A Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prepping
Print Science Editor Elinor Jones reveals her top-tips for getting more organised in the kitchen
I, like most of us here, need to save money, be healthier, and be a little more organised. Soon, the overdraft will be gone and real life will hit. Where is better to start than with food? Whilst I’m by no means perfect, making a weekly meal plan keeps me on top of things as well as making cooking cost-effective, healthy, varied food. Whilst I enjoy eating out as much as the next person, this usually compromises my planning (unless it is Firehouse, then I will always have lunch for the next day).
Here are some examples of meals that are really easy to make in batches or to make last:
- Porridge is a great way to start the day, plus a box of oats can last weeks, costing very little. By adding different flavours, fruits, or syrups, you can mix things up everyday – try using frozen fruit which is cheaper and keeps for longer than buying fresh berries. Stewing apple (like in a crumble) is also great for putting in porridge with cinnamon, plus goes with a pork dish you might have for dinner.
- Lunches are the key focus of meal prep, saving time before heading to uni for the day. Instead of dull sandwiches and crisps (although they have their time and place) I always make 1.5 times the amount of dinner – usually something that can be easily mixed up, involving pasta, noodles or rice.
- Easy lunches to prep are batches of pesto pasta, but vary it by adding different veg or use different varieties of pesto, to keep things spicy.
- Left over stir fry is always a winner the next day, and because it is so quick to make, it does not have to be made in one big batch at the beginning of the week.
- Instead of using meats such a chicken and pork, I try and stick to veggie or pescatarian lunches, swapping salmon or cashews in as the protein.
- Curries are particularly good for taking as lunch on a winter’s day and you can spend your Sunday evening stirring away and then use takeaway boxes to freeze lunches for later in the week or dinners if you have a particularly busy schedule.
Whilst my meal prep tips are not that surprising, they show how simple it is to do. By cooking in bulk you waste less, save time and can spend more time studying (or having fun), at a time of the year when time begins to run away with you.