Everyone is aware of the advantages of meal prepping; it is cost effective, it makes healthy eating possible and it is also an investment you make in yourself. But, it is also a fact that meal prepping can take time. Fortunately, there are some time-saving meal prepping tips that can come in handy and even the busiest people will not have a problem in fitting them into their schedule. Here are some of these practical tips outlined by Ido Fishman:
- Make a weekly grocery list to only visit once
When you have a tight schedule, the last thing you want to do is make more than one trip to the grocery store. Instead, your goal should be to go shopping just once and it is best to go on a weekday when the store is not too busy. Ido Fishman suggests that you hang a grocery list on the fridge for keeping track of the items you run out of. This way, you won’t have to deal with any surprises when you are meal prepping.
- Cook multiple things at once
If you have to cook potatoes and chickpeas at the same time, Ido Fishman recommends that you divide the pan with a thin wall made of aluminum foil. In this way, if one item cooks faster, you can remove that section of the tray and continue cooking the other half. This trick is particularly great for those people who don’t like their foods touching.
- Purchase a slow cooker for some dump dinners
Dump dinners refers to those slow cooker recipes that allow you to simply throw all the ingredients in at once. These recipes are considered best for meal prepping because you can prep all the necessary ingredients, put them in Ziploc bags and keep them in the freezer or fridge until you are ready to cook. This way, you just need to put them in a slow cooker in the morning and allow them to cook all day. You can check out the Ido Fishman blog to find multiple slow cooker recipes.
- Splurge on shortcut ingredients
Even though store-bought ingredients can cost you a bit more, but they can save you a lot of time, which makes them worth the additional cost. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, purchasing things, such as hummus or dressing, rather than making it yourself, can help you save a ton of it and also promote healthy eating.
- Do meal prepping once a week
The whole concept of meal prepping is to invest some time in the beginning of the week, so it can save you time later in the week. According to Ido Fishman, a good rule of thumb is to do meal prepping once a week, usually on Sunday, and then do daily cooking under 20 minutes. This is typically reserved for cooking last minute items quickly or reheating. This will ensure that your meal prepping time actually pays off and frees up some of your time.
- Freeze any leftover prep
Have you cooked a big batch of vegetables and realized it was a bit too much? Ido Fishman recommends that you simply freeze the leftovers since they can be used in the following week. Initially, it can be difficult to figure out how much food to prep for, so it is a good idea to find ways to repurpose the excess prep. This can reduce waste and will also help you in saving some time in the next week as well.
- Load your freezer with homemade frozen meals
Prepare some DIY freezer meals that can be reheated after you have had a long day at work. As opposed to store-bought frozen dinners, you will know exactly what these contain and they can be your backup meal prep.
With these practical tips by Ido Fishman, you don’t have to spend a lot of time cooking on weeknights.