Meal Prep Tips And Tricks To Free Up Your Week Nights

Healthy eating doesn't have to be time-consuming. A big excuse people have is they don't have time to cook etc. But what if you could spend just a couple of hours on the weekend meal prepping so you don't have to cook every night? It will also save you making lunches in the morning or buying them when you are at work.

Meal prepping is becoming the new fast food because if done properly it is quick, cheap and easy. To help you get the most out of your meal prepping I have created a list of my top tips and tricks below.

Related: How To Meal Prep Like A Champ By Avoiding These Common Mistakes

Top 6 Tips For Easy Meal Prep

Plan your week in advance

The best way to meal prep successfully is to have your meals planned for the week. It's all well and good to chop up vegetables and soak beans but if you don't know what you're making with them you are going to run into some problems. What I like to do is on a Friday or Saturday sit down, see what I already have in the fridge and then decide what meals I am going to make for the week. I then go out and buy any additional ingredients I need ready to start cooking on Sunday.

By doing this you will save money and save your self from wasting food that you didn't actually need.

Be organised

The first time I meal prepped I felt really proud of myself for being so organised. Until I realised I had very little containers to put all the food into... So make sure you have enough containers to put everything into.

The type of container is up to you but make sure they are airtight, microwavable, freezer and dishwasher safe. You may also want a mix of ones with different compartments instead of just one big compartment.

To get an idea of all the different ones out there click here.

Keep it simple

Meal prep does not have to be fancy to taste good! It just needs to be functional and work with your lifestyle. Plus meal prep is meant to save you time and a fancy complex meal is not going to do that for you.

Depending on how you prefer to meal prep you could cook only two meals and eat the same thing for lunch and dinner each day. Or if you like a bit more variety maybe prep three or four meals. One thing I like to do is only make two meals a week, but freeze most of the portions for the following weeks. Once you have done this for a few weeks you should have multiple options in the freezer ready to eat at any time, which will stop you from getting bored. Keep in mind this will only work if you have ample freezer space and don't mind eating meals that have been frozen.

Prep the ingredients vs making the whole meal

If you prep every single meal on the weekend it is going to take you forever and get boring real fast. Instead, make a couple of meals and just prep the rest of the ingredients so they are ready to go. This means doing things like washing and chopping fruit and vegetables, soaking beans and maybe cooking up a bulk lot of rice or quinoa so it is ready to go.

This has saved me so much time, as I eat some much fruit and vegetables I feel like I am constantly washing and chopping if I don't do this.

Related: 10 Cooking Tips Everyone Transitioning To A Plant-Based Diet Should Read

Double recipes you like

Some curries and pasta sauces I love to eat all the time, so instead of prepping these dishes every week, I do a bulk cook up and freeze the leftovers for following weeks. This will not only save you time but most likely also money because you can buy groceries in bulk.

Wait for your food to cool before storing

By doing this you will help the food from getting soggy as well as stopping freezer burn. Have you ever frozen a meal and it has a whole lot of ice on top and some of the veggies go weird because of it? This is called freezer burn and it is best to avoid it. We also don't want soggy food if we can help it.

To avoid this put your food into containers with the lids off until they cool down. Then cover them and store them in the fridge or freezer.

Experiment with one pot/sheet pan meals

My favourite thing about these meals is it is a super simple way to get another meal prepped without having to do much extra work. Toss the ingredients in and leave it whilst you are prepping other meals and snacks! They are so quick and easy. One of my favourites is this Simple Potato And Pumpkin Coconut Red Curry.

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