Source: The Recipe Critic
Cooking is great, but not everyone has time to spend hours in the kitchen every day. If you’re looking at shedding some pounds too, then meal prepping is an absolute life-saver. Not to mention that you will save a ton of money too.
But if you’re new to this whole meal prep thing then I understand that it can be very daunting. So in order to save you time, your sanity and help you along the way, The Mod Maven has compiled some awesome meal prep tips and tricks.
Cook once a week
Choosing one day a week to do all your shopping and all, or most of the cooking is a game changer. You’ll be far more efficient if you set an allotted amount of time on one specific day to do your meal prepping. Sunday afternoon is normally a good day for me as I’m relaxed and I like starting the week knowing that I have most of my meals sorted. I know that this sounds like a big undertaking, but it will help you a lot. Meals are good for about a week in the fridge so avoid cooking for 3 weeks in advance.
Overnight oats for breakfast
Source: My Weekend Kitchen
If you’re mornings are manic and you seldom get a chance to eat breakfast, but really want to, then overnight oats are great for you. What makes them even better is that there is no cooking involved. Just pop the oats in a jar, add some milk or yoghurt and some fruit and you’re good to go. Try these overnight oats.
Mason Jar Meals
Source: Joyful Healthy Eats
Thanks goodness for mason jars. If you’re making salads, pasta, smoothies or a mixed rice dish then a mason jar is your answer. This is also an excellent way to practice portion control. A word of advice, if you’re adding sauce to a dish or salad dressing to the food in the mason jar, then put it at the bottom of the jar. This way the rest of the food won’t get soggy. For example, for a salad, place the dressing at the bottom, then add your vegetables and leaves. Alternatively transport the dressing separately.
You might run out of prepped meals, so having a few frozen meals in the freezer that are ready to go will help you a lot. Not to mention save you time. Cooked meals that are frozen are typically good for a couple of months in the freezer. Grab a permanent marker and write the dates on the tupperware or bags of food.
Use the slow cooker
A slow cooker is a great investment. It requires no cooking skills or prior preparation. You can basically just pop in some vegetables, meat, spices and liquid and you’re good to go. If you’re not a great cook or have very little time then this is great.
If you know that you will have to do some cooking later in the week, then plan ahead by chopping the vegetables you will need. This will help you save time on those busy week nights. Not to mention that when sealed in an airtight container in the fridge they will last up to 7 days. And still preserve their freshness and goodness.
Use frozen produce
Not only is frozen produce really convenient, but its also really nutritious. Frozen produce is said to be higher in antioxidants than fresh produce. This is because they are picked at their peak freshness and then frozen. Hence preserving all the goodness.
Source: Hello Giggles
Don’t be afraid to repeat meals. Who cares if you eat strawberry chia overnight oats for a week? If it helps you to keep track of your diet and saves you time, then by all means repeat repeat repeat.
Don’t forget snacks
When the inevitable snack attacks come, and they will, its best to be prepared. Otherwise you’ll just be reaching for those expensive sugar laden snacks that have no nutritional benefits. Meal prepping doesn’t only mean prepping your main meals but your snacks too. Good snacks could be energy balls or carrots and hummus. Whatever you like, don’t forget to prepare it.
Use ingredients in multiple recipes
Source: Women’s Weekly
When meal prepping, try and use similar ingredients in various recipes. This makes your shopping easier as well as the cooking process a whole lot simpler.
Upgrade kitchen tools
Meal prepping is all about efficiency. Think about your pots and pans.Are they working efficiently for you? Can you fit them all on your stove simultaneously? If not, you’re wasting time. The more pots and pans you can use at the same time means that you are able to prepare more food at the same time. Hence saving you time!
Organise your fridge
Source: Chalkboard Mag
Organise your fridge so that different shelves house different meals. For example, have each shelf dedicated to a different meal such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.