1. Make a Plan
We’ve come up with one week’s worth of ideas for you above, but for long-term success, you’ll want to take a few minutes at the end of each week or beginning of each weekend to make a menu for next week’s meals. Expert tip: Save your plans for future weeks! Once you have a few weeklong meal prep menus on hand, you can rotate through them on a monthly basis for ease and convenience.
2. Shop in Bulk
Try to plan meals that have similar ingredients, such as ground beef or chicken, so you can shop in bulk if possible. If possible, plan your meal prep around your big warehouse club shopping trips, too; for example, if you know you’re going to need a lot of peppers for next week’s meal plan, plan to buy them in bulk at a discounted price on your next grocery run.
3. Invest in Food Containers
Purchase a wide variety of reusable food storage containers in multiple shapes and sizes so you don’t have to use your everyday dishes to store prepped foods.
4. Spice Things Up
Getting a little bored with your current rotation? Instead of having to start from scratch on a meal plan, keep it interesting by swapping spices in the recipes or by buying a few premade sauces to serve with your meals, such as sriracha, salsa, chipotle mayonnaise, hummus or salad dressing.
If you’ve got an Instant Pot™, slow cooker, air fryer or another small appliance that can do the work for you on one meal while you prep another, go for it! Being able to prepare more than one meal at once is a major timesaver. Here are some of our favorite Instant Pot™ meals to inspire you.