Something that I hear a lot, especially with my newer clients, is that it is taking them too long to meal prep. Don’t get me wrong, it takes some time to adjust and learn how to meal prep more efficiently. But, it doesn’t have to take you all day - and it shouldn’t take you all day!
So, here are some ways to make meal prepping easier and save you some time each week and, even better, save some money at the grocery store..
1. Make sure you have a menu or a meal plan for the week ahead.
Write out what foods you will eat and when, so that you are sure you purchase enough food. I typically write ours down on a dry erase board in our kitchen so that we can see what we are supposed to eat every day. Plan meals that have different tastes, but utilize similar ingredients. This will allow you to create multiple items from one prepped item, as well as maximize your budget at the grocery store. One way we do this is by having two meals during the week that use ground turkey or chicken, but the meat is seasoned differently in each meal.
2. Stick with your grocery list.
Don’t let junk foods sneak into your shopping cart. Not having it in the house means out of sight, out of mind. Want to make an impulse purchase? If you can find a way to fit it into your eating plan for the week, go for it. So, if you want ice cream, be sure to find a type, like HaloTop or Artic Freeze, that will still fit in your macros. Just keep these to a minimum so nothing goes to waste. By sticking to your list and minimizing the impulse buys, you’ll help yourself save money.
3. Keep your snacks simple: whole almonds, fruit, full fat cheese or yogurt.
Save time by choosing snacks that don’t require a lot of time to put together. Fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and pre-cut veggies with prepared hummus are great choices. Pick things that you can easily throw in a container or sandwich bag and stick in your bag so that you have healthy snacks on hand that also fit your macros.
4. Try to cook as many meals as possible at once.
Start the crockpot, put potatoes in the oven, start browning ground beef or turkey on the stove, while you chop veggies at the counter and prep snacks. Use every shelf in the oven to roast veggies, cook chicken, etc. This will help you save time in the long run and get your meal prepping done in minimal time.
5. Invest in Food Storage Containers.
A small investment in food containers of various sizes to suit your needs will make a world of difference. Once you have a dish cooked, you can easily put it into a container and stick it in the fridge for the week. It’s a good idea to choose one container type and buy several that stack and store neatly. If you choose plastic containers, make sure they are BPA-free and that they are microwave and dishwasher safe. I like the bento style reusable ones for individual meals and then I store the leftovers in larger containers.
I hope these tips speed up your meal prep day! If you have wanted to start a weekly meal prep but are not sure where to start, I’d love to help. Download my FREE Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prep. It includes step-by-step instructions from planning your menu to prep day. I’ve also included three of my favorite easy to prep recipes!