How to Get Started With Meal Prep

by TMP Properties 11/17/2019

What steps does it take to plan and execute a make-ahead meal plan? You need a desire to take on a big project. Along with planning what meal recipes you will use you will need to prepare for the grocery shopping trip. You will need a prepping and cooking game plan for the day you put these meals together. Having all the storage space cleaned out ahead of time will be a necessity. You will need to decide on the types and sizes of the storage containers you will use for each meal. Then again check your motives because this is an undertaking for the brave. 

How to Organize Before Cooking

Start with the recipes and how many meals you want to make ahead. Remember this is a lot of work and take s a block of time, so starting small is still a start. You may already have a few recipes that you know will freeze well and that your family enjoys. Then do some research from freezer cookbooks from the library. Pinterest is a quick and easy way to find recipes. The website www.allrecipes.com has a search method that allows you to put in, or leave out, specific ingredients, create a grocery list and save to your favorites. Once you have the recipes, you can start your grocery list. Remember to “shop” your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. You can cross-reference your grocery list with the weekly sales circular. Now schedule the shopping trip and the cooking on different days, but close enough that your fresh food does not spoil. Finally, make sure any of your small appliances or cooking utensils you will be using are clean and in working order. 

The Day of Prepping and Cooking

Most of the articles on bulk freezer cooking advise you to get a good night sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, and keep a glass of water nearby on the day you will be cooking. Take the advice to heart. You will also want to dress for comfort and wear supportive footwear. If you are working with someone else, go over the day’s schedule and split up the tasks. Prep work includes washing and cutting up any of the fresh ingredients, preheating the oven if needed, and starting some boiling water if you are precooking any kinds of pasta, vegetables, grains, beans, etc. Whatever has the longest cook time is what you want to start first. Remember one step at a time, and you will get it all done. Once you have everything prepped and precooked, you can begin to assemble the meals in the containers. Make sure you choose a storage method that works for the meal, ensuring you can both store and reheat in the same container. Remember to label the meal and if possible, any cooking instructions. When you finish your long day of make-ahead freezer meals, do a little happy dance, you did it! 

Want a quick make-ahead plan? Next time you make one of your family’s favorite meals, double the recipe and put in the freezer for the future.

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