4 Steps To Easy Meal Prep To Gain Time Back In Your Life
Meal prep is simply you preparing your meals ahead time, so that you don’t have to worry about it later. Meal prep gives you the opportunity to focus that time and energy that you normally would spend in the kitchen cooking all week to things that matter to you.
Things like spending time with your kids, reading a book, watching your favorite tv show, or perhaps getting some extra sleep.
There are 4 steps to killin’ it in the kitchen when it comes to meal prep.
Block out time for meal prep
Figure out the days and time that works best for you to plan, grocery shop, and cook your meals. Mark this down on your calendar or set up reminders in your phone. Blocking out your time helps set you up for success when it comes to meal prep. Your week may start on Monday or Wednesday, it’s up to you and what fits your schedule. Decide if you are going cook all in one day or prepare yourself to make 30 minute or less meals during the week.
You are creating your own meal prep plan on a blank piece of paper. When first starting meal prep allow yourself more time in the beginning. This is because:
- You don't want to overwhelm yourself and just say forget it
- You need time to create a process that is designed for YOU. Meal prepping is based on your lifestyle.
Meal prepping is like a muscle that you have to strengthen. It takes times, but once you get it down you will actually GAIN some time in your life.
Plan out menu
Time is blocked off. Now let’s plan the menu.
Write out what you will be eating for the week. This will help eliminate those:
- What I am I going to eat days
- I am running late day so let me get fast food
- Vending machine lunch days
You want to think about what you would like for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even your snacks. You want to stick with your favorites or your go-to’s in the beginning. Make this easy for yourself. There are really no rules here.
Get your favorite recipes or use your pantry to help you decide what will be on the menu. For breakfast and lunch decide on meals that are portable, easy to grab, and easy to store. For dinner ideas, decide if you want diners where you can just turn on the oven to reheat or cook in less than 30 minutes.
Tip: Keeping your menu with seasonal ingredients will keep your grocery bill low.
Now that the meals are planned and written, it’s time to create that shopping list. Check your pantry first, before writing an item on your list. When I talk about pantry, I mean your dry goods, spices, staples in your fridge and freezer. Having a well stocked pantry is a major key in meal prepping. It keeps your grocery bill low, saves you time and eliminates all of those trips to the grocery store is to build up your pantry.
Pick a store where you can get everything that you need to eliminate multiple store trips or you can split your grocery shopping trips up. I like to shop for pantry staples all at once to make sure that I have everything for my meal prep and then I shop for my meal prep. My pantry grocery shopping may only happen every 2 weeks. It is what works for you schedule. Remember you are creating your OWN meal prep process.
Cook It Up
This is the fun part. I like to get in the kitchen on one of my playlist from Spotify and zone out. Some day’s I binge watch one of my favorite tv series while I meal prep. You have the choice to cook all of your meals in one day so that they are ready for you during the week or your can prep your meals half way to cook them during the week for 30 minute meal or less. Convience doesn’t just have to be in a fast food line but it can be at your home. Use cooking tools that will help cut down on your time cooking, such as:
- Slow cooker
- Sheet pans
- Mason jars
- Pressure cooker
- Mini chopper
- Immersion blender
Once your meals are all prepped, store and label them.
No right or wrong here. You are the artist creating a meal prep process that fits your life. Meal prep can help you eliminate those last-minute grocery store runs, spending all your money eating out, and the headaches from not knowing what's for dinner. Ready to start meal prepping?
Here is a FREE Weekly Meal Plan Printable to get started on your journey.
WEEKLY MEAL PLAN
Gain some time and money back with this weekly meal plan printable.