Do you want to save time and money, be more organized, and eat healthier? Then meal prepping is your answer; it can make your life easier in many other ways! Eating healthy, especially during the cold and long winter days, can seem like so much effort. The cooking often feels tedious, especially for busy individuals or those cooking for a large family, but not with meal prepping to the rescue! Even though preparing meals ahead of time may sound daunting, if you know how, it can be low effort.
Tips to make winter meal prepping low effort
- Plan ahead
The starting point should be figuring out the number of meals you want to prepare and what meals you want to cook. Check your calendar to decide how many meals you need for the period you want to meal prep for, taking into account special events, dates, or brunch with friends. At this time, you also need to consider variety; eating the same meal for a week doesn’t sound appetizing. Instead of using rice as your only starch, consider switching things up with potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice. Search for recipes and ideas for your winter meals, and keep things interesting with a lot of variety in colors, textures, and taste profiles.
- Make a grocery list
Now that you know what you want to prepare and cook, make a list of all the ingredients you need, being mindful of the quantities. Shopping from a list will keep you from making impulsive purchases and save you that dreaded return trip to the store because you forgot the leeks for the soup! Shopping online is an added advantage, as you can check supermarket catalogs for the exact prices of the items on your list.The Aldi weekly ad, in particular, always has a good range of products, from fruit and vegetables to dry goods and toiletries.
- Have a regular and consistent schedule
Getting into and sticking to a routine will go a long way toward making your meal preparation effortless. Schedule your shopping before you run out of food so that you can replenish your stock in time. Ideally, you want to do all your meal prep when you are not feeling too tired or destructed, so depending on your schedule, you may choose Sunday afternoons. This way, you are mentally prepared as well.
- Invest in proper storage containers
Storing your food and storing it the right way might be the most essential element of meal prep. You can prevent your food from spoiling too soon or spilling with suitable containers. Shop for compartmentalized containers that are ideal for meals with ingredients that must only be mixed before eating and reusable and resealable bags, which are excellent for keeping vegetables and fruits crisp and fresh. You will also need microwave- and freezer-safe containers such as silicone. Make wise use of the space in your refrigerator by buying stackable containers and labeling your food!
You can keep the winter gains at bay this time around through meal prepping. Having pre-prepared meals ready can discourage settling for those less-nutritious, highly-processed fast food options.