Food Prep Tips I Live By is a sponsored review, I received free product from SheSpeaks.
I don't know about you but I have to have a menu plan each week, or we would eat out every night. I usually shop weekly, so I try to find time every week for meal planning and menu writing. I am a big fan of food prep for the entire week as well but have struggled to make this a regular thing until recently.
Here are some tips I have found super helpful when it comes to food prepping for the week.
Food Prep Tips I Live By:
Plan, plan, plan- Go ahead and plan breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner for the week. I usually do this on Sat so I can shop on Sunday.
Don't buy things you don't need. I make a grocery list before I leave home and I don't buy anything that isn't on the list. If you only buy what you need you are much more likely to follow through on your meal prep plan. Don't buy convenience foods that allow you to skip meal prep night!
Cooking in batches OR Cook big - While this may seem difficult all you're doing is only buying a few types of meat so you can cook similar foods in less time. Imagine cooking pork chops, beef stew, chicken breasts, bacon, and sausage all in the same night. That is a lot of work. What isn't a lot of work? 6 pounds of ground beef and a turkey (I have a big family, it may not take as much for yours). I can cook six pounds of ground beef while the turkey is cooking in the oven. Now I can choose to make a few meals (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) using the same two different types of meat but in a variety of ways. I will say I cook bacon and sausage fresh in the morning so I don't prep those.
Double Up On Meals - Since you cooked lots of the same kind of meat you can easily double up on certain meals which makes planning easier. So, for example, let's say you're using 2 pounds of hamburger to make two shepherds pies. I like to eat one pie for dinner (with my family of course) and have one for lunch (but not the next day). If you split them up, you feel like you've got variety in your diet and if you split the days, it doesn't feel like you're eating leftovers.
Have the right tools for the job! Make meal prepping easier on yourself by investing in a rice cooker, crockpot, and/or instant pot! Having the right cooking tools saves time and money because meal prepping and sticking to it is both better for your health and your wallet!
Have the right food storage containers and plenty of them - Nothing makes food prep easier than having the perfect food storage container for every meal/snack. That's where Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE Salad & Snack Sets come in. You already know I love these containers because I couldn't stop talking about them when I shared my Thanksgiving Squash Soup Recipe. They are 100% leak proof*(which is so important when you're taking your lunch to work or school). My favorite thing about the new snack and salad sets are the adjustable insert trays and dividers that allow you to control the placement of your foods. This is also perfect for keeping salads as fresh and tasty as possible. Oh and the best part.... salad dressing containers! Yay for no more soggy salad or having to pack an extra bowl for salad dressing.
Prep your veggies too! While you're cooking, make sure you prep the raw stuff too. Clean and chop your celery, put your carrots in their containers or compartments. You should only have to grab, heat (if needed), and eat!
Pack snacks too and keep 'em simple. Think nuts, fruit, cheese sticks, sweet potato chips, meat sticks, or popcorn.
Get your family to help. I like to choose the meals/foods myself and enlist my family to help me cook and package the food. My son is only 14 and thanks to years of helping is an amazing cook!
Take time to enjoy your hard work. Don't eat in front of the TV or standing up. Sit down, give thanks, and spend time with the people you care about. You've worked too hard not to savor the food you prepped!
ENTER TO WIN: Comment below telling me why you'd like to win a Rubbermaid BRILLANCE Salad & Snack!
*Not applicable to internal compartments created by inserts.