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Meal Prep 101 for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

by Tatiana Plesco
meal prep 101 for beginners

Why do you need access to the ultimate meal prep 101 for beginner guide? Well, the answer is simple, isn’t it? You want to make sure that you and/or your family eat healthy for lunch at work and dinner at home. Weekly meal preppers are less stressed about food habits, which makes them more organized.

But if you’re not one of them and want to be, then you’re reading the right article. I’ve created this useful guide for aspiring meal preppers. It gives you a better understanding of prepping meals on a weekly basis.

So let’s begin!

  • What is Meal Prepping?

Every plan is unique, which means there’s no “one size fits all” rule here. The goal is to figure out the perfect routine for meal prepping that suits you the most.

Normally, meal planning and shopping on a weekly basis require you to make an effort for just two days. The first day involves getting all the ingredients in place while the second is when you cook the meals.

The process of meal prepping is time-consuming. But once you get used to it, the habit goes a long way in saving up time and effort on a large scale. Just think of it this way; everything that goes into cooking(cleaning, stirring, chopping, washing, etc.) is rolled into a single day.

Now here’s why meal prep 101 for beginners is gaining popularity over the recent years:

  1. Meal prepping and planning save a huge sum of money on a weekly basis.
  2. The practice encourages you to prepare new and interesting recipes rather than the old, boring ones.
  3. Meal prep 101 for weight loss is also a part of the process. It eliminates the temptation of indulging in junk foods when you have a healthy option available.
  • Meal Prep 101 for Beginners: How to Get Started?

The first few steps are difficult to take when you’re a beginner. But once you get well-accustomed to the routine, every action seems effortless. So let’s find out how to get there!

  • #1 Planning

Weekly meal prepping requires you to apply basic planning skills. The first step is to figure out the most suitable day of the week to carry out the prepping. You can complete the procedure in a single day or divide it into two days.

In this context, what does the word “planning” mean? It involves the drafting of a grocery list. The ultimate shopping list is what you need to create before doing anything else. And this leads you to come up with recipes.

So at such times, ask yourself why you’re indulging in meal prepping in the first place.

  1. Is it because you want to promote weight loss?
  2. Is it because you wish to save time?
  3. Or do you want to just make it a point to eat healthy food?

Planning your meals on a weekly basis is something that many people prefer doing even when they want to build muscles.

So once you have your reasons in place, you can move on to the next step. And that is planning the menu.

  • #2 Creating the Menu

You can begin with your favorite family recipes. Create a grocery list around these dishes. Please note that only after a month or two of meal prepping should you get creative and try out new recipes.

The best way to create a menu is to use a spreadsheet for the task. It keeps you and your work organized in the kitchen. In the sheet, add all the seven weekdays along with the dinners, lunches, and breakfast for every single day. Then in the recipes section, include the link or name of the recipe you would like to cook.And right next to that fill in the list of ingredients for that meal.

  • #3 Grouping the Ingredients Together

For the purpose of creating a grocery list, it’s important to identify the common ingredients. Once you print the spreadsheet, group all the similar ingredients together. This way you know how much quantity is required for the entire week.

Then go through the refrigerator and cabinets to check what you already have. This helps in saving money by refraining from overstocking a particular ingredient. Once the final list is ready, all your ingredients should be grouped accordingly. For example, the eggs and milk are listed in the refrigerated or dairy products.

And the final step is to head to your local supermarket to purchase these ingredients. Even if you don’t have time to do that, here’s a solution to such a problem. You can opt for delivery services as well.

Also, do your recipes require you to make use of appliances like an iced tea maker or sausage stuffer? If yes, then now is the time to buy them.

  • #4 Preparation

As far as meal prepping is concerned, avoid cooking too much food. While it’s true that preparing a lot of food well in advance saves time, but it also tends to mess with the taste of the meals. Meats and pasta are the kinds of dishes that taste better only at the time of preparation.

But don’t let this stop you from chopping the veggies and marinating the meats beforehand. In fact, it’s advisable to do so. It adds more flavor and makes the meat more tender and juicier.Plus, cutting up all the raw vegetables a few days before cooking means less to do during the working days.

You can then group these ingredients and store them accordingly together or in separate plastic containers. This way all you need to do on the day of cooking is remove them from the fridge and cook your meal in no time.

[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OAb0OMvtCU]

  • #5 Cooking

Meal prepping doesn’t mean cooking all the food in one day. You can prepare the marinades, dressings, and sauces ahead of time, but not the actual meal. And feel free to place them in the refrigerator for a short span or the freezer for a long period of time.

For example, let’s assume that today’s recipe requires the use of chicken breasts and for tomorrow’s meal you need shredded chicken. In that case, cook all the chicken in one go. Shred some of the chicken and place it in a container to store it in your fridge for the next day.

What you see below are some helpful tips to save time during cooking:

  • When cooking today’s meals, have a look at tomorrow’s menu. If there are any ingredients that demand special attention, you can get a jumpstart on them.
  • Did you know that you can prepare grains such as oatmeal and brown rice a few days ahead? So don’t hesitate to cook large batches if they are a part of your weekly menu.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In that case, you can make a lot of muffins for the entire week. There’s no harm in making your morning omelet when preparing your dinner the previous night.

And here’s a delicious tip that you might remember. Large batches of pancakes are also good to keep in the refrigerator for your mornings.

  • The best way to go about it is to use the crockpot. Also, don’t forget to separate the ingredients into containers or bags for every meal. This allows you to add them to the dish easily.


Now all that’s left to do is find out beginner meal prep recipes, isn’t it?

When you lead a stressful or busy life, it’s important to have a “meal prep 101 for beginners” guide like this at your disposal. But knowing is one thing and execution is another. So it’s time to put these words into action.

Do you have any more useful tips to share with working parents here? Don’t hesitate to add links of or list down new, easy recipes to begin with as well?

I hope the article helped in addressing all your concerns about meal prepping.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Do come back again soon!

About the author:

Barbara Davis is an enthusiastic mom blogger who has created a friendly space called Mom Trusted Choice. On this platform, you’ll find everything a parent needs to know about raising a kid and family while also being healthy at the same time. She provides money saving tips along with great ideas about parenting, cooking, and even being a tech-savvy mom.


  1. https://mealpreponfleek.com/meal-prep-101-for-beginners/
  2. http://www.superfoodslife.com/meal-prep-101/


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