Win at Meal Prep with These 3 Essentials
When it comes to keeping up with all of our daily activities like work, sports practice, meetings, exercise commitments and everything else, the quote by Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” is so true. Many families find eating on the run the norm rather than the exception these days, so finding a way to provide healthy meal options that can be prepared quickly becomes a necessity.
There are a number of reasons to dedicate some time each week to meal prep, but the main reason to make this investment is, it actually ends up saving time, energy and money. Plus, it keeps you and your family healthier.
If you want to give meal planning a try, here are 3 essential items to help make you successful in the long term.
The Deep Freeze
A chest freezer quickly becomes a must-have when you are making meals for the week. You can purchase some of your staples (meat & veggies) in bulk, also a money saver, and store them in your deep freeze for future meals! You can also freeze the meals you make and thaw them prior to needing them. Having a deep freeze minimizes the amount of food you end up throwing out because you use only what you need at the time.
Seal It Up
As I mentioned before, purchasing some meal staples in bulk saves money and grocery shopping time, but who needs 20 chicken breasts at a time? A vacuum sealer allows you to portion your meals according to your family needs, seal them and freeze them for future needs. A sealer is great because it removes all of the air from the specially designed bag and keeps air out to prevent freezer burn.
Grab and Go
Preparing your meals ahead of time means you’ll need to store them in the fridge or freezer until you need them. It is imperative that you have a good set of food storage containers. You’ll want a variety of sizes and shapes to ensure you have the right container for all of your meals. Look for containers that have a good seal; this will help your food stay fresh longer.
If this is your first time prepping meals, here is a step by step guide to make it a success!
- Set aside time each week to plan and prepare your meals.
- Choose the meals you will make and set up a menu
- Check your deep freeze, fridge and pantry for your ingredients.
- Make your grocery list.
- Hit the store and get only what you need.
When you get home, just follow this checklist and set yourself up for success!
- Slice all of your fruit and veggies and put them in your food storage containers.
- Grill, bake, brown your meats and portion them correctly for your family needs.
- Cook any pasta or rice you plan to use, it will keep for up to five days.
- Portion any meals you can right away and store in your food storage containers.
- Vacuum seal any meat you plan to use late in the week – you can marinate it first then seal it.
- Label everything – you can use dry erase markers on your plastic containers.
Now you’re on your way towards saving money, saving time, and eating healthy thanks to the wonders of a weekly meal prep!