My Experience With Meal Prepping

If you’re anything like me, you love to eat. As a college girl, it’s sometimes hard to plan what you’re going to eat around your busy schedule and resist the temptation to eat out every meal. This past year, I came across meal prepping on Pinterest and decided to give it a go for my daily dinners. While at first it seems like a lot of work, it ended up taking a big load off of me and my everyday routine.

Just as the name suggests, setting aside a time to prep all the meals is the first step. I found out very quickly that Sunday afternoons were the best time to get everything together so that I would be all set for the week. In the first few weeks, it became apparent that the process took a lot longer than I anticipated. While it sounds easy enough - finding recipes, making a list of ingredients, going to the store, cooking the food, waiting for it to cool, and portioning it all out - it ended up taking up most, if not all, of my Sunday afternoons. However, after getting a hang of things, I was able to get more into the groove of it as I developed a weekly routine. I began going to the store on Saturdays when I could, which allowed me to focus more on the cooking aspect on Sunday. Breaking up the process into two days made the task seem a lot less daunting and more enjoyable. Even when I first started out, I would make enough meals just for seven days, but soon started making two weeks worth of meals and freezing half of them.

Some people will package their entrees and side dishes separately, but I liked the idea of putting it all in one container that I could just throw in the microwave and call it a day. Investing in good containers with divided sections was key for me, as I could fit my whole meal together without the different foods touching (*shudder*). Airtight containers with matching lids ending up being a very important part of the whole process for me.

Another key aspect for me was utilizing my slow cooker. I could put chicken or whatever entrée I was making in there, work on the other dishes, and have everything done and ready to portion out in a matter of hours. Here’s the recipe for one of my fave things to throw in the slow cooker and pair with some brown rice and broccoli: Crock Pot Salsa Chicken.

One of the biggest challenges of meal prepping was finding recipes that I liked and were good when reheated. There are so many meal prep recipes and tips out there, but I soon found that some didn’t freeze well or taste as good when packaged together with other food. Pinterest became my best friend in finding recipes, and the options really are endless. Making recipes in bulk and freezing in portions was a great way to still maintain variety, as I had plenty of food to have something different every night each week.

I do have to admit that I am not meal prepping as much as I was earlier this year, but still enjoy doing it every once in a while. Since it is such a big undertaking, sometimes it’s not realistic to spend a day every other week cooking all day. I was always glad when I did take the time to meal prep however, and would highly recommend to anyone looking to make their busy lifestyles a little bit easier. Start looking online at tips for meal prepping and find some recipes that look appealing to you. I have to say the hard work did pay off in the end and it was always nice to not worry about what I had to cook when I got home from school or work. 

I would recommend giving meal prepping a try for sure. You won’t regret it!