The TikTok was shared by Daniella Shaba (@d_shaba), who runs the account Candy Boulevard. While the page typically focuses on in-store candy deals and dessert recipes, the meal-prepping hack is taking off in a big way, with more than 4.6 million views to date.
In it, the TikToker shows how easy it is to browse the prepared foods section at Sam’s Club and create set meals for the week.
After loading her cart with a family-sized tray of grilled chicken, Brussels sprouts and au gratin potatoes, Shaba makes her way over to self-checkout and rings it all up for just $26.44.
Back at home, the TikToker places five meal-prep containers on the counter, divvies up the food and drizzles some balsamic glaze on top before popping the containers into the fridge. Each one comes to just 460 calories a serving and costs roughly $5.
The viral hack seems ideal for meal prep beginners — particularly those who don’t have a ton of extra time to cook and don’t mind eating the same dinner or lunch day after day.
Based on the comments so far, it’s inspired more than a few people to give it a try.
“Saving the time cooking is worth every penny,” commented @juanhernandez72554.
“Waaaaitttt this is so smart,” wrote @_camilleroe.
“That is a good idea and a cost saver,” wrote @djthinks221.
However, other TikTokers weren’t as impressed.
“There is no way I can eat that same chicken 5 days in a row,” commented @luismayorgaoficial.
If this method isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to save time and cash while meal prepping.
According to McKel Hill, MS, RD, setting up a system that works for you is half the battle. In an article for Healthline, the nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Stripped also suggested things like making a go-to list of healthy recipes and assembling meals later as opposed to all at once.
Ultimately, the goal is to make your days less overwhelming — not more so.
“Think of meal planning as a key to saving you time and energy to put elsewhere,” wrote Hill. “I still enjoy cooking, just as you might, but I don’t enjoy devoting so much time to one activity every day.”
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