Cut your cravings, save time and prepare nutritious bites throughout the week with this meal prep guide in seven manageable steps. We know that planning your meals for the week can be intimidating, that’s why we’ve rounded up our top tips and recipe inspiration to get you going!
Whether you’re busy with work, friends, or family, healthy eating is often the first thing to go when you’re crunched for time. After all, ordering takeout food is easier than digging through your fridge and firing up your stove. But a growing community of people online are sharing how they avoid giving in to convenient foods—and it’s called meal prep. Just look up #MealPrepMondays if you don’t believe us. We get it, the idea of making a week’s worth of food in one day can be intimidating, even if you know it’s good for you and your wallet. That’s why we found solutions for making this weekly task more manageable.
1. Look at the Week Ahead: Find days that you will be especially busy and need meals for and mark down other days where you can spend the evening cooking after work. Keep track of your schedule with a planner or online scheduling tools such as iCalendar or Google Calendar. Start planning on Saturday to make Sunday meal prep easier on yourself.
2. Create a Menu & Shop: Have a notebook designated for meal prep or invest in a meal planner that can contain your grocery and meal list for every week. With everything at your fingertips, it will be easy to visualize how much to make and what days you will eat each meal. Grab your list and hit the grocery store! Buy ingredients for your meals for the next week and other healthy snacks you will want to have stocked.
3. Pre-Cut and Bake As Much As You Can: Once home, wash and cut up all your fruit and veggies for the week. It will be easy for grab-and-go snacks and shorten the prep time for meals you need to make during the week. Consider grilling or baking all of your proteins beforehand- this way you can quickly add it to a salad or reheat for dinner in the following days.
4. Store in Functional Containers: Purchase stackable containers to make your food easy to find in your fridge. Try to purchase containers that are dishwasher safe and microwaveable to make cleanup and warming up quick and easy. Remember to purchase containers in all sizes and for different meals- you never know how large or little you will need to store.
Tone It Up
5. Start Small at the Start: It takes time to make an action a habit, so start small with your meal prep. Make egg muffins or overnight oats for the week to start off. This way, you are saving time but not overwhelming yourself from the get-go. Slowly increase the amount of meal prepped foods by analyzing your schedule and finding recipes you like.
Nest of Posies
6. Find Your Go-To Meals: Once you have a rhythm going, you will find go-to ingredients like quinoa or baked chicken that work well in your schedule. Find easy meals that you like to cook and enjoy the flavors of. Soon enough, you can go off-recipe and prepare creations of your own. Sheet pan dinners are a great way to start with quick, full meals that are chalk-full of flavor for this step.
7. Turn Meal Prep Sundays into A Party: Instead of spending Sunday prepping alone, ask some friends to join along! Come up with one or two recipes you both want to make for the week. Listen to some music and make cooking a fun time to reconnect with friends and make the most out of Sunday Funday.
Check out our Pinterest for more meal prep recipes. What are some of your favorite meal prep tips? Comment below to help us start planning!
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