Meal prep can seem intimidating when you first start doing it. There is a lot of chopping, cooking, and organizing in the process. When you think of it, you might think it isn’t worth it, but it doesn’t have to be a lot of work.
Here are 3 tips you can use for quick prepping:
1 – Get Organized Before You Start
Make sure that you have all ingredients you need before you start. You don’t want to stop in the middle of your prepping time to run to the store to pick up what you need.
Take out all your containers and Ziplock bags you’ll be using for the meal prep. Also, get any kitchen utensils, gadgets, or cookware you’ll need.
Print off directions for any freezer meals or take a Sharpie pen and write them on your Ziplock bags or disposable pans that you are going to use.
It is easier to get it all out ahead of time because when you’re in the process of prepping, you don’t want to waste valuable time searching for something. Plus you might have to wash your hands before you can search and then again after. Best to get organized first.
2 – Get Your Family To Help
Children can help with many tasks while doing meal prep. Depending on their age they can help cut, cook, or put food in containers. While some of these don’t sound like much, when you’ve got several meals and snacks to prepare all of these help.
Set up an assembly line and assign each person a responsibility or two. When you have multiple children in your household, having them help will speed up the process. Plus when it comes to snacks they can make their own and label them.
Children like to be made a part of it and will feel useful. Not only that, but you’re teaching them lifelong skills they can use when they get out of the house.
3 – Make Extra During the Week
One easy way to meal prep is during the week while you’re cooking meals. Instead of making one casserole or enough soup for one meal, make enough for two or even three and freeze the extras. You can use them when you don’t have anything else planned.
Also start freezing extra food that might go to waste otherwise. You can freeze tomato paste, diced tomatoes, noodles, beans, cooked chicken, and ground hamburger after it has been cooked. All of these can be used quickly and easily to create meals when it is a busy or late night.
If meal prep is overwhelming start small by doing it only a few times a week and then cook extras during the week. You’ll start to get the hang of it and want to do more once you realize what a time saver it is.