Are you looking for tips and tricks to make meal prep easier and save time during the week? In today’s video I’m going to show you how I take a weekly meal plan and prep some of the ingredients and meals ahead of time to make eating fresh meals all week long possible!
The hour of prep time today will save you about five or more hours of prep, cooking, and cleanup time throughout the week! I don’t know about you, but I rather do all the messy work at once.
As you saw in the video, I’ll be making a slow cooker chicken noodle soup, butternut squash and chickpea tacos, my family’s favorite skillet lasagna, pancakes + eggs + and fruit salad for breakfast night, and we are also having movie and pizza night for the kids Friday!
Tip #1: Print out your meal plan.
Having all the recipes on hand and ready will allow you to see where similar ingredients will be used so you can cook them at the same time. Reading every recipe through at least once and making any necessary notes on the side will save you lots of time. And, if you have limited counter space, tackle one or two similar recipes at once.
Tip #2: Freeze what you can.
Your freezer is your friend! You can prep meals for later on the week and simply freezing the ingredients in a ready-to-cook way. Cooked pasta, rice, slow cooker meals, soups, stock, stir-fry ingredients, breakfast items like pancakes and waffles can all be frozen for example.
Tip #3: Cook once, eat twice.
Whether you roast your own chicken or purchase it roasted from the grocery store, taking a single ingredient and incorporating it into several meals will save you lots of time.
This week, I used a roasted chicken for the slow cooker chicken noodle soup and the other half for healthy lunches.
If your meal plan includes pasta or rice dishes, cook them ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. Otherwise, freeze them for later use as mentioned in tip #2.
Cooking pasta and rice will shave a good 20-40 minutes, and they also make a terrific base for quick and easy school and office lunches.
Other Ways I like to save time is by prepping lunches at once. Or, using a single ingredient and making 5 different lunches throughout the week. Creating a theme for the week is a terrific idea and also helps use up any ingredients you might have in the fridge.
Here is a playlist with quick videos on how I make 5 different lunches with hard-boiled eggs, hummus, turkey, chicken salad, egg salad & more.