Any fellow meal preppers out there? Or do you wing it all week? Whichever group you fall into, there are tips and ideas here to suit everyone!
What I do?
I sit down every week, usually Friday or Saturday for half an hour and make a meal plan for the week ahead. Before I make the plan, I write a list of food I have already, making note of what needs to be used up or what is in the freezer. I use cookbooks, Pinterest and the BBC Good Food website to find inspiration and ideas while I write the plan. As I write, I make a shopping list if needed.
On Sunday, I set aside a few hours to prep some of the planned meals ahead. I always prep a lunch dish and get some snacks ready. If I have a busy week, I will also prep some breakfast items and make a dinner or two.
Why I do this?
I don’t have to worry about what to eat and whether I have ingredients in the house to make certain meals.
I always have food in!
It takes 2 minutes to pack my lunch in the morning.
I have snacks ready so I don’t get HANGRY!
It reduces my food waste (because I factor in the food I have already and buy accordingly).
It reduces my grocery spending (having a list prevents impulse buying).
It is flexible- depending on my schedule each week I prep a different amount of food, plan the quick cook dinners on busy evenings, get breakfast ready for early starts etc.
What foods are good to prep?
Overnight oats (Click on my recipe section for a recipe!).
Lunches and dinners- Think of recipes that are easy to multiply as needed and things that reheat well
Salads (don’t add leaves, cucumber or tomatoes until the morning of use or they will go mushy!)
Casseroles and stews.
Tray bake meals.
Fruit- wash, peel, chop, portion so that they are ready to grab when you’re heading out.
Veggie sticks- carrots, celery and cucumber are my favourites.
Energy balls- Find recipes on my site or my Instagram @littleonutrition!
Nuts and dried fruit- portion them into handy bags or boxes so they are ready to go when you are.
Crackers and dip- think hummus, guac or anything you fancy.
Make your food plan work around your schedule and be realistic with the time you have to cook in the morning or evening.
If you have a busy Sunday, split your meal prep and do some on Saturday or Monday if you can. Or do a quick meal prep by making meals that you can chuck in the slow cooker (while you get other things done), use pre-chopped or frozen veggies, rely on some pre-cooked foods that week and ask for help (maybe your flatmate, bestie, Mam or significant other could give you a hand- many hands make light work!).
If you make too much or end up not eating food you prepped, get it in the freezer so you have backup meals for weeks you can’t prep/don’t want to. I ALWAYS have lasagne, soup, bread and at least one type of veggie in my freezer. It’s a lifesaver for those nights you just can’t face cooking or get home late.
Don’t feel like you have to stick to the plan 100%. I find it really helpful to have a guide, but sometimes I just don’t fancy the meal I planned to eat and that’s totally cool.
Do you meal prep? If so, what are your go to recipes? Let me know over on social @littleonutrition J and follow my meal prep this Sunday over on Insta Stories!