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Does Meal Prepping Save Money

Preparing for your food in advance can reduce cooking related hassles but does meal prepping save money? This blog will help you with A-Z of meal prepping, including the initial costs and benefits.
Does meal prepping save money
Does Meal Prepping Save Money
Meal prepping can feel overwhelming if you're new to it. It's a lot of work, but here's the thing – you're investing a few hours to make the entire week easier and way more affordable. Once you get into the groove, it becomes a pretty easy task.
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Are you sick of watching your hard-earned cash disappear into the endless void of overpriced takeout and desk salads? Eating out or relying on pre-made convenience food is a total budget-buster. But what if there’s a way to still enjoy delicious, homemade meals without going completely broke? Enter meal prepping. This trendy meal ritual is all about getting ahead of your food game by prepping ingredients and full meals in advance. But does it actually save money or is it just another fad? Let’s break it down.

Does Meal Prepping Really Save Money?  

The short answer is yes. Meal prepping can absolutely save you tons of cash if you do it right. Read on to find out how:

Understanding Meal Prepping

First, let’s understand this ‘meal prepping’ that everyone is talking about. Basically, it means taking a few hours to get organized and cook/prep ingredients ahead of time so you have ready-to-go, homemade meals and components on hand. You could fully cook a batch of lunches for the week, chop veggies, cook proteins, etc., so assembling meals is easier. Either way, the goal is to have nutrient-packed, homemade options ready whenever hunger strikes.

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Initial Costs Of Meal Prepping

There can be some upfront costs to go all-in on meal prep life. You’ll likely want to invest in quality reusable food storage containers, upgrade to some decent bakeware, and pick up some other little tools here and there – a good insulated lunchbox or cooler bag for transporting your prepped meals. But these are one-time purchases that enable long-term savings.

The Economic Benefits Of Meal Prepping

Now we’re getting to the good part! Let’s see how meal prepping can help you save money:

  1. You’ll dramatically cut back on tossing spoiled food since you’re planning portions.
  2. Cooking at home is almost always a lot cheaper than eating out.
  3. Buying ingredients in bulk will always get great discounts and savings.  
  4. Having ready-made, prepped food on hand means you’re less tempted by pricey takeout.

Factors That Influence Savings  

The amount of money you will save depends on a few key factors. Your savings from prepping will be huge if you’re currently paying $15-20 per day on lunch, coffee, and random snacks from delis and cafes. But if you already cook at home often, the savings may be minimal. Strategizing meals to stretch ingredients as far as possible is also crucial.

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Case Studies Or Examples

Let’s look at a couple of real examples where meal-prepping has worked:

Marcus went from dropping $15+ daily on lunch from the cafe and coffee runs to prepping all his work meals at home. He estimates saving at least $200 per month now.

Jen used to spend well over $100 per week on expensive takeout dinners for her whole family. Since she started prepping big batches on the weekend, she only spends $80 on ingredients for their entire weekly meal lineup.

Those little weekly savings add up to thousands annually! Indeed, that will make you want to quit the habit of taking out, right?

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Overcoming Barriers To Meal Prepping

The idea of meal prepping can feel overwhelming if you’re new to it. Having to plan a whole week’s worth of meals, grocery shopping for all that stuff, then spend hours preparing and cooking? It’s a lot of work upfront. But here’s the thing – you’re investing a few hours to make the entire week easier and way more affordable. Once you get into the groove, it becomes a pretty mindless routine.

Meal Prepping Strategies for Maximum Savings  

Now that we have discussed how meal prepping can save you some hard-earned cash let’s move on to maximize those savings to their full potential. Here are some pro tips:

  1. Plan meals that use affordable staple ingredients across multiple dishes (beans, rice, eggs, frozen veggies, etc.)
  2. That freezer is your best friend! Cook up big batches and freeze portions for easy reheating.
  3. Time your grocery shopping right and stock up when there’s a discount or sale.
  4. Get scrappy and use every last part of the ingredients (veggie scraps for homemade stock, etc.).
  5. Ditch pricey store-bought condiments and make your own sauces, dressings, etc.

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Comparing Meal Prepping To Other Eating Habits

Compared to other eating habits, the average meal prep runs $2-4 per serving for basic ingredients. Your average fast-food or fast-casual lunch? At least $10-15 at this point, not including a drink. As for those Seamless or Uber Eats dinner orders? We’re talking $15-25 per person once all the taxes, tips, and fees are piled on. You’re paying a mega premium for convenience.

Tools And Resources For Effective Meal Prepping

So, you are new to the meal-prepping arena and wondering how to pull this off efficiently? Luckily, tons of amazing resources are out there to make it mega beginner-friendly these days. From meal-prep-focused blogs and cookbooks to apps and online calculators, you can find a wealth of tips, recipes, and tools to set you up for success.

Conclusion

Meal prepping requires putting in some decent work upfront. There’s the time investment for planning and prepping and a little cash for supplies if you’re starting from scratch. However, the money you save by avoiding regular takeout, drastically reducing food waste, and buying ingredients in more innovative ways? Totally worth it. Not to mention knowing what’s in the food you are feeding your body. So quit putting it off and get those meal prep containers ready. Your wallet (and probably your waistline, too) will thank you.

FAQs

How much money do you save by meal prepping?

Most experts estimate the average person saves at least $150-300 per month by meal prepping compared to regularly eating out or ordering in. That’s like a car payment!

Is it cheaper to meal prep or buy meals?

Almost 99.9% of the time, prepping simple basic meals at home will be cheaper than purchasing pre-made meals from restaurants, stores, meal delivery services, etc. 

Why does meal prepping save money?

Most experts estimate the average person saves at least $150-300 per month by meal prepping compared to regularly eating out or ordering in. That’s like a car payment!

Is it cheaper to meal prep or buy meals?

Almost 99.9% of the time, prepping simple basic meals at home will be cheaper than purchasing pre-made meals from restaurants, stores, meal delivery services, etc. 

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Author

Picture of Allan Moses

Allan Moses

An editor and wordsmith by day, a singer and musician by night, Allan loves putting the fine in finesse with content curation. When he's not making dad jokes or having fun with puns, he's constantly looking to tell stories out of everything.

Editor

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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