It’s Sunday night and you’re scrolling miles with your thumb through Instagram. You see a friend posted #MealPrepSunday, curiously you click your way into another dimension. This one is filled with beautifully organized Tupperware piled high with grilled chicken and veggies. Ugh how do these people stay so organized?
Meal prepping doesn’t have to be overwhelming! It’s a great way to plan ahead and stay on top of your goals- especially when your weekdays are jam packed. Carving out some of your free time to go food shopping and cook on the weekend is all you need to set up for a successful week!
Try these 5 simple tips to make meal prepping a breeze!
1. Take inventory as you’re making your shopping list.
Taking an inventory ahead of time will not only save you money, but a second trip back to the store. What’s in your pantry already? Check the fridge, too, as you’re listing ingredients. Incorporate any leftovers you have into next week’s meal prep so it doesn’t go to waste.
2. Plan your meals before going to the store.
I love to turn my week into a big grid. Listing Monday- Sunday across the top then breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in a column on the left. Start with the meals you know need to be packed, i.e. lunch and snacks for work hours. Pencil in any meals you know where you’ll be out to dinner or at an event. Then fill in the blanks! Tonight’s dinner can be tomorrow’s lunch, make 2 batches of overnight oats, grill chicken and serve with sweet potato one day and broccoli the next.
3. Tupperware/ food storage is key
Having smaller containers to pack your food into are great for 2 reasons: grab and go & portion control. Grab and go containers save so much time when packing a lunch box. If it’s a late night at the office or an evening gym session, then your dinner is good to go. Portion control is very important if you are trying to watch your weight- remember that both over eating and under eating can be issues.
4. Pre-chopped vegetables are a time saver
If you’re in a pinch or making a lot of meals at once, pre chopped vegetables are the best meal prep hack. Although they are not always the most cost effective solution, having an already peeled and cut butternut squash or some zoodles can help get things prepped quickly.
5. Freeze the leftovers
Sometime a recipe calls for more than you need- don’t waste your money! Keep the leftovers in a freezer safe container and save them for later. Try putting them in individually portioned containers to take out as you need- then you’re already planning ahead! Chilis and soups will freeze very well and are easy to warm up on cold nights.
What tricks do you use to make meal prep easier? Share them with us below!