These meal prep hacks will help you spend less time in the kitchen and remove the hassle of wondering what’s for dinner. Implement a few today and make meal preparation enjoyable.

These meal prep hacks will help you spend less time in the kitchen and remove the hassle of wondering what's for dinner. Implement a few today and make meal preparation enjoyable.

 

Preparing meals ahead of time means you’re taking a break from the daily hassle of wondering what to fix for dinner, running out the door without breakfast and frequenting expensive restaurants or high-calorie fast food for lunch.

Saving time in the kitchen is also a perk of meal prepping, and that’s something that appeals to everyone.

Meal prepping is an excellent way to save money and time as you plan ahead for last minute and unhealthy food choices. This reduces spending time running back and forth from the store to find forgotten items. You’ll also gain other benefits such as eating healthier and losing weight.

Here are some meal prep hacks to help you save valuable time as you shop, cook, and divide your meals into easily manageable choices for the busy days or week ahead.

Batch Cooking

Choose one time per week to cook. If you can, shop and cook your meals on one particular day and time each week. This means that the oven will only be heated once, the mess of chopping and slicing meats and veggies happens only once and you’ll have time during the week for things you want and need to do.

Make ahead mixes are another form of batch booking. How convenient to have a batch of brownies, pancakes, or scones within easy reach.

Use a crockpot

Use a crockpot to save time and effort. The Internet is bursting with slow cooker recipes that can save you time, effort and money. Or – create your own recipes by tossing in some meat, veggies and yummy spices (plus liquid) and do your own thing while it cooks.

Plan for snacks

We all love to snack between meals and that can be deadly to a diet and fitness routine. Rather than leaving your fate to the vending machines, invest in some healthy pre-planned snacks to keep all week for when hunger and cravings hit unexpectedly.

Another good hack to know when it comes to meal prep is to know your foods’ timeline for freshness. Some foods, such as apples, are more sensitive to time passage than others.

They become brown and pithy as soon as they become exposed to oxygen. Get to know your selected foods’ timeline for freshness and wait for cutting or slicing until you’re ready to use them in a recipe.

Make enough for leftovers

Also, it’s okay to repeat meals during the days or weeks ahead. Enjoyment of your food is key here – and when you love a recipe or enjoy eating leftovers, it’s perfectly okay to make up a batch and serve it later on during the week.

Why not cook a big batch of dried beans and then freeze for later? We often make a large pot of chicken soup on Sunday and then send it for lunches next week.

Organize your refrigerator and pantry

It’s important to organize your refrigerator before meal prepping. You don’t want to be in a hurry to get out the door and have to rummage through the refrigerator for your carefully prepared breakfast.

It is easier to rotate the supplies in your pantry when it is organized. Consider having a separate shelf or zone for baking, preserved food, and dehydrated food.

Meal planning is important when things get crazy for the holidays or when the family is visiting. You’ll think of more meal prep hacks, tips and ideas to make prepping fun and enjoyable as you go along.

These meal prep hacks will help you spend less time in the kitchen and remove the hassle of wondering what's for dinner. Implement a few today and make meal preparation enjoyable.

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Shelle Wells is the founder of the popular websites PreparednessMama.com and Rockin W Homestead.com and believes that everyone should be prepared for the big and small disasters of life. She helps people do this by teaching them to build their food storage, grow a family garden, and to be as self-reliant as possible no matter where they live.
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