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Tips For Starting A Vegan Meal Prep Side Hustle


As vegans, many us are very passionate about preparing healthy meals on the weekends for our busy week. As humans in modern society...most of us are also passionate about finding ways to make some extra income!


What happens when you combine the two? You get a perfect side hustle the checks all the boxes!


This concept just makes sense , you get paid for something you do anyway and you are helping others fuel up with plant powered goodness. This side hustle is a very practical way to earn extra income without much investment.


I have personally executed this exact side hustle for almost three years now. I wanted to create this blog post to share a few tips I have learned along the way.



Figure out the "food safety" aspect of things


For many of us, this side hustle is going to take place in our home kitchens, where our dogs roam around and our kids bathe in the sink. This is totally fine, but you need to be upfront and honest when taking on clients . Explain to them right away, that you will be prepping the meals in your kitchen and are not food safety certified.


Use your emotional intelligence and gage their reaction. If they seem like this might be a problem ....move right along. You don't want to deal with someone who is going to cause problems . Typically family and friends are a great place to start.



Consider some of the finer details

Take some time to consider the logistics of meal prepping for multiple people . Think about any extra kitchen gadgets you might need, the amount of fridge space you will have for storing completed meals , will you offer pickup or delivery? and most importantly CONTAINERS.


Containers

This one is so important ....figure out how you want to package your food .


This is an area I didn't think of right away , but realized very quickly that I would have to invest some money into containers. I do a reusable system, where I have a set of plastic meal prep containers and my clients wash and return them when they pick up the following week's meals.


This system works well for me because the people I am prepping for, like that this method keeps the cost down. I wouldn't recommend this option if you are prepping for strangers ....there's no guarantee you will get the containers back and it's technically not the most sanitary option.


Opting for disposable ones might be a better option if you are able to charge a little more for the meals. Try finding biodegradable packaging to keep things earth friendly . It's also important to pick containers that will fit the meals you are offering. Since vegan meals tend to be lager then standard western diet ones...finding containers big enough can be challenging.


Whatever method you choose ....keep in mind containers are going to cost you some money upfront.



Price

This might seem straightforward, but figuring out what to charge your clients is a big decision . Do your research and figure out how much it is going to cost you for groceries, containers and a rental kitchen if you are using one.


Take your time into consideration as well. How much money do you need to make after all your expenses, to make it worth your time.


For me, being able to cover the cost of my family's groceries is enough to make it with my time . Eat for free and have healthy meals prepped and ready to go....it's a win win.


I charge:

$80 for 9 meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners

or

$135 for 15 meals: 5 breakfasts , 5 lunches and 5 dinners


I also offer extra meals for $7.50 (this is mostly for my one brother in law)


The prices I currently charge should be a bit higher, but I take into account that I am prepping in my home kitchen and that my clients have to wash their own containers.



What plans/meals to offer


Pricing goes hand in hand with how you want to offer your food. Do you want to offer packages ? Do you want them to pay per meal? Will you offer it weekly or ask that they pay for a full month?


These are all import questions to ask yourself, as you plane to launch your side hustle.


A great resource is to check out what other companies around you are offering and their price points .


I chose to offer pay by week because as a new mom , there are some weeks I can't make meal prepping happen . Typically , most people will prefer the option of weekly payment as well.



Menu


Take some time to plan out some mock menus before you start you start offering meals. Some things to consider when creating menus are:


  • The cost of the ingredients you will need

  • The time it will take to make the meals

  • Will the meals appeal to all your clients?

  • Are you planning to offer whole food based foods or add some vegan mock meats/cheeses as well?

  • Do all the meals you pair for packages make sense? for example you don't want to offer a three day plan where the client is eating tofu scramble and avocado toast for breakfast , a chickpea sandwich at lunch and pasta for dinner....that's a lot of wheat!


The final thing I would consider with your menu is the ease of which meal scan be stored . Think about how all the meals will fit into your client's fridge or your fridge before they pickup.


Grocries


Take a look at which grocery stores offer the best prices and are quickest to shop at. if you have a store offering free curtsied pick up.....DO THIS! It will save you so much time and allow you to shop online.


Try to buy items like grains, beans and nuts/seeds in bulk to save money over time. Plan your menus effectively to avoid food waste (if you buy fresh dill....use it in a few recipes)


Think of using frozen veggies/fruit whenever possible and base your meals around starches to save money.



Some final thoughts ....

If you are thinking of starting a meal prep side hustle DO IT! But only after you take the time to plan it out properly .


The first person I ever prepped for was a complete stranger I found on Facebook marketplace! It feels crazy even saying this now , but that's how I started . I didn't know what I was doing for the first few weeks , but slowly got into a routine. At the height of my side hustle career, I was prepping 44 meals a week! It was a lot of work but was a great supplement for my income .


These days I am down to 30ish meals a week and that is all I can handle in my home kitchen! It's rewarding and helps me spend more time working for myself and less at my day job.


If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me ! I am thinking of making a meal prep side hustle planner/starter guide ....would love to know if you are interested in something like that.







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