You may have heard of Meal Prep Sundays before. It’s that one day per week when you prepare healthy meals for the rest of the week. It doesn’t have to happen on Sunday if you’re on a different schedule.
There are many advantages to preparing your meals for the week in one shot. There’s the obvious one of not having to cook on busy evenings. But on top of that, it’s a great way to ensure that you’re not reaching for take-out that will wreak havoc on your health.
It’s also a money saver, since you’ll only need to do groceries once a week. This means that you’ll be less tempted to buy that amazing smelling baguette you got a whiff of while walking by the store’s bakery.
This is my favourite advantage of Sunday Meal Prep: you really only need to do the dishes once a week. I wash all the pots and pans once I’m done cooking. Then, I only need to wash cutlery and 3 food containers on a daily basis.
Meal prep how-to
Start by picking out a few recipes for the week. Factor in how many servings each recipe makes and how many meals you need to cover. Save the recipes you find so that you can make them again somewhere down the road.
Next, make a list of the ingredients you need. This will be your grocery list. If you stick to your list, it’s a great way to make sure that you don’t forget anything you need. It’s an even better way to make sure that you don’t buy anything you don’t need. I know you want to buy those cookies, but be strong!
I like to choose a recipe that gets cooked in the oven, one on the stove, and one that doesn’t need any cooking. It’s the easiest way for me to make everything all at once to reduce the amount of time I spend in the kitchen.
My favourite meal planning tool
Because I’m really busy (who isn’t?), I like to take shortcuts where I can. I recently found a great tool called Meal Garden that does a lot of the work for me.
Meal Garden allows you to search recipes by meal type (breakfast, appetizer, etc.), ingredient, cooking time, or health need (gluten free, paleo, etc.). You can also add your own recipes if you already have some you love.
An added bonus of using this great tool is that it breaks down the nutritional value of each recipe you find and gives you a health rating. This allows you to make sure that each meal you put together is healthy.
Once you’ve found your recipes, you can schedule them into a weekly planner. You can decide how many servings you want to make with each recipe, and Meal Garden will adjust the recipes for you. Then, it will actually create your grocery list for you!
What are your favourite meals to prepare ahead?