Meal prep sounds great—you can save time, money, and waste less food by carefully planning and prepping your meals ahead of time. But when it comes time to actually do the thing, meal prep can seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Here are some ways you can alleviate your biggest meal prep pains.
1. I don’t know where to start.
Cooking a lot of food at once can seem overwhelming, but is more manageable when you break the process down into smaller chunks. First, choose a few recipes from blogs, cookbooks, or magazines that you would like to eat. Then, make a grocery list that contains the ingredients for those recipes (pro-tip: Organizing your grocery list by section of the grocery store—produce, meats, canned good, etc. will make your trip faster and reduce impulse buys). Finally, cook the food and store it in tupperware containers to eat later! If that seems like a lot of work (it is!) websites like Salt & Prepper sell recipe “packages” that do all the planning for you, so all you have to do is shop, cook, and eat!
2. Eating the same thing gets old.
You can only eat so much food before it goes bad, so when you meal prep you tend to cook one thing and eat it all week, which can get boring. If you utilize your freezer, however, you can cook more meals at once because freezing will allow them to keep longer than if they were in your fridge. More meals=more variety, so you’re not stuck eating the same chicken all week long.
3. The clean-up is, well, messy.
The worst part of meal prep, hands down, is finishing up your last meal, turning around, and seeing a giant pile of dishes in your sink. To reduce the chaos, clean as you go. Have a few minutes while some pasta is boiling? Wash and dry a few dishes. Waiting for vegetables to roast? Put away spare ingredients you’re not using anymore. If you use your downtime to clean a few things at a time, you’ll be shocked at how quickly the “final” cleanup goes.
4. I don’t have enough time.
One of the biggest benefits of meal prep is not having to cook every day—but many meal prep plans still have you cooking once or twice per week. If you utilize your freezer and cook more at once, you can also cook less often. Meal prep sites like Salt & Prepper can guide you through cooking 20 meals in ONE prep session (enough for an entire month of weeknight dinners!).
5. I don’t know how to keep my food fresh.
Food stored in the refrigerator only stays good for about 5-7 days. Food stored in the freezer, however, can keep for weeks without losing freshness. For best results reheating your meal preps, transfer the food from your freezer to your fridge 1-2 days before you plan on eating it. Then reheat the food using the microwave or the method you first cooked it (for example, reheat soup in a soup pot).
Even with these helpful tips, meal prep takes a lot of time to plan and execute. By signing up for Salt & Prepper Prep Packages, you’ll get a PDF with 5 recipes specifically designed to freeze and reheat well along with an organized grocery list of all the ingredients you’ll need to prep the meals. They also include a set of master instructions to walk you through how to cook all 5 recipes in ONE prep session. In just 3-4 hours you can have 20 individual meals in your fridge and freezer to eat all month long.