All. The. Food.

Make Meal Prep Easy with these 6 Hacks

This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a compensation if you click the links, at no additional cost to you.

So if the words ‘meal prep’ have you rolling your eyes and thinking ‘this is just like those fad diets that come and go’, don’t leave yet. Meal prep is a movement! Ok so that’s a bit dramatic, but seriously, it will make your life So. Much. Easier. Trust me. These six meal prep hacks are going to get you started.

Just imagine coming home every night to a dinner that just has to be warmed up. I mean…..

I have alot to tell you so let’s just dive right in. If you’re already convinced that meal prep is worth your while just skip down to the “How to do it” section.

But if you’re still skeptical, keep reading below.

Why should I meal prep?

1. To save money

Meal prepping will save you money on SO MANY levels. First, you have the ability to plan your meals around sales or coupons. Those sales and coupons really add up, especially when you are feeding a large family.

I just want to side note here and say, if you haven’t heard of Ibotta– you need it in your life. It’s like a digital coupon book. You clip what you’d normally buy, scan your receipt after purchase, and you make money. And this isn’t just for groceries, it’s, clothes, amazon, everything. I’ve already made over $200 just by using this app. It’s amazing. I absolutely wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think you’d love it. But you will, and who doesn’t want to make money for what you’re buying anyway? Sign up here.

But back to what I was saying, you’re also going to save money by reducing the amount of times you need to go out to eat. You’re probably going to spend 15 dollars at a sit down restaurant for some chicken, a side, and a vegetable…I can feed a whole family of 5 with that. And have leftovers. You can too.

2. It’s healthier

You have the freedom to make healthy meals. Restaurants don’t always care about that. You do. Also, if your family has food allergies like mine, this is one way to guarantee that you’re feeding them what they need.

3. It’s a time saver

Meal prep cuts down on the amount of grocery trips you’ll need to take. It also allows you to cook in bulk, therefore avoiding the time it would take to cook the same thing twice. You also don’t have to spend time rummaging to see what you can whip up for dinner. It’s done.

4. Organization i.e, one less thing to worry about 

Everyone knows what’s for dinner. You can plan. No-one is going to have any reason to ask you this question. Now if we’re being honest, they still might ask (you know it’s true! HA) … but just refer them to the menu.

How do I do it?

1. Decide on your goal

First decide why you are doing this. It’ll help you decide how you need to go about it.

For me it was the money and the organization. I like to save a buck, and I didn’t like the stress of trying to figure out what was for dinner when I was already tired from a long day of work.

If money is your motivation, you’re going to want to pay close attention to your store’s sales papers, and to couponing apps like Ibotta. If health is your motivation, take some time to round up some of your favorite healthy recipes (might I suggest my unstuffed peppers or breakfast muffins). Have at least 10 or 15 to get you started. That will allow you to have a bit of variety without trying to reinvent the wheel.

2. Decide your time frame

What time frame are you trying to meal prep for? I usually do it for one week (all meals). Some people do it for a month and others do it biweekly. 

If you don’t have an exact time frame in mind you could also pick the number of meals that you want to prep during a session. Maybe you decided to prepare 5 meals, and see how long they last.

If you’re new to this, I’d recommend starting out slow just to get comfortable, and to gauge how long certain meals last for your family.

3. Choose how many meals

I plan for 3 meals each week. This only works if each meal is going to be more than enough for your family (that means you get leftovers). And you also have to have a separate option for lunch. If you are relying on leftovers for lunch, you’ll run out. My week might look something like this.

Monday- Meal 1

Tuesday- Meal 2

Wednesday- leftovers

Thursday-out to eat

Friday- meal 3

Saturday- leftovers

Sunday- leftovers

Now if you’re thinking, there is no way my family is going to have that many leftovers, you can do a few things. First, when you’re prepping, just automatically double the recipe. This is great because you aren’t really adding any more work on yourself, but you’re getting twice as much food.

If you aren’t a fan of doubling, just make 4 meals a week. Play around with it until you figure out what works for your family. This is another reason I recommend starting out just planning for a week.

4. Choose your meals

There are 3 important things to consider when choosing your meals.

First are your coupons and store sales. I already covered that in #1.

Second, I recommend using the BOS method. I totally just made that up, and gave it an acronym so it would sound official! HAHA. But I use it all the time and it makes life easier.

So you know how I told you I make three meals a week (refer to #3)? Well one meal will be cooking on a burner, one in the oven, and the other in the slow cooker. BOS. This means that I’m cooking all 3 meals at the SAME time. Talk about a time saver. Work on the slow cooker one first, get that going. Then do your oven. And then save the burner for last. You’re going to feel like a BOSs following this method. 😉

The third important thing is making meals with common ingredients. If chicken is on sale, and I buy the family pack, but only one of my recipes calls for chicken, it’s going to become a thing where I’m shuffling half of my family pack to the freezer. That’s totally doable, but it’s easier to just use the chicken, thereby saving room in your freezer for already prepared meals. Same with recipes that use only one celery stalk, or half an onion, or a teaspoon of an herb. Pair those with other recipes that are going to use that celery or that herb so that you aren’t wasting all of this great produce

5. Have a centralized meal calendar

I have a weekly menu that I stick right on my refrigerator. I LOVE it. First, it keeps me super organized. Second, people don’t have to ask me what’s for dinner, they can just refer to the calendar. Third, I can see when I’m about to have a meal that I really enjoy, and I can look forward to it. Fourth, I just have to have a planning session once a week, and then I don’t have to think about dinner again. Fifth, it’s just a really cute menu. Insanely cute. Well at least I think so!

I’ve had this menu for years, and all you need is some chalk markers to keep it looking nice and colorful. If you don’t like having this sort of menu, I’ve also seen people use dry erase menus, print outs, or even apps that keep everyone on the same page.

6. The freezer is your friend

Before I started meal prepping, I never realized just how much you can freeze. Now if I go into my freezer, I can have a fresh baked cookie in 10 minutes. A warm, fresh, out-of-the oven roll. A slice of cheesecake. Some Pizza. I’ve got some chicken just marinating in the freezer waiting to be cooked. A casserole that only needs to be baked. I mean my freezer is like going out to eat!

The point is, sometimes you aren’t going to want leftovers, and if that’s the case you can freeze them. Other times, the only way to get rid of that extra produce, is to double your recipe…and you can freeze that too. Sometimes your favorite cookie recipe makes 6 dozen cookies, and you only need 4 dozen. Freeze the rest. The freezer is so helpful when you have weeks that are crazy. You know that you have a supply in the freezer that you can just pull out and cook, no prep require.

I find it helpful to keep track of what’s in my freezer. To do this I have a google note called ‘freezer’ and every time I put something in the freezer I add it to the list. Or at least I try to. That’s so helpful to me when I want to quickly know what I have in stock without having to rummage.

Well guys, those are my six meal prep hacks. If you can think of others that I’ve missed please let me know in the comments!

If you found this helpful, or would like to learn more let me know and I’ll work on creating some more materials for you. Maybe a sample week of meals, with the grocery list included? All you’d have to do is shop and prepare. But only if you’re interested!

Make life sweet and learn all you can.

(2) Comments

  1. I always have trouble meal prepping just because it just took much time out from me! But when I incorporate the meal plan calendar, it was much more easier! People should totally do meal calendar because its convenient. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Same here! It was like it took all of the guesswork out of it for me. Well that and, it just made me feel a little fancy! haha. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

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

Disclaimer - Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)