If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of healthy eating, and you have grand plans each morning to enjoy delicious, nutritious meals throughout the day.
But then…life happens.
You run late in the morning because your coffee maker overflowed and you couldn’t find your gym shoes.
So long healthy breakfast.
Then, your relaxing lunch break turned into a quick snack at the computer since your meeting ran late.
Traffic on your drive home was awful, putting you 30 minutes behind schedule. And now you’re facing a bare refrigerator, realizing you forgot to thaw the chicken from the freezer.
And in case you’re wondering – yes – this is exactly what happened to me last Wednesday.
Fortunately, I was still able to eat healthfully and stick with my nutrition plan.
Because I followed my top 10 meal prep tips at the beginning of the week, which allows me to save time in the kitchen while still making nutritious meals for me and my husband.
Do you want to do the same?
Great! Then check out my top 10 tips to save time in the kitchen below.
Meal Prep Made Easy: 10 Tips To Save Time In The Kitchen
1. Choose one day for meal prepping and make time for it.
One of the most basic – yet most important – tips for successful meal prepping is to simply make time for it.
Choose one day of the week when you will prep and cook your staples, which you will eat throughout the week.
As you plan your meals, look at your week ahead. Are you home for every dinner? Will you pack lunch for work each day? Knowing these details with help you map out your week efficiently.
Every Sunday I prepare a giant pot of chicken thighs in my Instant Pot. I also hard boil a dozen eggs, and I brown up a few pounds of ground turkey or lean ground beef.
When I have these staple proteins on hand, it helps me save time in the kitchen and makes throwing healthy meals together a breeze!
3. Embrace different sauces.
Since I make up a big batch protein at the beginning of the week, I love to use different sauces and spices to change up the flavors for different meals.
For example, last week I made chicken fajitas, pulled BBQ chicken salad, and chicken fried cauliflower rice, all from that same pot of Sunday chicken. Talk about efficient!
4. Cut up your veggies
On meal prep day, cut up your veggies to shorten your prep time during the week. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-cut or frozen vegetables.
I often buy salad mixes from the store, which I throw together with a protein (above) and some avocado for a quick a satisfying lunch.
5. Roast your veggies
If you have any recipes that use roasted vegetables throughout the week, prepare them all at once! You can reheat them in a snap.
6. Pre-cook your grains and beans
It is so easy to throw pre-cooked grains together with slices of lean meat and some sautéed vegetables for a tasty stir fry. Similarly, you can mix them with ground meat and stuff them in a pepper – YUM!
7. Double the recipe: cook once and eat twice
Let’s hear it for leftovers! They are the BEST way to save time in the kitchen. Plus, let’s be honest – things like spaghetti sauce, taco meat, and soup, often taste better on day two anyway. ☺️
8. Store leftovers in portion sized containers
Did you make lasagna for dinner tonight? Then cut up the leftovers and store them in individual portions in the fridge or freezer. This makes for a quick “grab-and-go” lunch option or a simple last minute dinner.
9. Have protein shakes on hand
On those crazy mornings when everything takes longer than it should, it is incredibly helpful to have a quick, easy, and nourishing breakfast at the ready.
I love to mix my chocolate protein powder with peanut butter, a few tablespoons of flax seed, half a banana, and almond milk. It keeps me going strong all morning long.
10. Make a weekly menu
Take five minutes to map out your week and write down what you’re eating each day. This eliminates any unnecessary decision making after a crazy day at work. You’ve done the work ahead of time, so you know exactly what’s on the menu each day.
There you have it! My top 10 tips to save time in the kitchen. Are you ready to get started? Great! Download my free cheat sheet here. In addition to listing all 10 steps, there is room for your grocery list and your weekly meal plan. Grab it now and get prepping!