You see it every Sunday on your Instagram account and Facebook feed, all of these fit bodies lining up Tupperware in an almost OCD fashion #mealprep! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a perfectionist to master the art of meal prep. Here is a step by step guide to meal prepping. You don’t have to follow all of the steps, but starting with a few of them will make your life so much easier!
First, why meal prep? A friend of mine once commented on a meal prep post, “Weird, my oven works just fine during the week”. He was clearly making a joke, and if you have time to cook healthy nutritious meals every night of the week after a long day of work, you are a far better woman/man then I am. In my option, the most annoying question at the end of a long work day is, “Well what are we doing for dinner?” This can also lead to impromptu take out which is expensive and usually not healthy. Don’t get me wrong, if you have been craving some takeout and you planned for it, knock yourself out! But I want it to be because you planned for it and will enjoy it, not spur of the moment because you didn’t have anything else ready to go.
Step 1: What do you want to eat? Figure out your meals for the week first. Figure one or two breakfasts, lunches, and several dinner options
Step 2: Make a grocery list based on what you are going to make this week based off of what you are actually going to eat
Step 3: When are you going to go to the grocery store? Sounds silly, but this needs to be a weekly appointment you never skip. If you can't make it to the store, utilize a delivery service
Step 4: Buy items on grocery list- if you did this correctly, you should buy just what you need for the week saving you time and money
Step 5: When are you going to eat what? Make the more complicated dishes for the beginning of the week and save the easier ones for the end of the week
Step 6: Look at meals Sunday-Wednesday, what can you make a head of time? Can you marinate the chicken? Make the whole dish? Throw together a crock pot recipe and freeze it?
Step 7: Prep as much as you can! Wash and cut produce (you are NOT going to want to do this once the week starts). Make sure you have tupperware (if you have matching lids, you are already a head of most people!)
Step 8: What is going to have to be done each day to finish up the meals? I.e. You have chicken marinating, but you will have to put it in the cock pot Tuesday before work so it is ready when you come home
Step 9: Plan out when you will prepare the remaining dishes. (If you make a dish on Sunday, it might not be good on Thursday unless you freeze it). I recommend doing a bigger prep on Sunday and a mini one on Wednesday
Step 10: Have a back up plan: It is always good to have one meal you can throw together in a pinch, mine is a simple stir fry (I attached the recipe below). This can be Breakfast for Dinner, or anything that you always have the ingredients on hand and can make quickly.
My first meal prep took me half a day, now it takes start to finish less then an hour. The more comfortable you become with meal prepping, the less time it will take!
Have questions? Post them below!