Meal Prep Like a Pro
Meal prepping has often been a solution for those with busy lives but is also beneficial to help save money too. Planning a week’s worth of meals means less food waste, time saved each mealtime as well as helping keep you on track with portions. Here’s our handy step by step guide to getting you meal prepping like a pro.
Step 1 – Plan
All successful meal prep starts with a plan. Are you going to just prep lunches and dinners for the coming week or are you planning breakfasts and snacks too? Make sure you’re planning around your lifestyle too, whether it’s a carb-heavy meal the night before a big run or a lighter evening meal after a Sunday lunch in the pub. Setting aside some time to sit down and plan your meals is vital to successful prepping.
Plan to dedicate a couple of hours at the beginning of your working week to do your prep. So for those who work Mon-Fri, Sunday seems like the obvious choice but this may vary depending on your own schedule.
Top tip – You can find plenty of free, printable meal planners online.
Step 2 – Shop
Once you’ve made your plan, it’s time to shop. Creating your shopping list based on your plan not only ensures you have everything you need but also makes it easier to stick to your plan and not be swayed by other foods. If you’ve got a very strict budget, you may find shopping online is more beneficial as you get a running total of your basket cost. This also allows you to see where you could potentially cut costs, meaning you save even more money!
Top tip- make sure you check what you already have at home to avoid wasting food.
Step 3 – Get Cooking
It can seem overwhelming having to cook several meals at once. Try thinking about the components individually instead of per meal. So if you have several veggies to cook, putting them all in the same roasting tin or pan can save space. Likewise, if you’re planning several meals with rice, cooking it in bulk seems logical, just make sure you measure it all out.
Top tip – Make use of versatile ingredients such as a whole roast chicken which can be used in several ways for various meals.
Step 4 – Storage
Meal prep is all about the containers. Most of us already have a stash of old takeaway containers which are great for storing your meals. If you’re trying to cut down on your plastic use, investing in glass containers is a great alternative.
Top tip – Have your containers out ready so you can portion off your food as soon as it’s cooked.
Step 6- Clean-up
For most this is the worst part. Having your kitchen littered with pots, pans and trays let alone all the various utensils. It may seem like it’ll take forever to clean up just remember that this is a week plus worth of washing up. Once this is done it’ll be minimal washing up until the next time you prep. Plus it’ll be super satisfying having a nice clean kitchen.
Top tip – soaking baked on pans and trays as soon as possible will make clean up easier – we promise!
So there you have it, our tips for successful meal prep. If you’re ever bored of cooking the same meals each week, there are hundreds of ideas online to suit all budgets, dietary needs and tastes. Happy prepping!
Please note, none of these articles are intended to constitute financial advice and should be used for informational purposes only.