Looking to save time and money? You need to get meal prepping! This week a food blogger, and Muscle Food fan, has shown how you can cook up a week’s worth of meals in just 90 minutes, instead of spending hours each day slaving over a hot stove.
Hannah Potter spends Sunday evenings meal prepping for the week ahead and cooks up five delicious lunches and dinners in just 90 minutes.
She stores all the meals in plastic containers in her fridge or freezer, and each day simply takes out what she needs.
To keep her costs low, Hannah bulk buys her meat from yours truly and supplements it all with store cupboard essentials and fresh vegetables.
Hannah, from Oxford regularly meal preps for herself and her boyfriend Sean, but feels that it is important for mums and families to understand the benefits of it too.
The 25-year-old blogger and primary school teacher regularly shares her delicious, healthy recipes on Instagram for her 27,000 followers.
She says that by making simple, but nutritious meals and using the same meat twice, meal prepping can be quick and easy.
And she says apart from the raw ingredients, all you need is a big stack of plastic food storage containers to put the prepped meals in.
Hannah said: “Meal prepping is great if you’re looking to save time and money, and is perfect if you want a balanced diet packed with nutritious meals.
“People often shy away from meal prepping because they think it’ll be too tricky, but it is in fact, far from it.
“I find that by meal prepping on Sunday night you can have it all ready for the rest of the week, and the only thing you need to do is heat it up.
“If you’ve planned exactly what you are going to cook and have all the food storage containers to hand, then it’s really straightforward. The storage boxes will help with portion control too.
“And it’s simple if you have little children too. Smaller portions mean one box can be shared between them.
“As well as saving time, meal prepping can also save money too. I buy my meat in bulk from MuscleFood.com and because the quality is so good, I don’t have to use as much as if I was using ingredients from the supermarket.
“Meal prepping is great for families and for anyone looking to get a little healthier. It’s certainly the key to an easy, yet healthy lifestyle.
“The main thing to remember if you’re just starting your meal prep journey is to be consistent in planning and avoid getting overwhelmed.
“If you are struggling to cook it all on Sunday, sometimes I find that it is easier to meal prep food on Sunday for Monday and Tuesday, then meal prep on Wednesday for Thursday and Friday. Hopefully with my top tips and recipes, you can feel encouraged to give it a go.”
Hannah’s Top Prep Tips
- Buy the right equipment
Plastic food storage containers are a must if you’re going to start food prepping. Buy enough for every person you’ll be feeding for every meal.
If you have small children who don’t need an adult sized portion, then they can share a tub. So if you’re a family of mum, dad and two young children, you’ll need three tubs for every meal you make.
You could also check out MealKitt – the revolutionary way to prep!
Based on NHS guidelines, MealKitt offers a simple way to manage your food intake and portion sizes, whilst taking into consideration your weight and dietary goals, whether you wish to lose, gain or simply maintain your weight:
Each MealKitt has pre-measured, colour-coded scoops and cups designated for each of the main food groups including:
- Solid and liquid fats
- Dried and cooked carbohydrates
- Solid and liquid proteins
Meaning you no longer have to guess your portion sizes or rely on scales.
Perfectly balanced and portioned meals to suit your needs and lifestyle! You can even prep your meals for the entire week, saving you time and ensuring you keep on track.
It also comes with 28 Day Lean Plan, Get Lean workouts and training guides, 21 professionally designed recipes for each weight goal and a comprehensive Food Reference and Portion Guide.
Plus it is BPA free, anti-bacterial and dishwasher safe and even comes with an in-built chopping board and storage lid.
- Buying the raw ingredients
As you’re cooking in bulk, why not buy in bulk too?
This way you’ll be saving cash and if you order from someone like MuscleFood.com who deliver to the door, then you’re saving time too. Look for cheap deals for other ingredients too – for example, buying non-perishable items in catering sizes.
- When to meal prep
Meal prep at a time to suit you and make sure you have nothing else planned or aren’t expecting any visitors for the couple of hours you shut yourself away in the kitchen. A weekend is a good time so you’re ready for the week ahead.
Think about how the meals will span out over the course of the week and think about how you can save time putting the meals together.
For example, if you’re having chicken five times over the week, then cook it all in one go and just add the accompaniments or sauces.
- Take each recipe step by step
Do follow the recipe’s you’ve picked out and don’t be tempted to take short cuts. But remember if you can cook meat all in one go, then do. It will save you lots of time.
- Where to store
Your meals can be stored in the fridge or the freezer providing your meat hasn’t been frozen before. Remember to factor in when you’ll be eating them – those for later in the week may be better off frozen.
- Heating up the meals
This couldn’t be easier. Simply pop in the microwave in the container for a couple of minutes and your delicious meal is ready to eat.
An Example Week of Prep
- Monday & Tuesday - Cashew chicken with rice
- Wednesday, Thursday & Friday - Greek chicken salad
- Monday - Turkey mince cottage pie with sweet potato topping
- Tuesday - Turkey meatball pasta bake
- Wednesday - BBQ chicken and roasted sweet potato
- Thursday – Turkey mince cottage pie with sweet potato topping
- Friday - Turkey meatballs with tomato sauce and courgetti
For more recipes from Hannah, check out her Instagram page.