Meal planning and prepping are wonderful skills to have in your health and wellness tool kit.
A well-thought-out meal plan can help you improve your diet quality or reach a specific health goal while saving you time and money! Here are 9 Meal Prep Tips to help you get started!
- Organize – this is key! An organized pantry, fridge, and kitchen will make your life so much easier! Grocery shopping and menu planning will be easy peasy as you’ll be able to see everything you already have, and everything you need to buy.
- Invest in high quality glass containers. Before making your purchases, consider how you will be using them, e.g.) microwaving, washing them in the dishwasher, freezing meals, etc. Glass containers are eco-friendly and microwave-safe!
- Start small. Begin by planning out just a few easy meals or snacks for the week ahead. Eventually, you’ll figure out which planning strategies work best, and you can slowly build up your plan by adding more meals and variety! Treat meal planning like any other positive change in your life, by starting small and building up confidence!
- Make the time. The key to success is making time and staying consistent. Make it a priority! It can help to regularly carve out a block of time that is solely dedicated to planning. Sunday afternoons are perfect to spend a couple of hours planning meals, hitting up the grocery store, then prepping everything in the kitchen.
- Make a list before going to the grocery store. Going to the grocery store without a list is a recipe for disaster! You will most likely end up buying things you don’t need and wasting a lot of time. Having a list helps you stay focused and fight the temptation to buy food you don’t have a plan to use just because it’s on sale.
- Never shop when you’re hungry. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it is even more disastrous than going to the store without a list! The chances of impulse buys which you will regret later are very likely. If you’re feeling hungry before heading into the grocery store, have an apple, protein bar, or something to tide you over! !
- Record your favourite meals. Once you find a recipe you and your family love, save it! Alternatively if you try a recipe and dislike it, note that too so you never make it again. Avoid these culinary predicaments by keeping an ongoing record of your favourite and least favourite meals. It’s also helpful to keep notes of any edits you made to a particular recipe!
- Your slow cooker is your new best friend. If you have no time to stand over a stove, like most people nowadays, use your slow cooker! There are tons of recipes online for easy slow cooker recipes. Try them out!
- Plan to reuse those leftovers. Making a few extra servings of whatever you’re cooking for dinner is a great way to have lunch for tomorrow without any extra effort! If you don’t enjoy eating the same meal 2 or 3 days in a row, figure out creative ways to use the leftovers. For example, if you make salmon with rice and veggies, repurpose the salmon by shredding it and adding some mayo to make salmon sandwiches the next day.
Although meal prepping may seem stressful and daunting, it is the best way to make healthier food choices and save money and time!
Bailey Campbell can be found on Instagram at @basicswithbails where she crafts recipes and inspires people to live their best and healthiest lives.
This article was published in The Good Life magazine.