Meal Prep 101: A Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping - Budget Bytes - Deepstash
Meal Prep 101: A Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping - Budget Bytes

Meal Prep 101: A Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping - Budget Bytes

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What is Meal Prepping?

Think of it like packing your lunches for the week all at once instead of packing your lunch each morning. You can use this same technique for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. 


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Who is Meal Prepping For?

If having control over what you eat, or maximizing your time or budget is more valuable to you than eating something different every single day, meal prepping is your ticket.


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What Can I Meal Prep?

  • cooked grains & pasta
  • cooked beans
  • cooked meat
  • roasted vegetables
  • hearty fresh vegetables (think celery, carrots, peas, bell peppers, kale, cabbage, radishes, etc.)
  • whole fruit (apples, oranges, stone fruit)
  • nuts & seeds
  • cheese
  • sauces and dips (like salad dressings, hummus, salsa, sour cream, etc.)

An easy way to think about meal prepping is to make a formula out of it. When deciding which foods to meal prep I try to pick out one of the following formulas:

  • Basic: Protein + Grain + Vegetable
  • Low Carb: Protein + Vegetable + Vegetable
  • Vegetarian: Legume + Grain + Vegetable


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How To Start Meal Prepping

Start SMALLStart by packing up your leftovers from dinner one night and taking them for lunch the next day. Once you’re comfortable with that and you get to know what types of food you like as leftovers, you can pick one recipe to prep for the week ahead.

I suggest starting with a single recipe meal prep instead of a meal that requires two or three recipes together. Single recipe meal preps provide your protein, grain, and vegetables all in one recipe, so there is no need to make a side dish.


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What Do I Need?

Plain glass containers in different shapes/sizes (eg. 3-cup rectangle and 4-cup bowl) work for just about everything.

Invest in a thermos (or 2)!!! You can take your hot tea, or ice water, or energizing soups with you..and no need to reheat your food or drink.

Divided compartment containers, are more limited because not all food can fit in the compartments. They are great for having your food organized, but they are best for non wet foods.

Metal bento boxes are also great, as long as you’re packing a cold meal and don’t need to heat it in a microwave. Plastic bento boxes are also an option.


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