Make the most of meal planning.

Failure to plan is planning to fail, right? Meal prepping can seem like a far fetched idea to most people. Who has that much time on their hands? The thing is, most people in general will find that the time saved over the course of the week(and especially in the hectic morning rush when lunch is already packed and ready to go) makes meal prepping worth it. Prepping ahead of time also keeps you from having to rely on a drive through for lunch, and typically not only saves your waist line, but your wallet too.

A few tips to make sure meal planning is as simple as possible :

1. Crock pots can become your best friend. Prepping a few pounds of chicken for a crockpot takes minutes. You can start a crockpot full of chicken breasts and Mexican spices on a Sunday morning to cook on low all day, and by the evening, you’ve got 3-4 pounds of chicken that will take just a few minutes to shred, and can be used on salads, in burritos, or as a stand-alone dish with some grilled peppers and onions. From start to finish, it will take you less than 15 minutes of actual work, and you’ll have days worth of lunches ready to go.

2. Make a veggie that’s versatile and can be used as a side for multiple dishes. Maybe some savory sweet potato fries. Or bake green beans covered in olive oil and garlic. Those can be paired with multiple proteins to mix it up.

3. Don’t overcomplicate it. Make a big batch of chili in a crockpot, or grill a bunch of turkey burgers and call it a day. You don’t need to make a complicated recipe needing 18 exotic ingredients.

4. Don’t burn yourself out on a single meal. Try to go 3-4 weeks between cooking the same thing so you don’t get tired of eating it.

5. Get together and meal prep with friends. It makes the time fly by, you’ll have fun while doing it, and your week will run so much more smoothly.

6. Make a grocery list ahead of time with all the ingredients you need. The less trips to the store, the less stress(and less chances to accidentally end up with Oreos in your basket).

7. Buy prechopped salad, frozen veggies, and other short cuts that’ll make your life easier. Fresh is always ideal, but be realistic with yourself. If a bag of chopped lettuce will save you a few minutes and your sanity, just grab it.

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