
5) Snack More
Snacking gets a bad rap because most people think about snacks like junk food. But snacks don’t have to be chips and chocolate bars. They could be hard-boiled eggs, quinoa and kimchi, or even a plant-based protein-packed smoothie. Snacking can save time and money by preventing you from getting hangry and making poor food choices. Plus, when done healthily, snacking can actually be good for you! So next time you’re considering whether or not to snack, remember that snacks can be your friend.
Reach Your Goals Without Meal Prepping
So there you have it — five easy ways to make healthy eating more manageable and less time-consuming. Meal prep is great, but it’s not the only way to achieve your goals. You can follow a diet plan, use a meal delivery service specializing in healthy food, make smart pre-made food purchases at the grocery store, cook double of certain ingredients and make healthy snacks a staple. The best part is that you’ll still save time and money while reclaiming your