The 7 Best Products to Make Meal Prep Easier!
This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.
Meal Prep is my jam. Yup. I said it.
But can I tell you a secret? I used to HATE doing it! I was super overwhelmed by meal prep, thought I didn’t have the time to do it and just stayed away from making a plan. I also thought that if I spent the time to meal prep healthier foods, than I would actually have to follow the plan and I didn’t want to! I wanted to have my excuses why I couldn’t eat healthy, I wanted to eat unhealthy foods, and I wasn’t really ready to change things. Once I finally made the commitment to myself to start to change my life, I had to make meal prep a habit.
And guess what happened when I did??
I saw results with my health and fitness. I lost 70 pounds, lessened my stress and anxiety and started to change my family’s lifestyle.
Why Meal Prep Rocks!
Meal Prep is the best thing since sliced bread. At first, it was daunting to me, but after I got the hang of it I don’t think I could go one week without doing some sort of meal prep. So why does it rock? Meal prepping helps you…
- Save time
- Save money
- Stress Less
- Eat Better
Okay so let’s talk all about these benefits in detail:
- Save time
- When you meal prep, you spend time to make meals to use in the future. There are two ways you can meal prep; you can make the meals for the next week OR you can use them to be backup meals for those times when you are having one of those “ummmm what should we eat today?”
- Each weekend I spend about two hours making all my meals for the week and portioning them out in my fridge. As a mom of little ones, I barely have time to remember to eat, let alone the free hands to cook something. This way, my meals are already done and all I have to do is grab them from the fridge.
- Save money
- When you meal prep, you start with a plan and only buy groceries that you NEED. Before I started meal prepping, I was just going to the grocery store and buying things I thought I might use that week and so often a lot of my healthier produce would go bad before I got to it!
- If I have a plan of what I am going to eat and have already taken the time to make some of it, I am less likely to actually eat out or spend money on stuff I don’t need. We used to spend HUNDREDS of dollars a month on eating out and now, we maybe spend $50 a month and that’s if we treat ourselves.
- Less stress
- Raise your hand if dinner time is stressful! How about coming home from work and being SO tired and not knowing what to make? OR trying to cook dinner with your kiddos running around your feet or needing homework help? When you meal prep in advance (and my favorite.. use a crockpot!) you have one less thing to think about! And mamas, we know our brains are already too full… why add something else??
- Eat Better
- One of the problems I had when I started doing dinner prep or using my crock pot was that almost all of the meals I found had ingredients that I just didn’t love.. Aka cream of crap soup 😛 Food that has ingredients you can’t pronounce, a super long list of nonsense, or is super processed is NOT what I want to feed my family and hopefully neither do you! When you prep out meals in advance (or at least have a plan) you are more in control of what you and your family is eating.
- Meal prepping will help you have less leftovers! Why is that awesome? Because, if you are like me, then you struggle with going back for seconds and this way you won’t find yourself binging! BUT, if you and your family loves the meal, you can easily make them again and duplicate!
The Best Products to Make Meal Prep Easier!
1. Crock Pot
I do not know how I went most of my life WITHOUT using a crock pot! This past year I found my love of using a crock pot and it’s changed the way I meal prep our dinners. I also fell in LOVE with freezer cooking and realized that, as a mom of young kiddos, it’s the easiest way to get dinner on my table. Dinner time is hectic and even if I have planned out what I want to eat, having to chop and cook while my little people are running around my feet makes me so stressed. By putting my food in a crock pot in the morning, I can just set it and forget it until dinner. This way, I only need to steam up some veggies or make whatever side dishes we need! My biggest tip is to make sure you get one that has a timer so that your food doesn’t get overcooked and dry if you are out of the house during the day! I love this one that I got over at Amazon!
2. Bento Boxes
Now you could use regular tupperware for your meal prep if you wanted to (and I do for some of it) but these Bento Boxes are AMAZING! They are microwave and dishwasher safe and keep your food from touching (if you’re one of those people) . What I love the best about them is that, I can make my food on Sundays in a bulk meal prep, separate them and just stack them in the fridge to heat and go when I need them. This was super helpful during the beginning of the newborn stage when I was cluster feeding the little one and only had one hand to heat up my food, eat and clean up with. It’s like having your own homemade TV dinner!
3. Flavor God Spices
One thing that can happen when you start to eat healthier is that your food can get umm kind of boring. I like chicken, brown rice and broccoli but I can’t eat it at every meal unless it’s jazzed up a ton. The Flavor God spices are AMAZING! They are kosher and gluten free and (mostly) paleo approved! They don’t have added junk of MSG and taste AMAZING! The pizza and everything spices make normal food like a party in my mouth! They even have a chocolate donut flavor!
4. Mason Jars
Mason jars are in the same category as bento boxes as not 100% needed but make things a ton easier. Mason jars are super cheap to get and come in bulk and you can use them for so many things! My favorite ways are to use them when making overnight oats or salads for the next day! And they make your Instagram pictures just look 10x cooler!
5. Cooler Lunch Bag
No matter is you work outside of the house or need a bag for shuffling your kids to sporting events, you’re going to want to check out this one from LISH! I went through a lot of different bags and none seemed to work until I found this one. They either leaked, didn’t keep my food cool, or just weren’t big enough for my meals. I eat at least 6 small meals a day and I need a bag that I can lug with me on trips (this is airline approved! just make sure you don’t bring any liquids!), for a long day of kids sports, or if I had a day where I was working out of the house. Plus this one isn’t so bulky and annoying to carry and super cute!
If you are like me and LOVE pasta but know that you need some moderation, than you have to have a spiralizer in your kitchen. I make “zoodles” at least 3x a week for either lunch or dinner and get to enjoy my ‘pasta’ without feeling deprived. This spiralizer is my favorite, super inexpensive and easy to use and clean!
7. Portionology Containers
I had lost about 70 pounds before having my daughter and the #1 way that I got there was by following this portionology system. Before I started using them I realized that I was eating healthy but WAY too much! Did you know you can over eat things like cheese and almonds?? 😛 When I found portionology it was SO dang simple for me to finally bust a plateau and lose weight. I had been stuck with those ‘last 10 pounds’ FOREVER and finally dropped them in just 3 weeks with this system! The best part?? All the containers make excellent tupperware so I could just use them to take my food to go! You can learn more about them and get your own copy (with some workout dvds) here!
Remember ladies, meal prep doesn’t have the be “just another chore”! When you have the right tools it can make your life easier and you healthier!
More Healthy Living Resources for Busy Moms