Meal … wha?

What is meal prep?  Why have a party?

The questions cover discrete spheres.  Even though I throw meal prep parties, you can totally do meal prep without sharing it with fifty other (okay, five other, in my case) people.

So, why do I meal prep?  It’s made a huge difference in my life!

  • I no longer eat out when I don’t feel like cooking.  I shop my freezer.  It’s helped me lose so much weight and save a lot of money!
  • I put in all this time upfront (usually a day or two) and I’m able to cook *from frozen* with minimum effort but with a thoroughly tasty meal.
  • I save a lot of money on bulk buying, though this sort of goes in the “party” section.  I used to buy meat from Costco and make a lot of something and freeze it, so it can apply.
  • I love to cook cause I like fresh food (even cooked freezer meals are fresh food, it’s the left overs that aren’t “fresh”) and I’ve learned how to freeze so I can cook portions at a time.
  • I waste so much less than I used to because I’m actually USING the food I put in the crisper!  Haha!

Okay, meal prep makes sense, but why have a party?

  • It takes some heavy organization and planning, and I like doing this stuff.  I don’t like working that hard on my own stuff, but when other people are involved and counting on me, I throw myself into the effort.  Babywearing was the previous community where I gave a lot of myself.  Creating a meal prep community has channeled some of that desire to give to a community but my family still gets something very tangible out of it.  Every party will need someone to take the lead like this.
  • Even though I do a lot of work before anyone sets foot in my house, the group effort involved and the sense of accomplishment when we see all the meals together is huge.
  • Even though you set aside one day for meal prep, over all, you’re spending less time alone in your kitchen and more time with your family.

  • You’re trying foods outside of your comfort zone, since the menu we create is a group effort.  It gets you out of your food rut and teaches you new recipes to add to your rotation.
  • Since we’re shopping in bulk, we buy organic meat and dairy (whenever we can find it), organic spices and pantry items and organic produce.  Our meals typically cost $15 per meal, or $2.50 per serving.  For the highest quality ingredients we can get our hands on.
  • We make a lot of items from scratch rather than from a can or box, to increase the quality of the ingredients.  Something I wouldn’t go through the trouble with on my own, but is totally worth it when four to six families are involved.
  • You fill your social cup.  I’m an introvert and it’s hard for me to make new friends or open up to new people.  Having an activity that we spend six hours on, plus all the related conversations before and after the party, has led me to get to know more people than I could have at the fitness group or produce co-op (these are the communities where many of our group members are from).

So, how did you get started?

Pure serendipity!  I’ve always wanted to do something like this.  My local friends weren’t interested in it, but by chance, I found someone else who has wonderful planning and organizational skills, as well as being a great cook, to partner up with me.  Having a partner makes SUCH a huge difference.  Someone to be accountable to, someone to help pick up the slack when you get busy with your family or keep the momentum going, and someone to act as a sounding board.  Better yet, she’s an extrovert and she’s pulled so many new members into the group.

We learned a lot together and we also learned that there are not many resources out there to get people started.  There are sites that provide you menus, but we wanted more individualization.  There are sites that give advice on how to throw a meal prep party, but aside from the initial advice, it doesn’t go into much detail.  We’re writing up content for our group and since that’s being done anyway, I’ve decided to include that content on my blog.  I hope you enjoy and have a chance to throw a meal prep party, too!

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