We know, we know: It’s hard to find the time for meal prep. But if you can set aside just a few hours each week, you’ll be amazed by how much money and sanity you save (not to mention how much healthier you’ll eat).
That’s where this guide comes in. Read on for smart tips, tricks and recipes that are sure to make your life easier.
- First things first: prepping a week’s worth of meals doesn’t mean you have to cook every single day. You can do some prep in advance, like chopping vegetables and dicing chicken breasts, and then use those ingredients to make several meals over the course of one week.
- Mise en place. Mise en place is a fancy phrase that simply means “everything in its place.” Before you begin cooking, set up all the ingredients and equipment you’ll need in the same area. That way, when things start heating up on the stovetop, everything will be ready for you to use.
- Store food safely. Make sure that you store your food safely and reheat it properly. Bacteria can grow in food quickly, especially when it’s been sitting out for more than two hours.
- Use containers that are easy to reheat in later — like glass ones with plastic lids — and make sure that you cool perishable foods before putting them in the fridge and freezer.
- Do your research. Take some time to search for recipes that sound good to you. Make sure they use ingredients that fit into your budget and will last for several meals. You’ll also want to compare recipes and make sure that they use similar ingredients so that nothing goes bad before you can use it all up.