If you’re looking for lazy meal prep tips for weight loss, this post is for you!
We often hear people use the terms ‘meal plan’ and ‘meal prep’ interchangeably, but they aren’t really one and the same. Meal planning is all about putting together a list of recipes for a given period of time so you can create grocery lists to ensure you always have the ingredients on hand, whereas meal prepping involves preparing meals ahead of time. Both are important, and this post has lots of tips and hacks to help you learn how to do both so you can create healthy weekly menus and stick to them without spending hours in the kitchen.
9 Lazy Meal Prep Tips for Weight Loss
1. START WITH A PLAN
While this is a post on lazy meal prep tips, an important part of being efficient in the kitchen is putting a plan in place and sticking to it.
Pick a day/time each week to sit down and map out your meals for the following 7 days. It may feel like a drag at first, but you will be amazed at how much time and money you will save by blocking off 10-15 minutes to plan out your menu each week. Having a plan will also allow you to create a master grocery list so you aren’t constantly finding yourself without key ingredients, which will reduce the number of times you need to run to the grocery store throughout the week.
2. COMPILE A LIST OF EASY RECIPES WITH COMMON INGREDIENTS
If you’re looking for lazy meal prep tips, another thing you can do to help streamline how things operate in your kitchen is to curate a list of easy recipes that use the same ingredients. This may take a little practice, but it will help reduce food waste, decrease your grocery bill, and save you tons of time in the kitchen.
If you struggle with planning multiple recipes using similar ingredients, you can also make the same meal 2+ times in the same week, or you can make a big enough batch that you have leftovers for lunch the following day.
3. INVEST IN THE ESSENTIALS
No matter how committed you are to planning and prepping your meals and ingredients ahead of time, you will fall completely flat if you don’t have the right meal prep tools and storage containers on hand. There are also a lot of kitchen essentials you can invest in to help speed up the time it takes to prep and cook your meals while also decreasing the amount of dishes you have to clean up at the end of each meal.
Here are 6 lazy meal prep must-haves we swear by!
- Food processor. I used to think food processors were a puree-only kitchen appliance, but they also allow you to slice, shred, and mince veggies in mere minutes.
- Vegetable chopper. If you need to chop, slice, and/or julienne a lot of veggies in one go, this is a great time-saver!
- Clear food storage containers. Having a good quality set of stackable storage containers in various sizes is key when it comes to meal prep. It keeps your fridge organized, and you can easily locate and grab whatever you need when it comes time to cook.
- Mason jars. Mason jars are another must-have as you can use them to meal prep and store delicious portable meals and snacks like overnight oats, smoothies, salads, and soups.
- Sheet pans. When it comes to lazy meal prep tips, sheet pan dinners are at the top of my list! Make sure you have a few sheet pans on hand and see below for a link to some of my favorite sheet pan dinner recipes!
- Instant pot. A list of lazy meal prep tips wouldn’t be complete without including recommendations on an instant pot, would it?! This kitchen appliance serves as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and it can also make yogurt and you can use it to sauté veggies to boot!
4. ORGANIZE YOUR GROCERY LISTS BY DEPARTMENT
Once you’ve invested in all of your meal prep essentials and planned your weekly menu, it’s time to create your grocery list. A great time-saving hack is to organize your list by department. This makes the whole shopping experience much more efficient as you can ensure all of the items you need to meal prep when you get home are kept together, and I find I am much less likely to forget things when they are broken into sections.
5. BUY PRE-MADE & PRE-CHOPPED WHERE POSSIBLE
While store-bought sauces and dips, and pre-cut veggies and fruits tend to be a tad more expensive, they are a great option for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Consider the time you have available to you, and pick and choose accordingly. If you have the time and desire to cook up a batch of your grandma’s famous spaghetti sauce this week, great! But if you have to opt for the stuff in a jar next week, don’t beat yourself up over it.
6. GET YOUR GROCERIES DELIVERED
If you’re looking for lazy meal prep tips, ordering your groceries online for pick-up or delivery is obviously something you should consider. It’s incredibly convenient, and many companies have platforms in place that will allow you to communicate with your personal shopper in real time so they can make substitutions for you as needed.
7. MEAL PREP IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU SHOP
While you may not feel like chopping, slicing, and dicing fruits and veggies after battling the crowds at the grocery store, that extra 30-60 minutes can save you so much time over the course of a week. Experience has taught me that I am less likely to do all of my weekly meal prep in one pass if I put everything in the fridge and leave it for another time. Since I’m already in food mode when I get home from the grocery store, it’s much easier to buckle down and get it done.
8. GET CREATIVE WITH LEFTOVERS
Another one of my favorite lazy meal prep tips is to plan your dinners such that you have leftovers for lunch the following day. Not only does this save you unnecessary time in the kitchen, but it’ll also cut down on food waste. You can either double your recipes to ensure you have enough leftover, or you can get creative. For example, I like to create power bowls with leftover roasted veggies and chicken using spinach, quinoa, avocado, and a little dressing. YUM!
9. TRY THESE MEAL PREP MEALS!
If you searched for ‘lazy meal prep tips’ hoping you’d find specific recipes you can prep ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week, we’ve linked to our favorites below!
11 oatmeal in a jar recipes
40 make ahead breakfast smoothies
50 packable mason jar meals
44 sheet pan dinners
30 healthy instant pot recipes
I hope this collection of lazy meal prep tips saves you time and money each week while also allowing you to stick to your healthy eating goals!