Do you have takeout many times in a week?
Do you want to eat healthy each day of the week, without spending tons of hours cooking?
Are you tired of eating the microwaved mac and cheese for the 3rd time in less than ten days?
Making meals or prepping them in advance can save you a lot of time. If you want to eat healthily but feel a time squeeze, I can completely understand. I was in the same situation but learning the art of preparing meals in advance. It helped me save dollars, eat healthily, and reduce food waste too.
Here, I share 12 tips for saving hours in the week by spending just 2 hours on the weekend. Bust stress and cook smart starting today!
Know the Why
Be clear with why you have started meal prepping? Losing weight, saving time, cutting the grocery budget, eating healthy can be a few of the many reasons. The goal will be your prime motivation. Be clear and write it in your journal or post-it on the refrigerator to motivate yourself.
Designate a Day
Many people prefer Saturday or Sunday for meal prepping. If you work during the weekend, you can choose any other day of the week that suits your schedule. Sticking to a particular day helps to make this exercise a habit.
Choose the Prep Meals
Starting small helps a lot. Pick a meal that you want to prepare for the week ahead. Maybe you can try making breakfast for the next five days. Here you could make 5 smoothie bags packed with frozen veggies, fruits with a teaspoon of almonds, chia and flax seeds. In the morning, just dump contents of one packet into the mixer, mix in milk, ice and you have healthy nutrition packed smoothie ready.
Select Recipes for the Week
Decide upon the recipes and make a list for the ingredients. Decide the servings to be made and get the exact amounts of ingredients.
Take the list and go grocery shopping. Buying vegetables, meats, and fruits in bulk can save you a tidy sum of cash. As far as possible, stick to the list, but you can slip in a treat every week!
Get the Right Accessories
Get a set of stackable containers for the refrigerator. Glass or plastic is best for storing food. If you prefer plastic, buy the ones that are BPA-free.
Get the Veggies Ready
Wash and rinse the vegetables and fruits for the next 5 days. Chop or slice them and store in resealable bags that can be used when you are ready to cook. If you prefer to store them after roasting so, they are prepared for salads or soups.
Bake some sweet potatoes or regular potatoes and refrigerate them. They make for a quick side dish of mashed potatoes or a tossed salad.
Grate the Cheese
If you prefer grated cheese over your salads and as a seasoning in soups, grate the cheese block on Sunday. Just freeze it in a resealable bag to use during the week. This simple hack can save you a ton of time.
Cook the Meats
Using crockpots is a great way to cook your meats done. Cook the chicken or beef with a little bit of water or broth. Once ready, let it completely cool down and chop or shred it. Now freeze it up. During the week, get some meat out, add flavorful dressings, toss to make a yummy main course dish. Spicy Italian Beef with Mashed Potatoes for Monday night dinner in less than 10 minutes!
Boil some eggs and refrigerate. They make for quick breakfasts with a smoothie or whole wheat toast. Do finish them up in a week. If peeled, finish them in a day.
Make small snack packs of your favorite healthy munchies. When you go to work, pack one in your bag. Take small resealable plastic bags of sliced carrots, cucumbers, toasted nuts, whole wheat crackers, granola bars. You could also use small BPA-free plastic containers if you prefer them.
The Last Word
Cooking every day can be a challenge with work, study, children, and family priorities also on your plate. Spending 2 hours on the weekend can save you loads of unnecessary stress, reduce takeout meals, and save tons of dollars and your valuable time. Why not try out a couple of tips this weekend and check it out yourself?