What’s for dinner? It can be a question that takes all day to answer—unless you’ve meal prepped. Meal prepping is essentially what the name suggests: full meals prepped ahead of time. So why meal prep? In addition to being a big time saver, it can help you avoid food waste, reduce what you spend on take out or restaurant meals, and make healthier choices. Want to learn more? Keep reading for our best meal prepping tips and tricks.
Make a list
Ever walk into the grocery store and think, “Wait, what do I need to get?” Not only will a list make sure you get all the essentials you need for the meals you’re planning for the week, but it can also help you stay on budget and make your trip to the store more efficient.
Pro tip: try making your list as an iPhone note or use a digital app so you never lose your list again.
Start with one meal
It can be tempting to overhaul your kitchen, stock up on cute containers, and dive into meal prepping headfirst but we recommend you start smaller. Try meal prepping all your breakfasts for the week to make your mornings easier or prep your lunches to save money on eating out when you’re at the office.
Pro tip: Love a morning smoothie? Blend a large batch and freeze in an ice cube tray or silicone mold then grab a few cubes each morning and let them thaw for a quick, nutritious, and easy make-ahead breakfast you can take with you on the go.
Stick with what you like
There are countless make ahead recipes out there to choose from with something for everyone and any dietary needs or preferences. But when it comes to getting started in meal prepping, stick with options you know you like. Since meal prep relies on cooking and preparing several meals at once, it’s not the time to be stuck with something you don’t enjoy.
Pro tip: try looking for slow cooker, InstantPot, or freezer meal versions of all your favourites to learn new ways to cook old favourites.
Try prepping ingredients instead
Can’t commit to a full meal prep? Try ingredient prep instead! Wash and cut up veggies, cook a batch of rice or quinoa, and grill up your favourite protein so you can easily add a sauce or seasonings of your choosing and freestyle a meal in no time.
Pro tip: take a shortcut. If washing and peeling fruits and veggies or grilling up proteins ahead of time sounds daunting, consider buying ready-to-eat options like fruit and vegetable trays, pre-cooked chicken breast, and pre-washed lettuce and spinach.
Whatever you prep and plan, bon appetit!