Pasta primavera and a salad in meal prep containers.

How to Meal Prep

I am a big fan of meal prepping! There is no way I could make new recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday! To hear more about my journey of learning about meal prepping check out this blog post where I share my story!

Now let’s break down the basics for meal prepping!

What is Meal Prep?

Meal Prep is the process of planning and preparing meals in advance of eating them. There are a few different forms of meal prep.

  • Batch cooking, making a large quantity of one dish and storing it in one container. Think about a large pot of pasta for a family with servings to last throughout the week night dinners. My mom did a lot of batch cooking when I was growing up!
  • Freezer meals, preparing a meal and storing it in the freezer to thaw, heat and eat at a later date. An example of a freezer meal is soup stored in a pyrex container or ziplock back that is cooked in October but consumed in November.
  • Individual meal prep, this is my favorite form of meal prep! I cook twice a week and prepare all the meals for the week in individual portion containers. On Sunday I prepare three servings for breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat Monday through Wednesday. Wednesday night I prep my meals for Thursday-Saturday. For breakfast I love to make overnight oats, for lunch I might make mason jar salads and for dinner I could make a grain bowl.
Meal prep containers with salad and pasta primavera.

Don’t you get bored of eating the same thing?

There are lots of ways to mix up your meal prep so you don’t end up eating the same thing ever day. Alternating you lunch and dinners is one options. If you make a pesto pasta recipe you can eat that for lunch on Monday and Wednesday and for dinner on Tuesday. Adding different sauces can really mix things up. If you have a roasted veggie bowl, you can use a balsamic vinaigrette on Monday, some hot sauce on Tuesday and some pesto on Wednesday. Trying a variety of recipes will also keep things interesting.

Meal prep containers with pasta primavera.

Listen to your body

Meal prep doesn’t have to be restrictive. After your first round of meal prep ask yourself, should I make bigger or smaller portion sizes next week? You can also prep your snacks and eat those when you get hungry. You can also stop eating when you are full and save the rest for later. I get full really quickly so I would rather eat four small meals throughout the day but my husband prefers to eat three bigger meals and not to have to stop and snack. Meal prepping can be flexible to fit your needs. It is also normal to have different levels of hunger on different days.

Understand your “why”

Why do you want to start meal prepping? Are you looking to eat more veggies? Does cooking dinner every night after a long day at work stress you out? (I know it stresses me out, I tried it once since graduating college, that’s not happening again, lol.) Maybe you are looking to reduce your spending on takeout or groceries. Are you looking for some spare time in your week to spend with your friends or family? I meal prep so I don’t have to worry about cooking every day, to save money and spend more time with my husband and friends. Understanding your “why” can help you stay committed even if your first try at meal prepping isn’t perfect.

Meal prep containers with salad.

How to start meal prepping

Start small to stay sustainable! If you have never meal prepped before just start with meal prepping your lunch for three days. Use a recipe you already know and love. Starting with just a lunch can be easier than meal prepping for every meal using all new recipes.

As you get in the habit of meal prepping you can add dinner and then breakfast too. Over time you can branch out and slowly try new recipes. Taking it one step at a time can help build a lasting habit instead of getting overwhelmed. The more you meal prep the faster you will become! In college I could go to the grocery store and meal prep very simple recipes and have everything done in two hours.

Choose a day and time that will work for your schedule. I like to cook on Sundays and Wednesdays. The best days to meal prep are the days that are most sustainable for you.

Meal prep containers & tools

The first step to meal prepping is getting the right tools. You can use the containers you have or buy matching ones. These containers work great for lunches and I use these mason jars for layered salads. A funnel is helpful when you want to assemble meal-preps quickly but don’t want to get quinoa all over the table! I meal prepped for years without a funnel but this little tool is probably the best $4.00 I spent all year! Other basic kitchen tools are also necessary such as a cookie sheet for roasting veggies, a pan for sautéing onions and a pot for soups. 

Ello meal prep containers.
Mason jar meal prep containers.

Recipes suited for prepping

Once you have the right containers you can choose your recipes. Some recipes are better fresh and don’t keep all week so try to choose recipes that will still taste good a few days later. When choosing your recipes also consider your schedule for the week, are you meeting a friend for dinner or do you have a work event coming up? Adjust the portions you prepare accordingly.

Easy Vegan Garlic Sesame Noodles.
Easy vegan garlic sesame noodles

Shop with a list

With recipes in hand, head to the grocery store. Combine the ingredient lists from your recipes to one master list, add other snack items or pantry staples you need to replenish for the week. As you get into the habit of grocery shopping off the planned list you will start to learn how to write the grocery list to fit a walk through your specific grocery store.

Looking at my shopping list in the grocery store.
Having a shopping list is like a game plan for the grocery store!

Cook with a plan

Once you have the food, get started with the prep! Think about what will take the longest to cook and start with those tasks. When meal prepping multiple meals at once you don’t have to stick to one recipe at a time. You can start cooking rice for a veggie bowl while also boiling water for veggie mac. 

Red onion, baby kale, sweet potato and broccolini from the Sheet Pan Veggie Meal Prep.
Red onion, baby kale, sweet potato and broccolini from the Sheet Pan Veggie Meal Prep

Make it fun

If cooking isn’t your favorite pastime, try out these tactics to make it more enjoyable.

  • Cook with a pal! In college I was always inviting my roommates to cook with me. My husband and I also love to cook together.
  • Blast your favorite music. 🎶
  • Enjoy your favorite drink. I love to try different flavors of kombucha!
  • Calculate all the time you will save during the week by not having to cook or drive to a fast food place for every meal. Make a plan for how you will enjoy that extra time! ⌚️
  • Calculate all the money you will save and then do a little celebratory dance! My prepped meals cost an average of $2.00 – $3.00 per meal. In NYC, where I work, you can easily drop $20.00 on a salad, and that’s not even including the delivery fee! 💸

Store & chill

Distribute the food between your containers, clean your kitchen and take a deep breath! You are done cooking! Grab your lunch on your way out the door and enjoy yummy and affordable meals at work! After work, spend more time with your friends and family instead of slaving over the stove! Finish putting away the laundry and you will be all set to conquer the week!

140 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    When someone writes an article he/she maintains the thought of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
    So that’s why this piece of writing is perfect.
    Thanks!

  2. 2 stars
    I as well as my buddies have been reading the excellent helpful hints found on your web
    site and so all of a sudden developed a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to you for them.
    These men are actually as a consequence stimulated to study them
    and have in actuality been making the most of those things.
    Appreciate your simply being well considerate and then for figuring out this kind of incredible tips millions of individuals are really
    eager to be informed on. Our honest apologies for not
    expressing appreciation to you earlier.

    my webpage … Jolly CBD Gummies Reviews

  3. 4 stars
    Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she
    can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and
    she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but
    I had to share it with someone!

    Here is my page VirilyTest Review

  4. 1 star
    I would like to consider the ability of thanking
    you for the professional guidance I have often enjoyed checking out your site.
    I am looking forward to the particular commencement of my school
    research and the entire planning would never have been complete without
    surfing this site. If I might be of any assistance to others,
    I would be pleased to help by means of what I have gained from here.

    Take a look at my blog post; Full Body Male Enhancement Pills

  5. 4 stars
    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to
    send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing
    it grow over time.

    Also visit my web site Testoryze

  6. 2 stars
    I will right away grab your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognise in order that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

  7. 1 star
    My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog.

    He used to be totally right. This post truly made my
    day. You cann’t imagine just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  8. 3 stars
    The W.N.B.A.’s Atlanta Dream backed a candidate for
    the Senate running straight against a co-owner of
    the team the N.F.L.’s Atlanta Falcons promoted voter participation in common.

  9. 3 stars
    Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some
    nice practices and we are looking to swap methods with
    other folks, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  10. 4 stars
    I got this web page from my buddy who shared with me on the topic of this
    web site and now this time I am visiting this web page and reading
    very informative posts here.

  11. 5 stars
    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a
    famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  12. 3 stars
    I know this site provides quality based content and additional
    information, is there any other website which provides such stuff in quality?

  13. 3 stars
    We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might check things out.

    I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to looking into your web page again.

  14. 5 stars
    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back down the road. I want to encourage continue your great job, have a nice evening! Merl Leopold Meredeth

  15. 5 stars
    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles
    as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your weblog? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you
    present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thank you!

  16. 2 stars
    Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    superb blog!

  17. 4 stars
    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems?

    Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  18. 3 stars
    I am extremely inspired with your writing talents as smartly as with the structure on your blog.
    Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to
    look a nice weblog like this one nowadays.. asmr 0mniartist

  19. 1 star
    Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just
    bookmark this web site. asmr 0mniartist

  20. 2 stars
    May I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody who genuinely understands what they’re talking
    about on the internet. You actually know how
    to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really
    need to check this out and understand this side of the story.
    It’s surprising you’re not more popular given that you
    surely have the gift. 0mniartist asmr

  21. 2 stars
    Wonderful goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior
    to and you are simply extremely magnificent. I actually like what you
    have obtained here, really like what you are saying and
    the best way through which you are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it smart.
    I can’t wait to learn far more from you. This is really
    a terrific site. 0mniartist asmr

  22. 5 stars
    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come
    back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice day!

  23. 2 stars
    Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my website thus i got here to go back the favor?.I’m trying
    to in finding things to improve my site!I
    suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  24. 5 stars
    I just could not leave your website prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information a person provide on your visitors?
    Is going to be back frequently to inspect new posts

  25. 4 stars
    Hi to every one, the contents existing at this web site are really awesome for people
    knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  26. 1 star
    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  27. 5 stars
    scoliosis
    Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity on your post is just cool and that i can suppose you are a
    professional in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to take hold
    of your RSS feed to stay updated with coming near near post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.
    scoliosis

  28. 5 stars
    scoliosis
    obviously like your web site however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts.

    Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the
    reality however I’ll certainly come back again. scoliosis

  29. 5 stars
    free dating sites
    Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be
    aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while
    people consider worries that they plainly don’t know
    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top
    and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects
    , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.
    Thanks https://785days.tumblr.com/ free dating sites

  30. 5 stars
    free dating sites
    Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after checking
    through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll
    be bookmarking and checking back often! free dating sites

  31. 1 star
    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe
    that you ought to write more about this issue, it might not be
    a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about such subjects.

    To the next! Best wishes!!

  32. 4 stars
    Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks
    fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

  33. 4 stars
    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright
    infringement? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored
    myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any methods to help protect
    against content from being ripped off? I’d truly
    appreciate it.

  34. 1 star
    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting
    videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something
    informative to read?

  35. Heya my partner and i is for your main time here. We came across this board and I actually to find Promoted helpful & it helped me out and about much.
    I wish to offer a very important factor again and help others such since you aided me personally.

    먹튀리스트

  36. Heya my partner and i is for the principal time here. I actually came across this board and My partner and i to find Promoted helpful & it helped me away much.
    I desire to offer something again and aid others such while you aided us.

    검증사이트

  37. 3 stars
    certainly like your website however you have to
    test the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and
    I find it very bothersome to tell the truth however I’ll certainly come again again.

  38. I was wondering if anyone knows what happened to Dimepiece LA celebrity streetwear brand? I seem to be unable to proceed to the checkout on Dimepiecela site. I have read in Elle that the brand was bought out by a UK hedge fund in excess of $50 million. I’ve just bought the Control The Guns Tee from Amazon and absolutely love it xox

  39. nstagram takipçi satın alarak işlerinizi yükseltebilirsiniz, Sitemizdeki Türk Takipçi Paketleri 100 Resimli ve Gerçek Kişilerden Oluşur, Ucuz Fiyata satılan Takipçiler ile karıştırmayınız. Tamamen Kaliteli organik Kişilerdir.

  40. instagram takipçi satın alarak işlerinizi yükseltebilirsiniz, Sitemizdeki Türk Takipçi Paketleri 100 Resimli ve Gerçek Kişilerden Oluşur, Ucuz Fiyata satılan Takipçiler ile karıştırmayınız. Tamamen Kaliteli organik Kişilerdir.

  41. 1 star
    What you said made a bunch of sense. But, what about this?
    what if you were to create a awesome headline?
    I ain’t suggesting your information is not solid., however
    what if you added a title that makes people want more?

    I mean How to Meal Prep – Plant Power Prep is kinda plain. You
    might glance at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create news
    headlines to get people to click. You might add a related video or
    a related picture or two to get people excited about everything’ve written. Just
    my opinion, it could make your posts a little livelier.

    Look at my site: US Magazine

  42. 3 stars
    First of all I want to say great blog! I
    had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear
    your head before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend
    to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?
    Thanks!

    Feel free to visit my homepage … buy weed

  43. 2 stars
    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing issues with your site.
    It appears as though some of the written text
    in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to
    them as well? This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Cheers

    my web-site – where to find weed

  44. 3 stars
    I think that what you published was very reasonable.
    However, what about this? what if you composed a catchier
    title? I ain’t saying your content is not solid, however what if you added a post title that makes people want more?
    I mean How to Meal Prep – Plant Power Prep is a little vanilla.

    You might glance at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create news titles to grab
    people to click. You might add a video or a related picture
    or two to grab people interested about what you’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it would make your website a little livelier.

  45. Very well written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who employess it, including myself. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  46. I carry on listening to the newscast talk about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

  47. 3 stars
    I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area .
    Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site.

    Studying this information So i’m glad to convey that I’ve an incredibly excellent
    uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot indisputably will make sure to don?t disregard this
    website and give it a look regularly.

  48. Hey very nice web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am happy to find numerous useful info here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  49. 2 stars
    I was excited to find this page. I want to to thank you for your time
    just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of
    it and i also have you saved as a favorite
    to check out new stuff in your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *