Inside: Are weeknights crazy? Check out these easy meal prep tips to save you time and money. These tips for meal prep will make your evenings calm again.
Recently we have been trying to eat healthier here at the Frugally Blonde household. I have been trying to pay closer attention to the amount of fruits and veggies that we need to get into our diet each day. One thing I quickly realized is that we need A LOT of fruits and veggies.
I started to feel like 3/4 of my time in the kitchen was just spent on prepping the fruit and vegetables for each meal. I found myself getting frustrated at night and decided to start spending some time each week on meal prep.
If you feel like every night fixing dinner is a chore and you are getting frustrated with the amount of time it takes to make dinner check out these easy meal prep tips to save you time and money.
Make A Plan
One of the first steps to easy meal prepping is to have your meals planned out for the week. Before you even go shopping sit down and make a weekly meal plan. Make sure you plan ahead for any busy nights or nights you may be gone until later.
Once you have your plan ready to go for the week you can make up your shopping list. Check your fridge, pantry, and freezer to see what you have and what you need to buy. Having a solid list helps make the shopping trip a breeze.
Set Aside Time
After doing your shopping you will want to set aside some time to do the meal prep. If you are cooking up meats and portioning out foods the meal prep may take a while at first. Especially until you get the hang of it.
Plan on an hour or two after shopping to meal prep. If you don't have enough time after shopping try meal prepping on Sunday. An hour or two on a Sunday afternoon can help make your weeknight dinners go smoother.
Wash Fruits and Veggies
I like to start my meal planning by washing the fruits and veggies that I can ahead of time. I use this produce spray on my apples and then let them air dry.
With smaller fruits and berries I like to wash them in a colander and then lay them out on a towel to dry. Once they are dry you can put them away.
If you start to have problems with your fruit going bad too quickly you can get special storage containers for fruits and veggies that let the air in and help keep them from spoiling.
Having your fruits and vegetables washed and cleaned ahead of dinner will help save you time and your sanity on those busy evenings.
Cut Up Foods Ahead of Time
Take some time on your meal prep days to cut up foods. Some foods like apples, won't do well being cut up ahead of time. However, most veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and celery can be cut up days before they are used.
Grab your cutting board and get to work cutting the veggies. Once you are done cutting them all up store them in a container until the day you need them. Weeknight meals will be so easy to cook after cutting up your vegetables during meal prepping time!
Portion Out Snacks & Food
If you pick up a lot of snacks for the week consider portioning them out during prep time. You can make up some baggies or Tupperware of your snacks so you have some easy to grab and go snacks. Plus, if you are watching what you eat it makes it a lot more difficult to overeat.
Cook Up Meats
If you are short on time most evenings this is one of those meal prep tips you will love! Spending some time each week cooking up meats ahead of time will make your evening routine easier.
Using a crockpot to cook up large quantities of meat ahead of time will help save your sanity on busy weeknights. You can see how to cook ground beef in the crockpot to maximize your time. I like to freeze the ground beef once it is all cooked and then I can pull it out for quick tacos or spaghetti dinner.
You can also pre-cook chicken breasts and shred them in a mixer. Once the chicken is shredded and cooled package it up and freeze it. It's easy to pull out some shredded chicken for chicken BBQ, soups, salads, and more.
With these simple meal prep tips, you can get back your evenings and make dinner time chaos a thing of the past. Don't feel like you have time for meal planning? Check out these meal planning services that will save you time and money.
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