Over the past couple of years, you might have noticed meal and food prepping taking over online, and it’s not surprising why.
Prepping food in advance saves you time and money. This is because you dedicate a couple of hours at the beginning of the week to save time throughout the rest of the week. You also utilize more of each ingredient by planning meals with similar ingredients, meaning less food waste.
Food prep can also help you lose weight by portioning out your key macronutrients.
Whether your goal is to save time or lose weight, here are some tips to get you started on food prepping this week.
This is perhaps the most important step. Food prep will not go smoothly if you don’t plan ahead.
First, determine what meals you and your family will eat this week, how far out you want to make your meals (many people choose to prep meals for Sunday through Thursday), and put all your needed ingredients on your grocery list.
Your plan should also account for which bits of prepping will save you the most time throughout the week. For example, if you have a stir fry planned for Tuesday but you’ll need to spend most of your time chopping vegetables (not ideal after a long day of work), chop your veggies in advance on Sunday.
As part of your planning, read through the recipes you plan to cook and make sure you have all the tools you need.
You will also need food storage containers to store your prepped food. Our tip here is if you want to be able to microwave your food without taking it out of the container, opt for glass storage containers.
If you try prepping every single meal for the week on Sunday, you will quickly give up trying to meal prep.
Start small by prepping only one or two meals for the week. I’m ok with eating the same breakfast and lunch each day, so I like to prep those meals for four days and treat myself to lunch out on Friday.
Also, don’t try off the wall recipes. Start with prepping recipes you know until you improve your food prep skills.
Doubling your recipe can save you time even farther down the road because you can freeze pre-portioned meals in your freezer to be heated up later.
When selecting recipes to double, go for recipes that do ok if they’re frozen like chili, casseroles, and lasagna.
If you feel like you’re already a wiz in the kitchen, try multi-tasking during meal prep. This will make your meal prep go much faster and will help you prep multiple meals within the same time frame.
In theory, you could have meals cooking in the oven, slow cooker, frying pan, and pot all at once.
I like to start with the items that take the longest, like crock pot recipes and baking. Cooking my protein comes next, then sautéing my veggies. Try it and see what works for you!