Especially during a holiday week like this one, TGIF quickly turns into Sunday Funday, and it’s time to get ready for the upcoming week. You can’t party-hearty forever! You know if you plan ahead and put in a little work now, your whole week will go so much smoother… not to mention you’ll save money, decrease stress, possibly avoid ordering take-out and have more time to enjoy yourself – all wins in my book!
Still reluctant to give up a few minutes of your Sunday to meal prep? Ok, if you are someone who just does not like to food prep, rest assure you can do the minimum and get maximum results! Here are a few tips and recipe ideas to get you through your meal prep quickly and efficiently so you can cross it off of your list and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
1. Eat What You Like Every Time
Do what works for you. Don’t cook food you don’t like just because it is a hot new trend. I find making things with many components, like these burrito bowls, let’s me pick and choose which items to keep and which to scrap. Everything in a “bowl recipe” can also be something you can use for another meal. Chicken for basically anything, extra veggies can go on salads, and guac for snacking!
Save your favorite recipes somewhere easy to find when you’re trying make your grocery list. Have a list of your top ten meals you like to make and eat. Use that list to add to your menus each week or find a cookbook loaded with meal prep ideas.
2. Chop Everything, Then Save or Bake
Make sure you have the right tools for chopping and then do it all at once. Save some freshly chopped items for later in the week. Then take the rest of your chopped, sliced and diced veggies and roast them in the oven for an easy side dish! Sheet pans are for more than just cookies! Check out this one-pan recipe to whip up a whole meal at once!
3. Use Your Freezer, Before and After
This tip does double duty. Grab frozen veggies you can add to soups or as a last minute side item when meal prepping for the upcoming week. Also, think ahead! Is there anything you can double up on prepping this week and freeze for next week? Extra muffins, smoothie bags, and soup all come to mind. Simply doubling a recipe now may shave minutes off of next week’s meal prep.
4. Stray From the Norm
Think breakfast meets dessert meets snack time. Something as simple as these meal prep breakfast cookies could be eaten as any of the three categories! Always keep in mind there is no steadfast rule that says pancakes can only be eaten before noon and that casseroles are only meant for dinner time.
5. Keep Snacks Simple
Don’t go overboard in the creative department. Nuts and fruit or veggies and hummus are excellent snacks. Even some packaged snacks are a great idea to throw into your meal prep mix. Always check the label to make sure they are a good fit for your dietary requirements. Other than adding it to your list and grabbing it at the grocery store, you don’t spend even one minute on this meal prep step!
6. Friendly Competition for Accountability
All hands on deck! Have your family help you get done with meal prep even faster or add an element of entertainment by cooking with your kids. Challenge a friend to a little friendly competition to see who can finish first. This keeps you accountable and on track to get in and get out of the kitchen.