Simple Tips to Get You Started with Meal Prepping!
After putting in an 8+ hour day at work, the last thing I want to do is chop, slice, dice, whatever it takes to get dinner started and cooked. Some days it’s just easier to pick up something on the way home or throw a frozen pizza into the oven, but that’s not always the healthiest or cheapest option. Wouldn’t it be great to spend a few hours just one day a week to have meals for the entire week? Well, there’s a solution – its call meal prepping, and regardless of your life and needs, you can make it work for you with these simple tips.
Have a Plan. Pick out some of your favorite recipes, so you are confident of the outcome. Choose recipes that can be easily stored in either the refrigerator or in the freezer. Organize Yourself Skinny also recommends prioritizing your meals “If dinnertime brings you the most stress then put together some meal starters or prep ingredients for a couple slow cooker recipes.” Do what works best for your life.
Get the Goods. Depending on space and budget, you may want to consider getting some prepping essentials.
- Slow Cooker: put all the ingredients in a programmable slow cooker and walk away, well, set the timer first, then in a few hours you’ll have an entire, fully-cooked meal ready to go.
- Rice/Food Steamer: save time and effort with a “set-it and forget it” programmable steamer.
- Tupperware: it’s always good to have variety of sizes available for storing prepped food. (if you are prepping lunches, these Easy Lunchbox Sets work great)
- Storage Bags: freezer bags and snack bags are great for saving space.
- Markers: use dry erase on containers and sharpies on bags, this way you will actually know what’s in them!
Start Small. Sure, it’d be great to have a weeks’ worth of lunches and dinners prepped in a few hours. But in reality, it’s going to take a few tries to get your menu perfected. Start with 2-3 dinners per week, and maybe some lunches. This will give you an idea of how long it takes, what recipes work, and which ingredients you can get the most use out of. Chicken is something that is fairly inexpensive so you could buy quite a bit and use it in multiple ways. This will help cut down your grocery budget.
Get Inspired. Pinterest has a ton of ideas and tips to help you get started and keep you going. And if you need additional help, places like The Culinary Playground offer meal prepping workshops where you can prep an entire weeks’ worth of meals with their help and instruction.
Are you a meal prepping pro? Let us know your success tips in the comments below.
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