One of the most common complaints my clients have is “not enough time to cook.” That’s why I want to share my top meal prep tips with you. Eating well all starts with what you bring in the house. By having an (easy) plan, you can avoid costly trips to restaurants and instead enjoy home cooked (or semi-home cooked) meals at home. This will save you money and improve your health.
- Always have a “plan B” in mind if your original meal plan falls through. For lunch it can be a frozen meal you keep at work or at home. For breakfast, grab a snack bar from your pantry and a cheese stick. For dinner, always keep some canned soup and canned fruit in your pantry. It will make a super-quick dinner when you’re in a pinch.
- Schedule grocery shopping trips on your calendar.
- Keep a running grocery list. Every time you notice a staple is running low, immediately add it to your grocery list. If you have sufficient space, keep an extra package of every shelf-stable item you use. We use a bedroom closet to keep an extra bottle of condiments, cereal, crackers, canned meats and beans, pasta, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, baking items, etc. We can almost always throw a meal together with the staples we keep on hand.
- Take one hour a week to make some snack items. I always like to have homemade wheat bread, homemade muffins, or homemade granola bars in the freezer or refrigerator. They are good for hearty snacks or breakfast. If you have some extra time, cut up vegetables, hard cook some eggs, and portion crackers into snack bags.
- Of course making things from scratch and using fresh ingredients are preferred, but sometimes we don’t have time. The steam-able bags of veggies can be life-savers. I especially like the ones mixed with beans and whole grains. They make great side dishes and leftovers for lunch.
Remember, eating well doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be boring. Just take a little time every week to keep your kitchen stocked, and you’ll be well on your way to eating well and feeling well.
Please share, what do you do to simplify meal prep?