The reason i meal prep is because it makes life a lot easier. I started meal prepping a little over a year ago but did not do it all the time. Having 2 little kids and working as well I found I was always tired. My babies dont sleep through the night so I would be up at night going between bedrooms to settle them and then when the day came I would either be doing things around the house and yard if I was not at work. I am one of those people who struggle to sleep during the day unless I am very ill or pregnant so which meant by dinner time i was drained.
Why meal prep
– Time saving
– Money saving
– For your own sanity
– Healthy eating
– More time with the kids
What to do
Have a meal planner. Think of what your week is going to be like next week. Then plan your meals accordingly.
A shopping list (I shop fortnightly). Anything in packets or tins can be even a month in advance. Fruit and vegetables if i can freeze it I will. Some foods can rot so if it is freezable freeze it. Not all foods come out tasting good after freezing so though thats where you want to do your research.
I look up recipes ahead of time. Pinterest is one of my go too for meal ideas then i just adjust or tweak them to my liking. I also have a few cook books and dare I say the Coles and Woolworths free magazines are great to have too. I even have the apps on my tablet.
So i normally prepare meals on a Sunday because I am mostly off then and I get do it with the kids because when they get involved in the cooking they like to eat what they prepared or I do it watching them play.
Things like school lunches I prepare the night before if I have to work early the next day
Depends on how much time you have on your hands. Some people write their meal list and then shopping list. Do their shopping and prepare the weeks meal and some prefer to do it the day before. I do mine a week in advance that ia Monday to Friday. On the weekend we just eat left overs or treat ourselves to the occassional takeout.
Planning can save you a lot of headaches thats for sure.
What to use
Now I am not saying this is what you have to use. It’s what I use during my preparations
Slow cooker: I use it for proteins and its time saving as I can put the meat on the night before
Pressure cooker: I have the Tupperware Micropressure cooker and I use it for proteins and or risotto (i know right. Yes risotto. My kids love it and its cooked in 20 minutes)
Rice cooker: excellent and faster in the microwave. I use my Tupperware one and even use it for pasta in the microwave.
Electric fry pan: makes its faster when pan frying
Oven: any baked goods and roasts
Food containers: I use my Tupperware storage containers and decor. They are also good for freezing.
Wash and chop everything that needs chopping
Place protein in slow cookers or pressure cooker
Cook your rice and pasta
Divide into your storage containers
Most meats will last 3-5 days
Fish: I try not to keep longer than 3 days from day i cooked it
Chicken and pork: Not longer than 3 days
Beef, lamb, goat: Most red meats will last up to 5 days.
Most baked goods can be frozen.