Updated: Dec 19, 2018
Are you a full time student on a budget? Do you work 40 hours a week and come home dreading another hour spent working in the kitchen? I've got two words for you: Meal. Prep.
A couple consecutive hours of meal prep on the weekend can save you tons of time throughout the week. I usually choose a Saturday or Sunday when I have an afternoon free to prepare for the upcoming school or work week.
By planning your meals and making a list of the ingredients you need in advance, you’ll ensure that you don’t wander the aisles of the grocery store aimlessly buying what looks good at that moment. Having ready-made food on hand at all times will also keep you from impulsively eating out when you're tired and hungry after work or between classes.
Knowing what you’re going to eat in advance allows you to better plan and control what’s going into your body! Take this opportunity to stock your plates high with vegetables, plant-based proteins and complex carbs (I’m talking quinoa, barley and whole wheat pasta). Having nutritious meals in the fridge will also reduce your cravings and keep you from snacking on easy things like bread, crackers, chips etc.
1. Choosing your meals
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you’d like to prepare! I usually choose two or three different meals to make for dinner each week.
2. List + Shopping
Look at the recipes, check your cupboards and write down all the ingredients you need in order to get through the week. You can also check for coupons and flyers to see what's on sale at different places to reduce the cost of your hauk. Once you get to the grocery store, stick to your list and double check it before you leave!
Once you have your ingredients at home, it's time to prepare your meals! It’s up to you whether you make everything at once or if you want to save an easy meal for halfway through the week to keep it fresh. If something won’t keep as well in the fridge once it’s put together, I may only make my first meal on the weekend, and save the second for later.
4. Packing it up
When meal-prepping, Tupperware is your new best friend. The perks of separating your meal out into different containers right away, is that you'll know exactly how many days the meal will last you. Keep your food in the fridge, all dished out and ready to go!
*Stick with meals that are high in plant-based protein and will help you stay full between meals and reduce your snacking.
Let's get started!
The key is to incorporate meal prepping into your routine so it becomes a habit. After a while you'll get used to setting aside the time and it won't feel like a big deal. Looking for meals to prep? See my "Meal Prep Recipe Ideas" post or my falafel video below. Happy cooking!
Edited by Julia Moran