Are you someone who wants to save time, money or just wants to eat a healthier diet? Meal prepping can help you reach those goals. Meal planning is allotting a block of time once a week to prepare for all your upcoming meals. Meal planning is different, where you find recipes that suit your schedule best. Meal prepping is actually preparing meals or ingredients ahead of time, storing them for when it’s time to use them. Whether you prefer making and freezing entire meals ahead of time, preparing meals in individual containers for quick on-the-go lunches, or chopping and storing ingredients ahead of time, meal prepping allows you to reduce food, save money, and eat a healthier diet, too. Ready to get started? Here are some tips for a successful first meal prep.
Start small If you are just starting with meal prep, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to plan an entire week’s worth of meals all at once. You can start with just a few meals a week, choosing maybe just dinners, lunches, or snacks. You can immediately start making positive changes to your meal planning habits wherever you begin!
Make a checklist Writing down everything you need to do during your weekly meal prepping session is a good idea. Get your recipes and prepare a shopping list of everything you will need. This assures you that you will have the right ingredients on hand once prep day comes.
Invest in containers When you meal prep, you will be making meals or preparing ingredients for several days of meals at one time. Because of this, it is important to invest in a set of quality food storage containers that are sturdy and reusable. Since it may take some weeks before you figure out just how many containers you will need, you can start with a medium-size set and just add more containers as you go, if needed. You will find that glass containers are more eco-friendly and often last longer than plastic!
Gather ingredients Before prep day arrives, you can begin collecting the ingredients on your shopping list. Make it a habit to start shopping in your pantry. Take stock of what you already have or what you can use and what you actually need to buy. Try rotating the food in your pantry regularly. This helps you avoid wasting your money on expired food items. In fact, if you can find recipes that use ingredients you already have, your meal prep will be more efficient.
Schedule enough time Meal prepping can take several hours, depending on how many and what type of meals you are preparing. Make sure to allot a good chunk of your time for your meal prepping session. To help make it a consistent part of your new meal planning system, it is good to do your meal prepping on the same day of the week and at the same time.
Prep smart Although your ultimate goal might be to prep everything fresh or from scratch, don’t hesitate to take a few shortcuts when you need to. If chopping vegetables is too time-consuming (or is just not your thing), go ahead and buy pre-cut vegetables instead. Also, avoid elaborate meals in the meantime. While it is desirable to include all the basic food groups in your meal plan, feel free to scale back your meal prepping a bit if you find yourself struggling to keep up. When you make your meal prepping sessions more efficient, you will most likely do it consistently.
Finally, keep in mind that meal prepping is different for everyone. Go ahead and experiment with different approaches until you find the one that works best for you.
Are you in the market for a Belmont rental home with a kitchen where you can comfortably meal prep? Contact Real Property Management Mid Peninsula to view listings near you, or check out our available rentals online!
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