Save Time + Money With These 15 Meal Prep Hacks!

I feel like the words ‘meal prep’ are often associated with an image of bland af chicken breast, broccoli and sweet potato. No wonder people are turned off ‘healthy eating’ and meal prepping. Today I want to cover my tips for fast, delicious and easy meal prep - one of the hardest parts about staying on track is being in an environment that doesn’t promote our goals (think a pantry full of chocolate, work kitchens with donuts and fast food options for take out). If we’re surrounded by this, it makes achieving our goals so much harder, so meal prepping is one of the BEST ways to progress to your goal.

THE TIPS:

soph active life shopping list

1. Pre plan your menu + write your shopping list

Nothing worse than walking around the supermarket trying to think of meals for the week, you’ll inevitably forget ingredients and have to go back - nobody has time for that!

2. Do your food shop + food prep on different days

The whole process can be quite time consuming, so if you don’t want to feel like you’re spending your whole weekend prepping, this is a good one!

3. Buy frozen

This is a huge time saver. Initially I felt weird about buying frozen vegetables, but after trying it out I actually prefer them! You don’t need to cut anything, you can literally grab them and chuck them in the containers and they thaw out in the fridge and heat up really well, and because they’re frozen once picked they actually contain more nutrients than the vegetables we buy fresh!

4. Buy pre-cut protein

Another time saver - pre cut chicken breast, turkey, minced meats such as beef and turkey as well as portions of steak and fish make cooking proteins speedy as!

5. Clean your prep area

Start things fresh with a clean area to get down to business in. I’m talking dishes stacked away, counters wiped down and stove tops cleaned!

6. Multi-task like a mofo

Hopefully you don’t struggle to multi-task.. as this one requires just that! I always try to do many things at once - I’ll be baking my pumpkin, steaming my vegetables, chopping my chicken all whilst cleaning as I go. We’re going for time efficiency here peeps!

7. Multiple cooking methods

Pull out all the stops! Turn the oven on, get the BBQ going, stove tops with pots and pans, the rice cooker, slow cooker you name it.

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8. Cook in batches + weigh cooked

When it comes to weighing food cooked or raw - it depends! If you’re using an app like MyFitnessPal to track your food, you select if you want to enter the food raw or cooked. But I find cooking in big batches and then weighing it all cooked saves more time rather than weighing pre-cook as you just need to weigh it post cooked again anyway given you’re prepping for more than just the one day!

9. Variety in chopping

This is surprisingly a game changer for the enjoyment of meal prep! I used to put things in as they were basically, but I’ve been getting more crafty with my chopping methods and its completely changed the experience of eating my food. Here are some examples: broccolini, green beans and asparagus chopped into bite size pieces, strips or shredded chicken, salmon broken up throughout the food, finely sliced steak to name a few.

10. Herbs, spices and seasoning ARE worth it

Ok I totally thought this was just a waste of time, but throughout my comp prep my food went from boring, bland, basic bitch to level 10 just by adding herbs, spices and seasonings! It takes a little longer (unless you buy pre cut herbs), but spices are quick and marinades make all the difference. DO IT.

11. Use sprays

Using olive oils and butter adds up even when weighed - I like to use coconut oil spray for pans and baking or just a really good non-stick pan without oils.

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12. Have a prepped meal during your prep

Little nibbles here and there can easily put you over your calories for the day. So when I’m prepping I’ll either eat something beforehand or have one of my prepped meals during, so that I avoid snacking on what I’m making!

13. Listen to music, audio books or podcasts

Two birds, one stone! I love a good podcast cause I feel like I’m getting prepped for the week ahead whilst learning :) makes the time go by faster too!

14. Prep twice weekly

I used to prep on a Sunday for Monday-Friday, but I’ve switched things up and now do Sunday for Monday-Wednesday and Wednesday night for Thursday + Friday. I find it keeps things way fresher and if you’re bored of the same food you can choose different meals! Also some meats don’t last so long for longer than 3 days.

15. Store your food in glass containers

Glass containers keep things fresher, are better to microwave with and don’t get crappy BPA chemicals through your food! Definitely invest in some good glass containers to store your food in as well as to transport your meal prep in!

Ok guys, now you have no excuse not to be on track with your meal prep. I know coming up with ideas or knowing what to make and prep can be difficult, especially when you’re starting out. I have two meal plans (see below) that tell you exactly what to eat, how many calories and grams and what macros! There’s a 4 Week or 8 Week option - both with the goal being fat loss!