Even when I’m in “normal life mode” (aka not competition prep mode), I meal prep each and every Sunday so that I have healthy food at the ready every day. It’s nice not to have to decide what to eat and it helps me to make smart choices – there’s just no excuse to eat junk when there’s something healthy waiting for me in the fridge!
Over the years, I’ve come up with some little tips that help me stay sane and use my kitchen time wisely and I thought I’d share them with you all.
Tip 1: Hang a Hefty Ultra Strong bag from a cabinet while you meal prep.
Since it’s out in the open, it’s easy to chuck veggie scraps, trimmed fat, and packaging in without disturbing your flow! Then you can just take it outside after you’re done and your kitchen will be free of gross chicken smells the next day.
Use Hefty Ultra Strong bags with Arm & Hammer odor neutralizers and fresh scents to double down on the freshness! If you are sensitive to scents, they’re available unscented too. I especially like these because of the puncture-resistant technology that lets them stretch to fit oddly-shaped garbage. At their new, lower price (but same quality you know and love), it’s a no brainer to pick a box of them up next time you go shopping.
You can find these bad boys at Target, and if you purchase two or more you can earn a $10 Target gift card – click here to claim the deal!
Tip 2: Prep everything during your designated meal prep time.
As you can see above, even though I wasn’t going to need all of the chicken I bought right away, I still trimmed the fat and portioned the extra breasts into freezer bags. When I’m ready I can just defrost one, season, and cook!
Same with veggies – wash, chop, and portion them right when you get them home from the store. Then you’ll have them ready to steam or snack on when you need them. I do things like this so future Chanelle doesn’t have to be annoyed with present Chanelle. 🙂
Tip 3: Use foil to line your baking pans.
I’m sure this tip is nothing new to you, but it saves my sanity knowing that I won’t have to scrub down my baking sheets after I’m done with my hours of meal prepping. Just crumple and toss! Now that, I can handle.
Tip 4: Keep things near your cooking station that you use often like salt, pepper, cooking spray, and olive oil.
It’s annoying to have to open cabinet doors when and you’re in the middle of something your hands are covered in food mess. Save yourself the extra hand washing and searching time and just keep your most commonly used cooking accoutrement right near where you prep. (Even if you’re type A and love clean countertops like I do!)
Tip 5: Organize things in your kitchen the way you ACTUALLY use it, not necessarily the way common sense would dictate.
This means a guest might open the cabinet next to the sink expecting to find water glasses but would instead find protein shaker cups (guilty as charged). It’s a small price to pay for having an easier time finding the things you need.
I also keep my rice cooker out on the counter because I use it every week. I could easily hide it in a cabinet and give myself more working space on the countertop, but remember, you should remove all the barriers to success that you can control!
What are your best tips to save your time, money, and sanity in the kitchen?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.