It would appear that a lot of people, myself included, have set a new year resolution to meal prep the heck out of this year.
If you know me in real life, I’ve probably been talking about how I wanted to start meal prepping for about 18 months now, but at last, in 2018, I’m finally out of the starting gate and I have some things to say.
So, today I’m going to be sharing my top 5 tips for the reluctant meal prepper – hopefully you find them useful!
1. Theme your meal plans so you’re using similar ingredients.
If you take one point away from this post, please make it this one. Theming your meal plan simplifies life in so many ways, here’s a few of them:
- At the start of the week you don’t have to faff around with individual meals, you just have to think about cuisine (this week I want Mexican, next week I want Italian etc).
- If you’re cooking within one cuisine, you’ll most likely be using the same ingredient again and again which both keeps the cost down and reduces waste.
- It makes it fun! Especially if you decide to experiment with some new recipes or, even better, make your own.
2. Only prep food for 6 days, not 7.
When I meal prep, I always overestimate how much food I’m going to eat in a given period so, by only prepping for 6 days, I do two things…
- I allow myself to use up the inevitable leftovers.
- I leave room to eat out with friends or family without wasting a day’s meals.
3. Don’t worry about prepping every single thing you eat to completion.
Some foods, particularly pasta dishes or salads, don’t age well, so it’s easier and tastier if you keep the ingredients separate.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have the sauce ready and the vegetables cut up in the fridge beforehand. Meal prepping requires a balance between convenience and deliciousness, it’ll be different for everyone, but don’t worry if certain dishes (say, a bagel) require no meal prep at all!
4. Get more Tupperware than you think you’re going to need, you will find a use for it!
As a minimalist, I hate that this has to be a tip, but it really does.
I had to invest in a whole new range of Tupperware for this project, but they keep the food fresher and more convenient. Make sure you get a couple of extra freezable containers for when you accidentally cook an extra portion of something – waste not, want not.
5. Don’t worry about the meals themselves.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that the only ingredients you should be eating are kale and chia seeds, it’s an idea that’s reinforced anywhere online these days.
At the start, don’t worry if your meals aren’t super healthy, you can amend them as you get the hang of things. In the first few goes, focus on cooking foods you’re good at making and that you enjoy eating. Then, once you’re into the swing of things, you can start substituting your white pasta for whole grains, your mince for Quorn and adding new seeds and spices to random dishes. It’s a process, let it proceed.
And that’s it, 5 Meal Planning Tips for all the reluctant chefs out there!
I really hope you guys are getting on well with your resolutions and that you found this post helpful. Let me know how you’ve been doing in the comments down below, I love hearing from you!