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For the longest time, the thought of meal planning and prepping seemed like a daunting task. Some nights I can barely figure out dinner, so planning them out all at once seemed even more difficult…until I did.
Now, each week I sit down and write out our meals for the week and use that to create my shopping list. Since I’ve planned ahead, there’s only one trip to the grocery store. As I’m putting away my groceries, I look ahead at the week to see what I can chop now for the week, if I can roast veggies tonight for dinner and repurpose later in the week, etc.
It took me a few weeks to find my groove and now I never have to worry about dinner. It’s already planned, prepped and ready to go!
Whether you’re looking into becoming a serious meal-prepper or are just looking for a few ideas to make mealtime easier during those busy weeks, here are 12 essential meal prep tools to add to your kitchen.
A complete set of measuring cups – measuring cups and spoons are a kitchen staple that everybody needs. They make portioning out meals and ingredients a breeze.
Pyrex Storage Set – having a set of different-sized storage containers on hand is key when prepping food ahead of time or for storing leftovers. These Pyrex containers are a staple in our house.
Easy Lunchboxes Lunch Containers – speaking of containers, my family loves these! They have 3 compartments to easily separate food and are perfect for prepping several meals at once.
A Food Scale – when it comes to measuring flour for baked goods, this scale is one of the handiest items in my kitchen. I also use it to measure out portions of meat, potatoes, etc. so I know how many meals I can prep in advance.
Crock Pot – don’t underestimate the Crock Pot when it comes to meal prep. You can make a big batch of a recipe to enjoy throughout the week or to freeze for later.
Silpat Silicone Baking Mat – Almost every week, I chop up a bunch of veggies and roast them on this mat to enjoy throughout the week. Nothing ever sticks and it’s super easy to clean. These mats are also great for sheet pan dinners!
Mason Jars – how else can you meal prep pretty mason jar salads? Other than salads, mason jars are great for storing soup, chili, homemade sauces and dressings…this list goes on!
Silicone Cupcake Liners – great for baking up a batch of healthy muffins for the week, or use them to separate foods in those Easy Lunchboxes!
Small Dressing Containers – we can’t forget about dressings, condiments or sauces! These small containers are the perfect serving size and fit easily into most containers.
Refrigerator Meal Planner with Shopping List – perfect for planning out your menu and shopping list for the week, this planner hangs on the fridge so the whole family can easily see what’s for dinner.
Rubbermaid FreshWorks Containers – keep fresh produce fresh longer with the help of these containers, which keeps produce fresher up to 80% longer than other containers!
OXO Salad Spinner – buy lettuce and chop yourself to save money. This salad spinner is used weekly in my house so we can have fresh salads almost every day.