How to Meal Prep for the Week: What You Need to Know to Get Started

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four clear plastic bowls with vegetables

It never fails: After a wretched day at work, you come home exhausted. Your stomach is grumbling, and so are the kids -- everyone wants to know what’s for dinner. But if you learn how to meal prep for the week, you'll get everyone fed in a flash.

Maybe you’re trying to stick to an eating plan. You might be trying to save some money. Americans eat out five to six times a week. And depending on where you live, it could cost $2,000 to $3,500 every year. Wouldn't you rather put that in a college fund or a money market account? (Or even on something way cooler than a cheeseburger?)

Why Learn How to Meal Prep for the Week?

Some dieters stick to their plans by prepping every meal. Nearly every diet and food fad seem to involve learning how to meal prep for the week. It makes it a lot easier to stick to your plan. But you can food prep for other reasons than just dieting.

Savings

Time

Nutrition

Different Methods for How to Meal Prep for the Week

There are several ways you can make your meals ahead of time for the week. You can try one or all of these approaches after you know how to meal prep for the week.

Individual portions

Batch it up

Build a meal

Ingredient prep

How to Meal Prep for the Week: Step by Step

Planning

Containers

Menus

Deals

Recipes

Shop from the cupboard

Spoiled for choice

Shopping

Finding time

How to Meal Prep Safely

There are important rules that ensure that the delicious food you’ve made will remain safe to eat. Luckily, the basics are pretty simple:

  • Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces before and during cooking.
  • Keep raw meats/cheese/eggs separate from other foods
  • Cook food to the right temperature
  • Chill or freeze as soon as it can be stored

If you have any questions about food safety, you can use the FoodKeeper App from the USDA.


Most pre-cooked soups, stews, and casseroles freeze well up to three months if you wrap them tightly.


If you store your prepped meals in the fridge, you’ll have less leeway. Most pre-cooked soups, stews, and casseroles are good for three to four days in the fridge.

Prepped for Prepping

There are important rules that ensure that the delicious food you’ve made will remain safe to eat. Luckily, the basics are pretty simple:

  • Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces before and during cooking.
  • Keep raw meats/cheese/eggs separate from other foods
  • Cook food to the right temperature
  • Chill or freeze as soon as it can be stored

Now that you know how to meal plan for the week, you’ll find yourself expanding your horizons and learning new skills. Once you get organized and have a good collection of favorite recipes, it just gets easier.


What are your favorite recipes for meal prepping? Share your tricks and tips in the comments.

Featured Photo by S'well on Unsplash

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