Meal Prep | Keep it simple

Meal prepping, in theory it sounds amazing but one quick search through Instagram and it’s enough to make you reach for a ready meal. But when you bring it back and keep it simple, meal prep is essentially ready meals, but made by you.

Meal prep can be simple. You do not need to make 30 meals on a Sunday evening ready for the rest of the week. Start of off simple and be amazed at the impact a little bit of meal prep can have.


Meal prep: first things first

As we’ve said, launching full force into prepping all three meals plus snacks for an entire week is probably a bit overwhelming.

Start small and work your way up. Pick a meal and start with prep for that. For instance, if you’re more likely to skip breakfast then make sure you start with prepping brekkie.

Make sure you actually do it. Block out some time and schedule it in to make sure your meal prep actually gets done.

Keep it simple. Now is probably not the time to start whipping up a brand new and tricky recipe. Find a recipe that you love and you feel comfortable cooking en masse.

Meal prep containers

Ditch the plastic. It is not unknown that the world is in a bit of a plastic crisis, so ditch the plastic Tupperware in favour of glassware.

Get thrifty. Containers don’t need to be expensive. Be thrifty with the packaging that already comes with your food shop. Clean and repurpose takeaway containers, jars and ice cream tubs.

What you’re looking for. The main quality you want from a meal prep container is something is sturdy, water tight and microwave safe. The rest is just extra.

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Well, if you couldn’t already tell, I’m pretty much eating everything out of a jar these days, but I’m not even mad about it cuz it’s too fricken easy! And just like anything in life, the more you practice it, the easier it is & the better you get at it! I’m loving my mason jar preps this week, so two jars in two days? Why not. 💯 – TOASTED WALNUT & STRAWBERRY 🍓 SPINACH SALAD WITH HONEY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE 🙌🏻 – Here’s the #recipe to be prepared in a 32 oz. mason jar — ingredients listed in order from bottom to top 👇🏻 – ❗️Dressing: a squeeze of honey, balsamic vinegar, evoo, a pinch of salt and a little fresh minced garlic ❗️Toasted walnuts: toast in over at 350f for about 12-15 min ❗️Chili lime chicken: in an @instantpotofficial, add chicken breast, @traderjoes chili lime seasoning, avo oil, minced garlic & @sfsaltco pink salt. Set it on poultry and let her cook! #kitchenhacks ❗️Chopped organic strawberries ❗️Fill to the top with organic baby spinach *to serve simply give the (closed) mason jar a good shake, pour on a plate & devour* – Do you like fruit in your salad?? I usually don’t, but I absolutely loveeee this combo!! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 😊 – #auroaseats #masonjarsalad #eattherainbow #salad #recipeshare #healthyrecipes

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Meal prep to save money

One of the perks of meal planning is the budgeting and money saving possibilities by only buying what you need and limiting waste.

Say, for instance, a Pret-A-Manger soup starts at £3.55, our recipe for lentil soup comes in at £1.76 per week. That’s a saving of £15.99 per week. Meal prep for the win!

Not only will you be saving money by making your own, but you’ll also start saving money on your food shop as a whole. Going in with a clear list and direction means you’ll stay on track and not be tempted by other bits and pieces you might otherwise have added to your basket.

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Clean-out-the-fridge brunch 🤗. It feels like forever since I’ve made avocado toast, and two weeks *is* forever on this Instagram page 😅. Even though it’s fun to switch up meals, at the end of the day (but in this case, the beginning of the day because…breakfast), I always return to the bae-sics 🙎🏼‍♀️ (i.e. bread, avocado, and eggs). – #whatsonmyplate: leftover crispy brussels sprouts, re-crisped in the cast iron this morning (prep instructions for these two posts back)•• @daveskillerbread 7 seed thin-sliced bread, roasted and topped with smashed avocado, feta, and a drizzle of truffle oil (this is a game changer — you gotta try it! 👏🏻) •• crispy ghee-fried @vitalfarms egg 🍳 •• pan-fried halloumi cheese. – It’s a gorgeous fully FALL day here, and the crisp air feels so good — especially after two weeks of heat and humidity 🍂🍁 I have a bunch of errand-running and organizing to do this afternoon because I’m flying back to Boise early next week (!), and then I’m heading to a rooftop birthday party tonight 🍹🎉. I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday! ❤️😘 – Q: for those of you who are avid Instagrammers, what’s the most photographed food on your page? 📷

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Meal Prep: Where to start

Take stock. Have a little rummage around in your freezer, cupboards and fridge and list what you already have. You can either use this a basis to plan your weekly meals or as an addition to your chosen recipes.

Find some recipe inspiration. Dig out your recipe books, browse Pinterest and scroll though Instagram and make a list of recipes you want to make during the week.

Make a shopping list. Cross reference your stock list and recipes and then start forming your shopping list. Only add what you need and be exact with the measurements.

It doesn’t have to be a prescriptive as you think. You don’t necessarily need to theme each day, just make a rough plan as to what you want to cook for the week.

Time to start meal prepping

Right, this can be the scary bit. But do not fear, meal prepping does not have to be about blocking off a whole day to slave in the kitchen.

Tailor it to you. Even if you just want to bulk prepare veggies or carbs and then cook the other components fresh on the day.

Get savvy with use-by dates. Start off with the recipes which have ingredients that go off quickest in first. Try to use freezer ingredients later on in the week to minimise waste.

Batch cooking.Bulk cook several servings and then portion up and store in either the fridge or freezer.

Finally, enjoy! Let the beauty of meal prep give you more time to enjoy yourself during the week whilst still enjoying healthy and tasty meals.

Tilly Doody-Henshaw

Tilly Doody-Henshaw

Writer and expert

Alongside food, travel and writing, skincare is one of my greatest loves. I'm a self-confessed skincare junkie, and product hoarder! Luckily that means I'm ingredient savvy and confident I know what makes a fab skin care routine.

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