5 Simple Tips for Meal-Prepping
The Big Wins to Meal-Prepping
One of the top reasons most people are unable to achieve healthier eating habits is because of the lack of time it takes to do so. I'm sure most of us can relate to this to an extent. Life is busy, and the time it takes to source local ingredients, meal plan, prep, cook & cleanup on a daily basis can easily lead to burnout.
Which is why we felt compelled to share our experience with meal-prepping in this quick-tip vlog post. Meal-prepping (or meal batching) is the best way to eat healthier without having to feel like you're chained to the kitchen. Plus, it's also a great way to save on your grocery budget!
At the time of creating this post, my wife (Catherine) and I spent half a day cooking over 40 freezer meals all at once to help prepare us for the Whole30 diet. From that experience, we decided to share 5 beginner tips to help make your meal prepping day more successful.
#1 - Keep It Social
Even though meal-prepping can save you a TON of time in the kitchen, it still takes a lot of energy, so the more people/help you can pull makes the job much easier and more enjoyable. Plus, if you decide to arrange meal-prepping days with family members & close friends, you can get everyone to chip-in together on the major ingredients to buy in bulk and save big! So create a plan, enlist some help, and turn on the music. Saving time and money doesn't have to be a drag!
#2 - Sequence the Prepping
If you're enlisting extra help, you want to be sure to structure the day in a way that utilizes everyone's time effectively. We've found that a little time in planning can go a long way. For example, a great place to start is with the ingredients that have the longest cooking time. That way if you have something that takes 1-2 hrs to bake in the oven and/or crockpot, you can start that first, and then have everyone move on to other tasks like chopping & prepping vegetables. The last thing you want is to reach a point where everyone is waiting on something to finish cooking before you can continue the day.
#3 - Storage Containers
If you're like us and you're prepping 40+ freezer meals all at once, you'll want to make sure you have enough storage containers so that everything you have isn't tied up for the next month. We like to use glass Pyrex storage containers, but if meal-prepping is new to you and you'd rather not make an investment in extra storage right away, you can also utilize disposable storage containers. If you're prepping in individual meal sizes, you can use something similar to paper carry-out bowls.
#4 - The Right Kitchenware
Large meal-prepping days means lots of cooking, which means you'll need enough large cookware so that you can cook everything in a single batch. The other day, Catherine and I found ourselves having to cook multiple batches of sweet potato chili, all because we didn't have a large enough pot to do it all at once. So the next cookware item on our shopping list is going to be a larger pot, but something you can also do is ask to borrow cookware from a close family member since you'll only need it for one day.
#5 - Freezer Space
So, obviously, if you're preparing a large number of meals to store at once, one of the first things you'll run out of is freezer space. So, it can be a good idea to plan ahead and purge your freezer to create as much space as possible prior to your meal-planning day. Also, if you stay consistent with this, and you find it's time to upgrade to a 2nd freezer in the basement/garage, you can find really good deals on Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, and even the Lowes scratch & dent section.
I hope you enjoyed the article! If you're a veteran in the kitchen, and you thought of some tips we didn't mention that others would benefit from, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below :)