Do you want to save time, money or simply eat a healthier diet? Meal planning can help you achieve your goals! Meal planning is taking time once a week to prepare for all of 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. Meal prepping, 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 can help you reduce food waste, save money, and have a healthier diet. Ready to get started? Here are some ways you can make your first meal prep a success.
Start small Preparing an entire week’s worth of meals can be overwhelming for someone just starting with meal prep. You could consider starting off with just a few meals a week, or even just dinners, lunches, or snacks. You can immediately begin the positive changes to your meal planning habits!
Make a checklist It is good to write down the things you need to do during your weekly meal prepping sessions. Collect all your recipes and make a shopping list of all that you will be needing. This will help you have all the right ingredients when the prep day arrives.
Invest in containers Doing meal prep means you will be making meals or preparing ingredients for several days of meals all at one go. Investing in a set of quality food storage containers that can be reused each week is important. 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 A few days before your planned prep day, start gathering the ingredients on your shopping list. Make it a habit to start shopping in your pantry. Take stock of what you already have before actually buying anything. Regular food rotation in your pantry helps you to avoid wasting money on expired food items. Another good idea is to find recipes that make use of what you already have to maximize your meal prep efficiency.
Schedule enough time Meal prepping can take several hours, depending on how many and what type of meals you are preparing. Set aside a sizable chunk of time for your weekly meal prepping sessions. 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 Even if your ultimate goal is to prep everything fresh or from scratch, be at liberty to take a few shortcuts as the need arises. If chopping vegetables is not your thing, or it just takes up too much time, then go ahead and buy pre-cut lettuce instead. Also, avoid elaborate meals in the meantime. As much as you want to include all the basic food groups into your meal plan, if you find yourself struggling, scale back your meal prepping a bit. The more efficient and enjoyable you can make your meal prepping sessions, the higher the likelihood that you will do it consistently.
Finally, keep in mind that meal prepping is different for everyone. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches until you find the system that suits your lifestyle best.
Are you in the market for a Front Royal rental home with a kitchen where you can comfortably meal prep? Contact Real Property Management Elevation to view listings near you, or check out our available rentals online!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.