Why do we meal prep?

Why do we focus on meal preparation?

We do bang on about it a bit. And if you’re used to being in an office and popping out on your lunch break to pick up a sandwich or salad, then it might feel a bit too much like hard work. Even if you’re used to packing your own lunch and heading out for the day, thinking about Thursday’s lunch on Sunday evening probably feels like too much of a mindset change.

We hear you, and we sympathise. Not too long ago, we were in a similar place: pulling together lunches for children and spouses and ourselves at the last minute (or while wolfing down granola at 7am). We didn’t immediately jump to having a menu plan for the week and feeling (a little) smug that we were all sorted for 5 days of stress-free lunches.

It’s a process, making small changes over time, and we’re here to help. As an easy way to get you started, why not sign up for our Immune-boosting recipe book?  You’ll be eased into the wonders of meal prep ideas, and have 5 days of recipes which focus on giving your immune system a kick (and who doesn’t need that at this time of year?).

But why should you bother? Why not just throw a sandwich together before heading back to your desk?

Well, you can do that, sure (don’t tell anyone but it has been known to happen at ABS Towers every now and then!), but here’s why a little meal prep is a lot of help:

It saves time and stress

We all need more hours in the day. Personally, I’d like at least 5 more, and I promise that I won’t sleep for all of them…

But enough about me. Although it might seem like taking an hour to get organised on a Sunday is just something else to add to the to-do list, that hour can save you 3 during the week.

You won’t find yourself stood in front of the fridge for 15 minutes trying to work out what you can make with feta cheese and a lemon (answer: if you’ve got some pasta and anything green then you can make this.

Precooked lunch elements such as roasted chicken, baked potatoes, or boiled eggs, can be easily thrown together and warmed up in the microwave. Meaning your lunch is ready in minutes, and you have more time to catch up with your partner, or with the news.


It saves money

Before we discovered the wonders of meal prepping (it’s not a cult, we promise!), we’d pop out to the shops every few days for the things that we fancied eating. Or we’d decide what to cook on a whim and realise that we didn’t have the cream cheese/butternut squash/lobster that we needed and have to go out again.

Meal planning and prepping for the week ahead saves you a fortune! Yes, we know food is getting more expensive, and we raise our eyebrows (subtly) at the people on message boards who claim to be able to feed a family of 4 on 1 roast chicken for 5 days, or those who say you can halve your food bill just by shopping in Lidl (other supermarkets are available!). There are a lot of factors behind how much our weekly food shop costs (dietary requirements, environmental concerns, fair trade and anti-slavery issues, etc.) and the whole roast chicken thing is not feasible when you’ve got an 8 year old who eats like you’ve literally not fed him for 3 days. Just me? Oh.

But we promise that, if you are a little bit strategic about what you need to buy for the week, then you can knock some money off your bill.


It saves on waste

We’re all eco-warriors these days, with our reusable shopping bags and our Chillies water bottles. Even if we’ve arrived a little late at the party, we know that we only have one planet, and we’ve not been treating it very well.

In the spirit of reduce, reuse, recycle reducing the amount of food waste in your household is one huge way that we can benefit our planet. UK household waste around 4.5million tonnes of food each year. Most going straight into our normal bins and not even our compost.

Not only is this terrible for the environment, but it isn’t great for our pockets either. When you’ve splashed out on 2 bags of salad (the ones that last for about 30 minutes) and you get to Thursday realising you haven’t eaten anything green for 4 days, throwing it away is pretty much throwing your money down the drain (or into the bin).

Meal prep planning can help you only buy the things you’ve scheduled to cook with that week. And if you end up with leftovers, thinking ahead can help you use those up too, rather than throwing them away. Soups and stews are great ways of using up different vegetables, and if you throw wrinkly carrots in a tray with some olive oil then you won’t even notice they weren’t farm fresh!


It saves your health

We love taking care of our bodies in the most natural way possible – through the food we eat. You can find out more about the essential nutrients we think you should be including in your diet and how to do it easily here. It can seem a bit tricky to keep it all in your head, though. Trying to work out Vitamin C levels while you lunching on the run is a bit too much maths for us.

Planning ahead, or at least having some sort of idea about what you’re eating over the week, means that you can take an overall view on which essential nutrients you’re getting and which you’re regularly missing out on.

If you always eat pasta, then you can plan to add in a sweet potato day and get more Vitamin A into your diet.

Or if you’ve been feeling tired and aren’t sure why (we’ve got a teething baby over here, so we’re pretty sure why we’re tried!), then you can work to add more iron into your meals with handfuls of spinach or adding a side of broccoli to a burrito bowl.

Whatever your motivation, all the recipes at Anything But Sandwiches have been designed to be easy to prepare, and fill your diet with good things. We think that meal prepping is the future – so jump on board!