Meal planning is truly one of the foundational must haves to keep our family on track and successfully eating at home. Hopefully you are organized and have strategies to be successful with that! Another thing that is pretty high up on the list as well is meal prepping. Once you have the meals planned, got to the grocery store, now it’s time to prep some things to save time and keep you on track. I do some sort of meal prep EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.
Here are some of my tips for you on ways to save you time later (and always have healthy options at home) by doing some work ahead of time.
Make a baked egg frittata to eat on all week.
Add in your favorite veggies and you have a balanced breakfast or lunch to eat.
Few tips here:
- Get everything in your blender the night before and then all you have to do the next morning is add some ice if you want to and blend.
- Make packs of your fruits and veggies and separate packs with your favorite add ins. This will save even more time the night before (or morning of) because you can just empty the packs into the blender.
- Check out my smoothie guide for ideas of things to include in your smoothie to keep you full and nourished.
Double or triple any meal you can.
I try to do this with any ground meat dish – meatballs, hamburgers, taco meat, etc. Also, if you are grilling or baking some proteins, add in a few more than just for that meal. Store the rest in the freezer. Soups and stews are another great thing to double or triple.
Make and freeze beans and grains.
Making brown rice can take time (usually about an hour) and beans even longer if you are using dried beans (which saves you money). Spend some time making these and then store in your freezer in 1-2 cup portions.
After you go to the store, cut your fresh veggies and then store in a container or jar with cold water. This will help encourage healthy snacking and will be ready for any meal.
Pick a day and consistently do the prep.
Sunday I almost always do some prep. That might be stalking my freezer with some breakfast items for my boys, making some hard boiled eggs for snacking, salads or eating by themselves, making a slow cooker chicken or roasting up a sheet pan of some veggies. This will save you time during the week and help ensure you always have some options.
Invest in a freezer.
This may not be possible for everyone, but consider if you have the money and any extra space in your basement or garage. I live for my freezer. This allows me to carry out some of the tips I have shared with you with ease. And to ensure I always have some already cooked food ready for me that just needs to be re-heated.
Now that you have done the work, take advantage of that prepped food.
I love ‘making’ a kitchen sink belly bowl with eggs, leftover protein, veggies, etc. Also, consider a sheet pan dinner, which basically is throwing any protein or veggies (uncooked) onto a sheet pan and roasting. I usually do this at about 400-425 for 20-40 minutes depending on what I am making.
What are your favorite ways to prep, in order to save you time later?