Back in 2015, I competed in a bodybuilding competition. The process was very strict and structured, and eating six MEALS a day (not snacks) required me to start meal prepping to save time. I used to see the pictures on Instagram of all the perfectly portioned meals stacked in perfect meal prep containers, and it turned me off. At the time, it seemed too extreme. I thought meal prepping was just glorified leftovers, and I didn’t see the point… until it became a necessity.
While preparing for my competition, I had VERY limited time to cook during the week. I was training clients, had my own personal trainer 5 days a week, worked out twice a day three days a week, and cooking just didn’t fall into the equation. I decided to give meal prepping a chance, and it changed my life!
Preparing all of my meals on the same day and having them ready for the week was a game changer! Because of the volume of food I had to eat, I would cook on Sundays and Wednesdays. Now, almost two years after my competition, though I don’t eat as much as I had to then, the habit has continued. I eat four meals and two snacks. On Sundays, I cook my meals for Monday-Friday. And on Fridays, I cook for the weekend.
On the weeks I don’t prep, I spend waaay too much money on food, especially trying to eat healthy. Have you ever calculated how much you spend on food a week? A month? I typically spend $75 per week on food, and keep in mind I eat one more meal than the average person (I eat four meals and the average person eats three). The average person also eats out for lunch, which will run you $7-10 per meal. So the average person is spending $50 per week JUST ON LUNCH for Monday-Friday. You still have to add in breakfast, snacks, and dinner, plus your meals on the weekend.
My groceries in the above picture only cost $65! I spent a little under my budget this week because I had a few things leftover from last week. In the picture below, I spent two hours on Sunday preparing three of my meals for Monday-Friday. My fourth meal is breakfast, which is cooked fresh daily. And my two snacks are fruit and seeds, nuts, or almond butter.