Should I do a meal service or meal prep?

Lets talk about food.

Food is something that we all have in common. It is one of our biggest yearly consumer expenses.

We all have limited time and resources. And if you have a family you have even less time and resources.

Food is one of our biggest challenges. Fast food is easy and everywhere, but not really healthy. All of it is processed and has sugar and who knows what else they put in it. I went to Chick-Fil-A the other day and noticed they even have added sugar into grilled chicken. It can be such a challenge if you are trying to eat healthier.

Like so many other things in life it is all about being intentional. If you want to eat healthier and spend less on your food, you have to think about it.

You have to be mindful and think ahead.

Leave shame behind.

I love bread. It is my favorite food. But I often go through periods where I cut out that food, because I want to reach a fitness goal. What happens when we break our diet or we eat something we think we are not supposed to? We feel guilty and shame. And we throw out all of the work we have put in to get there. You have to stop that.

We all need to let of the shame and the guilt we feel from eating things we love.

Now back to thinking ahead.

One of the best ways I have found to stop myself from eating potato chips and fast food is to think ahead and then take action. Prepare dinner meals ahead of time. Prepare daily snacks. Prepare daily drinks.

Drinks are also one of my biggest weaknesses. I love all kinds of drinks: coffee, soda, juice, energy drinks. I usually do not get enough sleep to keep my alert and focused all day so I rely on drinks that can give me energy. Sound familiar?

So how do you eat healthier options and save yourself time?

I have found that you can batch meals for the week aka meal prep or you can use a meal service. There are all kinds of different meal services out there and more and more grocery store are selling premade meals, meal kits, meal delivery etc.

Advantages of a meal service:

  • Save on prep time
  • Save on time grocery shopping
  • Healthy Options
  • Taste

Advantages of meal prep:

  • Save on prep time
  • Healthy options
  • Cost

As an entrepreneur, my most valuable resource is time. I want more time to spend with my boyfriend and my dog and my life. I do not want to have to make the decision of what am I going to eat tonight? And then what do I need to get to prepare this meal? How long is it going to take to prepare?

Dinner becomes another item on my to do list. I do not get to really enjoy the process.

I tried different meal services. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. They cost about the same amount. For five meals I paid about $10 per meal plus the cost of shipping. The meal comes with all the ingredients you need to prepare the meal and in the correct portion size. If you are trying to lose weight or eat healthier this is a great option. There are also different taste options to choose from that you might not be able to create on your own without help.

The problems I found with a meal service were: snack and drinks in between meals you need to purchase. The portion sizes were small so you might still be hungry after you have had your portion. With Hello Fresh you still need to prepare the meal, but it is really easy. The cost may also be an issue for some. If you have a family it can get expensive. If you want all 7 days of the week it will be even more expensive. You are really paying for health and convenience with this option.

For me the best option is meal prep. I sit down decide what I am going to eat everyday for the next month. Mainly dinner meals. Then every weekend, usually on Sunday I put together all the ingredients I need for the next week and prepare as many of the meals as possible.

Plan for 7 days. Include snacks and drinks during the day.

Keep it simple.

Healthy dinner meals are often really simple:

  • Chicken and mixed vegetables
  • Salmon, brussel sprouts and fruit
  • Meatballs and fruit
  • Taco Salad
  • Stuffed Bell peppers
  • Squash and sausage with boiled carrots
  • Veggie soup made in a crock pot

The options are endless. With meal prep you can also control costs. I shop at Costco for ingredients that I know I am going to like and use multiple times during the month. It does take a little bit more time shopping in the grocery stores over the meal service. But I actually enjoying shopping for different items. I like seeing the price of things. You can also make meals in bulk so you can create larger portion meals if you so choose.

I usually buy fruits and veggies as they go on sale at the different grocery stores around my house. Use an App like Flipp and you get the latest store ad delivered to your phone or you can have the store mail you their latest ad.

If you are trying to control costs I would recommend preparing meals in advance. You have so much more control and can really dial in the savings if you work at it.

What do you do? Any tips and tricks you use? Leave a comment or email me:

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