Meal Prep can save you lots of time in the grocery store and the kitchen. Knowing what you plan to serve, and doing as much to get the meal ready as you can ahead of time, is perfect for those busy weeknights when your children have soccer games or dance practice.
However, you may wonder if you should meal prep weekly or monthly? The answers will vary, as some people prefer to get it done once a month at a time while others prefer a weekly approach.
Meal Prep: Weekly vs. Monthly
This is designed to give you a good idea of what is better for you according to your needs. Meal Prep is never intended to be a stressful thing, but something to relieve burdens. These tips will make that possible!
Pros of Weekly Meal Prep
With weekly meal prep, you have a little more flexibility. You can change up the plan every seven days, so you aren’t stuck eating a recipe you don’t really care for. Plus, if you find a recipe you love, you can figure it in later in the month with weekly prep.
You can have fresh food more often. Another perk of weekly meal prepping is you can purchase more perishable items, such as fruits and vegetables. You know you will be able to use these before they ruin since you are only planning for 7 days at a time.
Weekly Meal Prep saves space in small kitchens. Also, if you don’t have a ton of freezer space for prepped-ahead meals, weekly meal prep may make the most sense for you. I love using these 2 compartment-containers for actual individual meals or using a Food Saver for prepping entire entrees that stack and store easily in your smaller freezer.
Cons of Weekly Meal Prep
You shop more often. If you are only prepping for one week, you will need to take more trips to the grocery store. This also means more planning and browsing the supermarket sales ads for the best deals.
Run out before you can prep again. Since you are prepping more frequently, you are more likely to run out of meals that are ready for you and your family to consume. This could lead to resorting to a drive-thru or unhealthy meals until you can get back to your prepping.
Pros of Monthly Meal Prep
More time with family. Getting in the kitchen and knocking a month’s worth of meal prep in a day or two frees up more of your time. If you tend to live a busy schedule, this is great for you. Just pull something from the freezer, warm it, and serve!
No more worries about deciding what is for dinner. Plus, a monthly meal prep plan takes the guesswork out of what’s for dinner. The calendar and your freezer will let you know what’s on the menu.
Meal Prep is great for your budget. Monthly prep can also save you money, as you will be making fewer trips for groceries. You know all of those little impulse buys you suddenly remember when in the grocery store. Those will be gone!
Cons of Monthly Meal Prep
Requires a lot of freezer storage space. Unless you have a large freezer, you may struggle with monthly meal prep. Since you will be making 4 weeks worth of food, you need to be able to store it all as you eat it.
Less flexibility for trying new things. Making your meals so far in advance can be a bummer if you like to try new recipes on the fly. This is especially true when you get down to the last few days and you just aren’t interested in what’s left in the freezer. This can lead to wasted food or time for you.
Choosing between meal prepping for a week or month largely depends on your preferences, space, time, and money. It’s a good idea to start prepping for just a few days to see if you like it. You can always extend the amount of time you prep for each time you do it.
Start with 3 days, then 7, and then 14. If you really enjoy it, go all out and do a full month! Get started with my eBook, Meal Planning For Busy Moms!
More Meal Prep Tips:
- 21 Organizing Ideas For Meal Planning
- Meal Planning Resources
- Busy Moms Guide To Meal Planning
- 21 Meals For Under $100 At Aldi