If you aren’t a meal prepper, these tips will turn you into one! Meal prep doesn’t always mean you fix one big meal and divide it into servings. It should mean that you are saving time and money by eating the meals you want when you want.
Follow the five tips below to ensure you are getting the foods you need while making meal prep a breeze!
1. Schedule your meal plan and prep
“I don’t have time” is something we all say. And we get it! There are things we’d rather spend our time on than meal prep. If meal prep is important to you, writing time to plan in your schedule will help keep it a priority. You’ll want to set aside 1-2 hours weekly to build your most wanted meals and shopping list. Additionally, set aside time for post-shopping prep, like chopping veggies or fruit into snack pieces. The key here is to do what is best for you and stick to it to build a good habit.
2. Don’t forget your food groups
Do you remember learning about a well-balanced plate in school as a kid? This still applies! Healthy meal-prep focuses on whole foods and less on processed sugars and salty food (which you can have in moderation 😉). Here is a list of some whole food options:
- Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats, bulgur, whole-wheat pasta, and chickpea pasta, polenta
- Legumes: canned or dried black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils, raw nuts, and seeds
- Canned goods: low-sodium broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, artichokes, olives, corn, fruit (no added sugar), tuna, salmon, chicken
- Oils: olive, avocado, coconut
- Baking essentials: baking powder, baking soda, flour, cornstarch
Other: Almond butter, peanut butter, potatoes, mixed nuts, dried fruit, spices, and herbs
The list could go on and on! Learn more about food groups and examples of foods within the groups here.
3. Shop Your Pantry First
A short and sweet thing that will save you time and money: the pantry! Take stock and build your meal from what you already have to avoid unnecessary buying. Don’t forget to check expiration dates; your pantry may hold some items close to expiration that need to be used! So before you head to the grocery store with your shopping list, head to the pantry.
4. Choose containers wisely
If you open your drawer of reusable containers and it is a mess, this can make packing your food a mess. You’ll want to consider how you will be packing and using your food to get the right containers. For example, are you freezing your food? Microwaving it? How will you be washing it? Make sure your container is safe for what you need. Consider using glass containers; they are eco-friendly and microwave safe.
5. use shortcuts
Use the instant pot or crock pot for your proteins or recipes. Find ways that you can quickly get some things prepped and forget about them as it cooks.
Now you’re ready! Get inspired by our meal-prep recipes and recommendations here. Here’s to building great habits and becoming the meal prepper you’ve always wanted to be!