Meal Prepping for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

April 24, 2023
6 min read
Meal Prepping for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

Meal prepping is a simple and effective way to save time and money while eating healthy. By preparing meals in advance, you can avoid the last-minute scramble to figure out what to eat.

Meal prepping can also help you stick to your budget. You can avoid impulse buys at the grocery store or order takeout.

Whether you're new to meal prepping or looking for ways to step up your game, this guide will help you.

Reasons Why You Should Meal Prep

Meal prepping has countless benefits that make it worth incorporating into your weekly routine. There are many reasons why people start meal prepping, including:

1. Time-saving

Rather than cooking every day, pick a day to do all of your cooking. This will save you time and effort in the long run especially if you have a hectic schedule.

2. Money-saving

By meal planning, you can save some extra cash since you won't be making as many trips to the grocery store. When you go shopping, you'll only buy what's on your list.

If you have food already prepared, it's much less likely that you'll get to drive out or order fast food online.

3. Nutritious

Portion control is essential for anyone looking to lose weight or improve their overall health. Planning and preparing your meals ahead is an excellent way to stay on track because it makes sticking to special diets a lot easier.

Different Ways of Meal Preparation

The thought of meal preparation can be overwhelming for some. It can be time-consuming and tedious. Also, many believe that cooking several meals in advance would take up most of your free time.

But what if we told you there are ways to make meal prep easier, more efficient, and enjoyable? You can stop spending long hours in the kitchen to make healthy, delicious meals for you and your family.

Here are some of the most popular ways to meal-prep:

1. Make meals you can reheat

One of the classic ways of meal preparation is making meals that you can reheat. Make-ahead meals are dishes that you can put in the freezer and put out in time for dinner.

2. Cook in batches

If you like to improve your diet while saving effort and resources, this cheat code in meal preparation is for you. Batch cooking is an efficient way to cook larger quantities of food at once.

You can store and refrigerate it for future meals. It comes handy if you often have your hands full with household chores and work.

3. Try individually portioned meals

Looking for an easy and healthy way to meal prep? One of the first things you need to decide when planning individual meals is the kind of food you want to make. Try portioning ready-made food into single-serving containers. This is a perfect method to save time, especially in preparing meals without compromising your health.

4. Prep ingredients ahead of time

Prepping your ingredients beforehand is a lifesaver as it cuts down cooking time. You can spend time on other things while you wait for your food to cook.

What Meal Prep Method Suits You Best

The strategy that will be most successful for you is dependent on your health goals and day-to-day schedule.

If you anticipate a long and busy morning, make-ahead breakfast is the way to go. Do you have many pending tasks and plans to go overtime? Now's the time for you to do batch cooking!

You don't have to commit to just one meal-prepping method—try every meal prep there is until you find the perfect combination that suits your meal preferences, health goals, and daily routine.

How to Make a Meal Preparation Plan

It can be grueling to determine how many meals you need to make and what should go into each meal. Start with deciding and thinking of specific recipes you want to cook. Then, pick out or combine meal-prepping ways that are ideal for your needs.

The next step is to plan how many meals you need next week by looking at your schedule. Keep in mind the special occasions or scheduled company lunch outs so you can avoid cooking and spending more than you need.

It's best to begin by sticking to a handful of recipes you're already familiar with when you're starting with meal planning. That way, meal planning can go smoothly and hassle-free.

Sticking to recipes you know doesn't mean cooking a single dish for the entire week. It can take the fun away from meal preparation and compromise your health and nutrition.

If you are aiming for a balanced diet, you might want to integrate healthy vegetables and alternatives into your meal plan. And if you are worried about eating too many carbs, you can opt for rice alternatives such as quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, sweet potato, brown rice, and chopped cabbage.

4 Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

People don't enjoy spending extra time in the kitchen cooking when they could be doing other things. We all know how frustrating it can be to feel like we're chained to the kitchen. Cooking dinner every night can feel like a never-ending cycle of meal prep, cooking, and cleaning up.

Listed below are some of the most effective kitchen techniques to lessen preparation and cooking time:

1. Follow a regular schedule.

To make meal preparation successful and efficient, you should set a schedule and stick to it. It will be easier for you to determine when is the best time to go grocery shopping to get the things you need.

Picking the best day for grocery shopping and meal prepping is up to your schedule. If you are working at night, then you might want to spend Saturday afternoons getting all your kitchen needs, and Sunday afternoons preparing and start cooking your favorite recipe.

Choose a schedule that you can commit to weekly or even monthly. Establishing a specific schedule and following your plan can lead to smooth decision-making and leave room to do other things.

2. Choose recipes that work well together.

If you want to be more efficient in the kitchen, you can start by choosing recipes that work well together. Having to cook different recipes on one cooking device will limit the variety of dishes you can make at a time.

So it's important to prepare several meals with different cooking approaches or methods so you can make two or more dishes simultaneously.

3. Organize preparation and cooking times.

Taking time to plan out your workflow in the kitchen will play a crucial part in efficient meal preparation. Chopping onions, garlic, and other vegetables beforehand can save you a lot of time in the kitchen.

Make it a habit to look for the recipes that take the longest to cook. You can leave out cold dishes for later since you can do it while the other dish is being cooked as they take less time to prepare. Also, reading all the ingredients before getting started can go a long way.

4. Make a Shopping List

We all know that grocery shopping can be a time-consuming task. You just have to look for the best approach to achieve efficiency.

You can save time walking from aisle to aisle by keeping an organized list. Doing so guarantees you don’t miss anything on your list.

Become a Pro in Meal Preparation Today!

The best way to ensure you're eating healthy is to cook for yourself. Unfortunately, not everyone has time for that. You can save time by learning efficient ways to prepare meals.

It is important to live a healthy lifestyle, but it doesn't have to be hard. These meal prep tips will help you get organized and make the most of your time in the kitchen. Prepare a meal like a pro today!

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