Tips for Meal Prepping

Meal-prepping is awesome, but it can be stressful and intimidating at first if you're not sure how to approach it. There are tons of meal ideas and recipes to be found online, so here are a few core tips to keep you on track.

  1. 1. Know Your Own Grocery Store Habits

    Don't feel like you have to buy everything for the whole week in one trip, but, if it helps you keep organized and stick to a plan, then do it! Some people work successfully by planning every aspect of each meal, and some do better with ideas like prepping chicken to have for dinner but planning to stop for whatever vegetable sounds good on the way home from work or school the day you plan to eat it. 

  2. 2. Use a Few Ingredients to Make Several Meals

    There are a lot of different things you can make with the same base ingredients. Rather than making seven individual meals each week, try making large batches of staple items and turning them in to different meals. Some examples:

    Rotisserie chicken 

    With one rotisserie chicken, you can make enchiladas, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken breast with a veggie and potatoes, etc. The possibilities are endless!

    Zucchini (or your favorite veg)

    Veggies are a great addition to any meal, and you can pick your favorite three or four and essentially cook them the exact same way. Veggies in a frying pan with some olive oil and garlic powder, or veggies on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes at 450 are both delicious and easy. 

    Pasta

    Pasta is a great staple item too, since you can do so much with it. Make a large batch of plain pasta at the beginning of the week (with a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking) and then try it with different toppings and sauces each time you eat it. Classic marinara is great, alfredo with chicken (from that rotisserie you bought) or toasted hazelnuts in brown butter (the most simple, decadent, delicious thing ever)!

  3. 3. Plan Enough Time

    Meal prepping can often take quite a while, especially if you are making multiple items to last you a whole week. It can be stressful if you are trying to rush through it, which in turn can lead to feeling too discouraged to meal prep again the next week. Sunday mornings are typically great for meal prepping, or any free time/days off that you have. Cooking can actually be quite relaxing if you're able to take your time!

  4. 4. Make it Fun!

    Try not to think about meal prepping as a chore or a task that you have to begrudgingly check off your list - think of it as a fun, relaxing weekend activity. Even if you're not a big fan of the kitchen, you can find ways to make it enjoyable. Throw some Netflix on in the background, invite your roommate and make it a group activity, or even try some video recipes when you feel like trying something new!

When in doubt, try to remind yourself that meal prepping is a great way to save money while enjoying healthy and delicious meals at home - so make yourself a list and hit that grocery store!