There’s no denying it – meal prep is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to work/life balance and your budget. Setting aside a couple of hours every Sunday to get your lunch, snacks and sometimes even dinners sorted for the week can save you so much time and save you hundreds of dollars a month on eating out at lunch. Plus then you can focus your after hours on what you want to do not what you have to do! (Catch up on Netflix, friends or nothing at all!)
Don’t get stuck in the details
Sticking to the basics is all you need to do. Pick a day that works best for your work schedule and don’t try to incorporate too many new things at once. You don’t need to make food for every day of the week; it’s pretty common to only do 3-4 days of prep at a time. If you need a visual representation, there’s plenty of planners available like this one from Kikki K.
Invest in quality containers
Don’t just use the Chinese containers you have built up in your cupboard, invest in some good quality containers! These can be Tupperware or glass. If you plan on reheating your food in the microwave, it’s important to look for BPA free containers so they don’t fall apart in the microwave or oven. Bonus points if you get multiple of the same size as this will make multiple days of food much easier to stack and save room in your fridge. Try Harris Scarfe, Howards or Freedom at Canberra Outlet for a great range.
Pick and plan your meals
It helps to think weekly and spend some time writing a shopping list either the night before your planned prep day or the morning of, keeping you from buying anything unnecessary from the supermarket. You might only choose to cook lunches for the week or breakfast and lunch. It’s easy to incorporate this into your weekly grocery shop and will end up saving you money in the long run.
There’s a few ways to cook your meals:
- Fully cooked meals: you cook the entire meal, portion it out into containers and grab and go from the fridge during the week.
- Batch or frozen cooking: this is really useful for meals you can cook bulk of like pumpkin soup or Bolognese sauce.
- Ingredient prep: If you just want to cook your food and serve it all at once rather than in advance, sometimes it can be easier to get everything cut up and portioned out to save time before you cook.
Just remember to keep it simple and not over think it – too many recipes can make things really complicated. Make sure the food you’re prepping, is food you’re actually going to want to eat, and not just because it’s super healthy and someone else said it’s good. And the main tip if possible, is to try and have some fun in the process, pop on some tunes and dance it out in the kitchen with the wooden spoon as the mic, or reward yourself with a Netflix binge after.