It’s summertime and the weather is fine! One of the last things you probably want to spend your time doing in the summer is cooking in the kitchen for hours around a steamy oven. While you won’t be able to skip out on being in the kitchen for the whole summer, here are some great MEAL PREP TIPS to shorten your kitchen time so you can get out and enjoy the sunshine!
Before you get started preppin’, here’s a few quick tips to make the time spent indoors go by even quicker. Meal prepping takes some time at the beginning, but saves you a ton of time in the end!
- Pick a day to meal prep and then make it a habit!
- Make sure you have a variety of sizes of plastic or glass containers with matching lids.
- Once you are home from the store, wash and chop everything before putting it away.
- Before you start to meal prep, turn your oven dial to 350 so it’s ready for whatever you need to cook.
Now for the cookin’ part:
- Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy and enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, especially in the summer when they are in season and on sale. Stock up on bananas, bell peppers, and strawberries which are in season in the summer.
- If you aren’t able to eat your fruits and veggies at one time, freeze them! Peel and cut up the bananas, wash, chop and take the leaves off strawberries, and wash and chop the peppers. Place into separate plastic bags and lay flat in the freezer. Enjoy these fresh fruits and veggies later without them going to waste.
- If fresh fruit and veggies are a little too pricey, buying pre-frozen fruits and veggies is a great alternative. Local grocers can sell pre-frozen, diced peppers for around $1.39 a bag. Pre-frozen fruit and veggies are also great if you don’t have time to wash/chop fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s so easy to toss these pre-frozen ingredients into a dish.
- Make enough quinoa, noodles or rice for the week at one time. Separate these items into little containers to grab and go each day instead of putting into one big container. These ingredients produce a lot of food for little cost.
- Proteins, like meat and seafood, can be expensive. Look to purchase a full cut of protein if you can, rather than more expensive smaller cuts. A whole chicken can cost only $6! Grill or bake your protein and then portion out for the week.
- Egg muffins are a great grab and go breakfast item. In a muffin tin, throw in different vegetables with your egg mixture and bake. Once cooked, top with different healthy sauces like salsa or sriracha for variety. Portion out in smaller containers for a healthy and cheap breakfast for the week.
- At the end of the week, toss together your remaining protein, veggies and starches for a stir-fry!
Dedicating some time each week to prep for your weekday meals is a great way to ensure you can get out of the kitchen faster and have more fun in the sun!