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After 30 days of only meal preps and lots of cooking at home, the challenge is complete! I'm here to share my final thoughts and experiences from the last couple of weeks.

In all Honesty

Before I go on, I do have to confess that I made 2 stops within the last two weeks to buy a smoothie. I know, I know – I broke the rules! Let’s just say it was a very hot day and I was in town for a while, and not prepared. However, that was the only slip up! No fast food drive thru’s, restaurants or convenience store stops for dinners or lunches (that I had to pay for – more on this below).

Freebies

Many of us have gift cards, coupons or even rewards to redeem for food that often go unused. Since this challenge was more about financial savings for me and not the healthy eating aspect (though that’s important too) I decided to allow myself to get outside food, only if I was able to use gift cards, coupons, or rewards to pay for it. I was able to get a free pizza through rewards points I hadn’t used, a free wrap from a local restaurant with a coupon I received, and when I stopped for those smoothies I used a BOGO card! These kinds of challenges are a great excuse to search your wallet for hidden money, so to speak.

Cooking Burnout

If you already love to cook and spend lots of time in the kitchen, this may not be a problem. However, I have spurts where I enjoy cooking and times I’d rather not be in the kitchen at all. If you’re like me, keeping up with the meal prepping can lead to cooking burnout. Towards the last week I didn’t feel like cooking and was really scrounging for leftovers or the easiest meals I could make. (i.e. frozen meals, microwaveable meals, and canned soup) My lack of motivation to cook made it harder for me to plan ahead which meant I wasn’t prepared when I did get home and needed to cook. All in all though, I think as with anything, the more time I spend preparing and getting motivated to cook, the easier it will be to keep up with meal prepping past the 30 day challenge.

What’s your challenge?

Maybe meal prepping or your food spending isn’t a problem. What about impulse purchases? An expensive hobby? Whatever it is that could be putting a strain on your budget, design your own challenge to help you create new money and lifestyle habits. Don’t be afraid to adjust the challenge to fit your needs. Remember, if you “slip up” during the challenge like I did, tomorrow is a new day to make different choices. Thanks for following along with my challenge, and feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Is this the first you’ve heard of the meal prep challenge? Go back to the beginning and read where it all started, plus the update in between!

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