Man reveals how he saves £1,800 a year by meal prepping
- Iain Jenkins, 50, meticulously plans his meals every week
- Iain has saved £1,800 a year since starting three years ago
- Iain says there are financial, health and time-saving benefits to meal-prepping
If food shopping is the most expensive part of your week, it might be time to be more organised with your cooking.
Iain Jenkins, 50, an engineer from Essex, saves £1,800 a year by planning all his meals meticulously and batch cooking in advance.
Iain told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “I’ve been batch cooking for about three years now. I started because I have health issues and it's easier to manage when I know what's in my food and that it varies less meal to meal for the same dish.
"Also to save money - the restaurant at work got really expensive so I was spending £6 to £8 a day for food.”
Iain makes things that are easy to prepare when he is at work.
"I already have batched veg, so it’s chopped and ready to go in the freezer,” he says.
"I usually make things that can be microwaved easily at work: typically bolognese, cottage pie, mash and chicken and mushroom.
"I just get out my large pots and throw everything in, put on high heat until boiling and then simmer down until I have a not too sloppy consistency.
"When cooled, I put into containers and freeze, and mash goes into bags as it’s easier to handle bagged.”
Iain says there are multiple benefits to meal prepping, including saving both time and money.
“Meal prepping saves a lot of time when you want a quick meal,” he explains. "I get one out of the freezer the night before for lunch, and it also saves a lot of money!
“Before, I was spending £7 to £8 a day on food at work, now it’s more like £1 to £2 somewhere.
"My shopping bill isn't noticeably higher than before so I look at it as saving maybe £35 a week, or about £1800 a year - it buys me a holiday!”
Iain also has a number of helpful tips for those who are considering starting meal prepping.
"Get some large pots as it's much easier,” he explains. “Go to an Asian supermarket or a catering place, as they're much cheaper and you can get a mammoth pot size!
“Be careful not to go too big as you won't be able to lift it when it has food in!
"Start saving your Chinese dishes - they're microwaveable, dishwasher safe and reusable (and free if you were having Chinese anyway!) and use for when food is done.
“Check space too! Make sure you can fit what you're proposing to cook in the fridge or freezer.
"I ended up getting two more freezers from Freegle for free just to be able to do larger batches!
“Once I finish batch cooking, I’m glad I've done it and have lots of meals ready to go in three minutes.
“It takes some discipline, but it’s worth it in the end. I usually do while the Sunday roast is on and I'm minding the stove anyway.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, says: “Meal-prepping kills three birds with one stone: it saves you time, is wallet-friendly and is also incredibly healthy too!
"Whether you need to cook for a whole family or just want to take a packed lunch to work every day, you can’t go wrong with all the benefits batch cooking offers.”
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