The idea of meal prepping involves preparing complete meals or dishes ahead of time. It’s especially well-liked by busy individuals because it can help them save a massive amount of time. Having prepared meals on hand is another way to reduce portion size and meet your dietary goals. By doing this, you’ll be less tempted to order food or a TV meal, especially when you’re stressed out or tired.
Additionally, since it involves making food decisions in advance, meal prepping might eventually result in more nutrient-dense meal options. A well-planned meal plan can help you save time and money while enhancing the quality of your diet or achieving a particular health objective.
Contrary to common assumption, there are numerous methods to cook food, and not all of them necessitate spending an entire Sunday afternoon doing it. The ways that best suit you can be selected.
Following are a few meal prepping tips which are quite useful:
Get an organized kitchen
(Photo from istock)
Any good meal plan must have a strong foundation of planning. Since, you’ll be aware of exactly what you have on hand and where your essentials and tools are, having an organized kitchen, pantry, and refrigerator makes everything from creating menus to grocery shopping and meal preparation simple. Your meal prep spaces can be organized in whatever way you choose.
Organize Your Prep and Cook Times
Start with the recipe that requires the most cooking time to best manage your prep and cooking timings. Usually, this is a soup or oven-cooked dinner. Concentrate on the rest once the meal has begun.
Since, they are simple to prepare while the other meals are cooking, save the cold meals until last. Check all of the ingredients before beginning a dish to save even more time. This will allow you to chop the entire amount at once if two recipes call for diced onions or thinly sliced peppers. Your workflow can be made even more efficient by using electrically operated appliances like a rice cooker or slow cooker.
Make a Shopping List for meal prepping
(Photo from istock)
Shopping for groceries might take a lot of time. Keep a thorough grocery list organized by grocery store categories to cut down on the time you spend shopping. This will speed up your purchasing by preventing you from going back to a previous page. Two further strategies to cut down on time spent shopping are to do your grocery shopping only once a week and hire a supermarket delivery service.
Invest in quality storage containers
Food storage is among the most vital ingredients for making meals. If you’re working with a pantry full of mismatched containers with missing lids, meal preparation may be exceedingly challenging. It makes sense to invest time and money in excellent containers.
Before making a purchase, consider how each container will be used. If you plan to freeze, microwave, or put the food in the dishwasher, make sure the containers you choose are safe for those processes. Glass bottles are both microwave- and earth-friendly. Both offline and online, access to them is commonly available. Having a variety of sizes for different food types is also helpful.
Stick to a Consistent Schedule for meal prepping
(Photo from istock)
Maintaining a consistent schedule is the key to successful meal preparation. Setting up a nice schedule can assist you know exactly when you’ll go grocery shopping and prepare your meals. You might set aside Sunday mornings for food preparation and grocery shopping, for instance.
Alternately, you could decide to prepare the rest of the week’s meals on Monday evenings. You decide the schedule, and it should go with your weekly schedule. Remember that setting out specified times and following to them can make decision-making easier and free up your focus for other things.
Take Help from Family members
It can be difficult to always stay motivated to create a fresh menu every week, but you don’t have to go it alone. Do not be reluctant to ask your family members if you are in charge of organizing and preparing meals for a large household. If you cook mostly for yourself, ask your peers what they’re making or get ideas from online sources like social media or food blogs.
Pick the Right Combination of Recipes
Your ability in the kitchen will increase if you choose the appropriate mix of recipes. Choose dishes requiring various cooking methods to save time. You can only prepare so many dishes at once if you have too many recipes that call for the same appliance, like the oven. This is crucial when choosing meals to prepare in advance or in bulk.
As a general rule, prepare no more than two cook top meals at once and no more than one oven meal, such as loaded baked potatoes, stir-fries, and soups. Then just incorporate prepared meals like salads or sandwiches into the mix.
Plan for and repurpose leftovers
(Photo from istock)
If you don’t want to spend time cooking every day of the week, make extra food for leftovers. By making a few extra dishes of whatever you’re having for dinner, you can quickly prepare lunch for the following day. If you don’t like leftovers, think of ways you may transform them so they don’t taste like leftovers.
For instance, if you roast a whole chicken with root vegetables for dinner, you may use the leftover chicken as a topping for tacos, soup, or salad the next day for lunch.
For those who prefer to spend less time in the kitchen, meal preparation is fantastic.
Additionally, it can discourage consumption of less nutrient-dense fast food and encourage nutrient-dense, wholesome meals. Meal prepping may involve preparing big portions to be frozen, whole meals to be chilled, or prepared items to be blended as needed, depending on your goals, schedule, and meal preferences. Choose one day each week to meal plan, buy for ingredients, and cook using a system that works for you.