Meal Prep: Do’s and Don’ts

Meal planning is one of those things you know is smart to be doing, but many of us end up avoiding. Prepping your meals ahead of time is one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating healthy meals and saving some money while you’re doing it. Although creating all your dishes beforehand may seem daunting, you can tackle it by learning the do’s and don’ts for meal prepping to make your life easier.

First, keep your meals simple. Aim for one protein and one carb to start with. Cling to a couple of spice blends that you can mix and match. This will assure that your meals end up being successfully tasty.

Choose foods that reheat well. Certain food-like fish, for example, can get ruined when reheated. Aim for some meals to be cold or room temperature, like pasta salad. That way, you can have a mixture of meals that are cool and hot.

Don’t try to prep 7 days worth of food. It’s not safe and you’ll throw half of it out.

Start by prepping 1 or 2 meals for three or four days. Most cooked meals keep in the fridge for three to five days, so there is no need to go beyond that. The cardinal rule is when in doubt, throw it away! No food is worth saving if you’re unsure about its safety. 

You won’t know how much to make if you don’t have a clear layout of your week’s schedule. If you have a dinner date one day, make one less dinner. If you and your coworkers go out for lunch, you will probably join them. Plan accordingly and don’t make too much food.

And lastly, meal prepping is not a rigid thing. You’re allowed to do it less than perfectly or miss a day. If you rush yourself, your meals may turn out less desirable, or you may not cook them at all. Create a list of what you enjoy eating and cooking, figure out your schedule, and you’ll have an easier time meal prepping. Follow these rules, you’ll waste less food and eat more of the good stuff, and save on money.

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