7 Food blogger tips on how to set up weekly meal prep
You're probably making meal cooking harder than it has to be. These organizing tips will save you time in the kitchen and help you get meals on the table for your family faster than ever. By keeping your kitchen smartly organized, you can save tons of time.
Tip 1: Organize your spices
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First of all, get rid of any extra containers. If you have several containers of the same spice, combine them and get rid of the empty bottles and jars. This is also a great opportunity to get rid of any stale seasonings or ones your family doesn't like. Once you've cut down on the excess, decide where you want to store your spices and dedicate a space just for them. For me, it works best to categorize my spices. I keep the baking spices together, the spices from different cultures together and the ones that I use the most are usually front and center. From there I line up the spices so what is in front is indicative of what is behind. I also leave plenty of space in between each spice container so I don't knock them over when I am grabbing for spices — there's nothing like an avalanche of spice jars to set you back five minutes. Salt and pepper shouldn't go with the rest of your spices. I keep them at the most readily accessible place.
Tip 2: Organize the cans in your pantry
All of the cans in my pantry are organized into sections. For me, this cuts down my kitchen prep by a ton of time. I have the beans grouped together, the tomatoes and salsas grouped, the pasta sauces next to each other and soup cans together. Even if all the cans of food aren't the same in the row, they are categorized in an easy way. If I am looking for kidney beans, I know they will be in the bean section and all I have to do is move one or two cans to find them.
Tip 3: Choose one day to pre-cook and prepare your meats
Right when I get home from the grocery store every week, I prepare certain foods to set me up for success in the kitchen. I pre-cook my beef and pre-cook and shred my chicken. By having all the meats cooked and ready to go, it is so simple to put together an easy meal during the week. It saves a ton of prep time if you don't have to cook and shred chicken every other night of the week. When I get home from the grocery store, I place all my chicken in the slow cooker and cover it with chicken broth. I let it cook through and then shred it and place it in Tupperware in the fridge. This makes any chicken meals super quick during the week.
Tip 4: Choose one day to prep your veggies and fruits
Just like the previous tip, I spend one day a week (usually the day I grocery shop) to prepare all the produce for the week. This entails washing and drying the produce, cutting it up how I want it and packaging it in Tupperware containers in the fridge. Based off the meals I am making for the week, I prep all the produce in the way that I will use it in the recipe. Then I prep and package fruit in the fridge for easy access to snacking. By having my meats and produce ready to go, my meal prep during the week is an absolute cinch. It takes very little time to have a wonderful meal on the table.
Tip 5: Choose one day to prepare easy grab-and-go snacks for the week
One day of the week, I'll prepare some healthy snacks for the rest of the week. These snacks get placed in Tupperware either in the fridge or on the counter. I change up the snack and sometimes make more than one depending on the time I have.
Tip 6: Organize your cupboards for easy access
All of my cupboards are very organized which saves a ton of time in the baking and cooking process. It may be quite an investment of time to get really organized, but it will quickly pay off. One of my biggest organizing tips for cupboards is to have less. The less you have in the cupboards, the easier they are to organize. I am a huge minimalist and try to keep only the things I am using constantly in the kitchen cupboards. Anything extra gets placed in a storage closet. I keep my bowls all in one cupboard, my skillets in another one, my baking trays in another, etc.
Tip 7: Organize your dishes in your kitchen
I like to have all of my dishes well organized. This helps save time when unloading the dishwasher (you know right where they should go), setting the table or grabbing a quick snack that requires a plate. Again, the more space you have in the cupboard the better. If you are trying to cram too much in one cupboard, it will get disorganized quickly, and you'll spend a lot of time moving things around to get to what you need.