Meal prep containers allow you to cook food in advance, saving you time throughout the week. They can help you cut down on your grocery bills, as well as make it easier to eat a healthy diet. By preparing a menu in advance for the week, you can cut down on cravings and unhealthy last-minute meals. This makes it easier to stay on a diet and lose weight.
Since meal prep containers allow you to store large amounts of food, you can buy ingredients in bulk when you shop. This will save you a lot of money, and also cut down on the number of times you have to go to the store. You’ll also spend less money eating out for lunch and dinner, as you’ll always have food ready in advance.
Meal prep containers can also save you a lot of time. You can cook in bulk, concentrating most of your cooking into a single day of the week. This will free up your nights throughout the week and allow you to spend more time doing what you want to do.
Although meal prep does have its benefits, there are a few downsides. Meal prep containers can take up a lot of storage space in your fridge and cupboards. Meals may also get boring if you don’t prepare a variety of different foods for the week.
1Meal prep containers help you save money on groceries. One of the main benefits of meal prep containers is the amount of money you can save on food. You can avoid spoilage and make the most of your food, leading to less waste.
Furthermore, you can buy in bulk, so you’ll be able to save money every time you go to the grocery. You’ll also save money by preparing lunches and dinners for the week, as you won’t eat out as much.
2Meal prep containers help cut down on cooking time. Meal prep lets you focus your cooking time into a short period and prepare dishes in bulk. This will help you save time throughout the week on cooking, freeing up your evenings.
Meal prep will take a few hours per week. But once the food is ready, you’ll only have to reheat it throughout the week. You also won’t have to do as many dishes, as you can cook in bulk. This can potentially save you hours throughout the week.
3Meal prep containers can help eat healthier. When people get stressed or rushed, they will often choose unhealthy, quick food options. Meal prep can help you cut back on cravings by planning a menu in advance for the week.
When people choose meals in advance, they tend to pick healthier options. Meal prep is one of the best ways to stick to a diet and lose weight, as you won’t have to think too hard about what you’ll be eating for your next meal (1).
You’ll also be able to balance all of your meals with the right mix of macronutrients. Since your meals will be planned in advance, you can ensure that you’re getting enough of all of the key nutrients needed in a healthy diet.
4Meal prep containers help you spend less money on takeout. When people get stressed and busy, they often turn to takeout food. Although this can save you time and make it easy to get food while rushed, takeout bills can add up quickly. Meal prep containers ensure that you always have food on hand. Instead of ordering take out, you can just put some food in the oven or microwave. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
Furthermore, you can help your family eat healthier by avoiding takeout, which often has a significant amount of sodium, carbs, and saturated fats.
5Meal prep containers can lower stress levels. Trying to find the time to cook during the week can make your already busy schedule even more jam-packed. This can add to your stress levels, as you have to scramble at the last minute to throw a meal together.
Meal prep containers can help lower your stress levels throughout the week. You’ll always have food on hand that you can serve to your family, so you won’t have to worry about cooking.
Your nights will also be free for you to relax after a long day. Instead of cooking and cleaning, you can spend time doing what you want to do.
6Meal prep containers help you save energy. Even if you enjoy cooking, doing it every day can be exhausting. Simple dishes still require up to an hour to prepare, and cleaning can easily double this. By the end of the week, you may be completely out of energy.
Meal prep containers allow you to concentrate your time and energy when you are free. When you’re busy and exhausted during the week, you won’t have to expend the last of your energy stores to cook a meal.
7Meal prep containers help with food and meal variety. When you’re pressed for time on a weeknight, you’ll likely fall back on easy staples that are quick and don’t require much effort. Although this can save you time, it can also lead to boring, repetitive meals.
Meal prep containers allow you to cook when you have the energy, so you’ll be more likely to make more interesting, less repetitive food.
You likely won’t have the time to make a slow simmering curry or complex sauce during the workweek. But if you prepare it during the weekend and then store it, you’ll have a healthy, delicious meal ready.
8Meal prep containers help you avoid food waste. Food waste can add a lot to your grocery bills. Studies have shown that Americans waste an average of over $600 every year (2).
Meal prep containers can help you cut down on food waste and make the most of everything you buy. If food is going bad, you can cook it and then store it for later. Since meal planning requires advance planning, you’ll also be more careful about the ingredients you buy, leading to fewer unnecessary purchases.
Since the healthiest foods are often the ones that go bad first, meal prep containers can also help you make the most of your fruits and vegetables. Instead of tossing spoiled asparagus, you can prepare it and have it ready for a dinner later in the week.
9Meal prep containers help you enjoy eating seasonally. Many people avoid eating seasonally because produce goes bad quickly. By the time they get around to eating it, the food has already gone bad.
Meal prep containers can help you eat fresh, seasonal food throughout the week. You won’t have to worry about produce going bad, as you can prepare it in advance for the week ahead.
10Meal prep containers help you eat smaller portions. Meal prep containers let you set aside portions in advance. When you prepare food in advance, you’re much less likely to choose smaller, more reasonable portions. This can help you cut down on seconds and eat a more balanced diet (3).
11Meal prep containers can help cut out preservatives. When people don’t know what to eat, they often turn to canned or frozen foods that are packed with preservatives. Meal prep containers make it easier to steer clear of preservatives and always have fresh food ready (4).
Food prepared in advance will usually be good for 3 to 5 days. That means that you can prepare meals on Sunday and have them throughout the whole work week.
12Meal prep containers can help you lose weight. When people make meals last minute, they often choose unhealthy options that are packed with carbs and unsaturated fats. Since meals are planned, they may not be well balanced, and you may end up eating too many calories (5).
Meal prep containers allow you to plan out your diet in advance, making it easier to track calories and macronutrients. If you are trying to lose weight, tracking calories, and the number of carbs you eat can help you stay on your diet and prevent overeating.
13Meal prep containers are gentle on the environment. Prepackaged foods lead to a significant amount of plastic and paper waste, which takes a heavy toll on the environment. Meal prep containers can reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.
Most meal prep containers are reusable, so you won’t have to throw anything away after cooking. You’ll also be able to eat more fresh produce, cutting down on plastic and paper waste.
14Meal prep containers can improve school lunches. Packing up school lunches every morning can be stressful, and you may turn to unhealthy foods to try to save time. Meal prep containers help you prepare fresh, healthy meals in advance for the whole week.
You’ll free up more time in the morning, so you’ll get more sleep and be less rushed. Your kids will also eat better meals during the day, reducing the risk of weight gain. Cutting back on sugar and preservatives can also give them more energy throughout the day.
15Meal prep containers can make cooking fun. Cooking can be enjoyable when you’re not stressed and pressed for time. But trying to cook a healthy meal when you’re rushed during the week is often not fun. Meal prep containers allow you to cook when you have the time to. This makes it more likely that you’ll enjoy the process.
1Meal prep containers can result in food poisoning. Cooked meat will only be good for a few days. If you eat it too long after cooking, you could put yourself at risk of food poisoning. Some types of food will not store well, so try not to prepare them too far in advance. Seafood will often spoil quickly, and it may lose its flavor if you eat it more than a day after cooking.
Even if the food doesn’t spoil, it may not have the same flavor after a few days. Therefore, what you gain in convenience, you may lose in flavor. To lower the risk of eating spoiled food, make sure you label all of your food with the day it was packaged. Throw out any food that is more than 5 days old, or put in the freezer.
2Meal prep containers can provide bland, repetitive meals. Meal prep can also become monotonous for some people, as you may end up eating the same meal multiple days in a row. To avoid this, try to branch out with your recipes, or mixing in freshly cooked ingredients to make meals more varied.
3Meal prep containers can be messy. Food prep can also be a mess if you’re not well organized. You’ll have to store a lot of containers, and they can begin to pile up quickly in your refrigerator.
4Meal prep containers can take up a lot of space. If you have limited space, you may only be able to prepare meals a few days in advance.
5Meal prep containers made of plastic may contain harmful chemicals. Although it’s unlikely that these chemicals get into your food, there is still a small risk of contamination, especially if the plastic is heated.
Some people prefer to prepare their meals buffet style, where each ingredient is in a separate container. When you’re ready to eat, you throw the meal together from the separate ingredients.
This method is great for keeping ingredients fresh and preventing flavor contamination. But it does require a lot of containers, so you may end up doing more dishes.
In general, cooked meat will not last quite as long as vegetables and carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice. Try to eat meat within 3 days, and throw it out after 5 days, as it may spoil.
Many people prefer to use glass containers over plastic, as there is no risk of chemicals bleeding into food. They are also odor-free, so your food won’t pick up any smells during storage.
Glass containers also let you reheat the food directly without having to transfer it to another container, so you’ll be able to save time on dishes.
As you prepare food, use a dry erase marker or pen on a piece of tape to label the container. To make storage simple, write down what the food is as well as the day it was prepared.
A good way to make sure you eat the food that is going to go bad soon is to store it in the front of the fridge.
How long will food stay fresh? That depends on the type of container as well as the food. Many food storage containers will keep food warm or cold throughout the day, so you can keep it out of the fridge without worrying about food spoiling.
Are glass containers more effective than plastic? In many cases, yes. Glass often does a better job of keeping any air out, which keeps food fresh for longer. Glass also comes with the benefit of no odors. Although some plastic containers won’t make your food smell, many will; especially if the food is stored for long periods. Glass food prep containers also allow you to put the food directly into a microwave or oven, so you won’t have to double up on dishes when reheating food.
How far in advance should you prep food? That will depend on what you’re making. One of the benefits of meal prep is that you can get certain dishes that last for a long time in storage ready in advance, and then cook food that spoils quickly the day you plan to eat it.
Cooked poultry, such as chicken, should last for around 3 days, as will most other meat, including pork and beef. Uncooked vegetables should last for around 5 days when prepared in advance, and cooked vegetables 3 to 5 days.
Are plastic meal prep containers safe? In most cases, yes, although you should choose plastics that are BPA free. Most plastic containers are safe for food storage, provided that they are not exposed to high temperatures.
Unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise, you should not use plastic containers in the microwave.
Plastic containers do have their benefits. They are much lighter than glass, and there is no risk of them falling and shattering. They are also easier to store by stacking, so you’ll be able to save space.
What’s the best way to reheat meals? That will depend on what you’re reheating, as well as how quickly you need it done. In general, you’ll get better results from the oven, as food will keep its texture and won’t get soggy.
However, there are many dishes that can be reheated in the microwave without any noticeable loss in flavor or texture. Rice and quinoa generally do well when reheated in the microwave, as do some vegetables.
Are there any types of food that you shouldn’t use when meal prepping? Most types of food can be used in meal prep, although some will not last quite as long as others. Cooked meat will often lose much of its flavor after a day or so, and you’ll often get better results if you cook it the day you plan to eat it.
Seafood is often one of the types of food that does the worst with meal prep. It can lose its texture quickly, and the flavor may not be enjoyable the day after its cooked.
How long will meal prep take for the week? This will depend on how many people you are cooking for, as well as the variety of meals you’re preparing. In general, you should plan on spending 2 to 3 hours cooking, with some wiggle room depending on what you’re making.
Can you freeze extras after meal prep? In most cases, yes. However, there are some foods that don’t store well in the freezer. Many vegetables that are mostly water, such as lettuce, will lose their texture if they are frozen. Pasta usually does not freeze well, as it will get soggy when you defrost it.
Can you put meal prep containers in the microwave? It depends on what the container is made from. Most plastic containers should not go directly in the microwave, as chemicals could bleed into the food if the plastic is heated.
Glass containers are safe for both the microwave and oven, so you won’t need to transfer food to a new container before reheating.
Meal prep containers are one of the most effective ways to save time and money while also allowing you to eat healthier. By preparing meals in advance, you can avoid last-minute cravings and snacks. This makes it easier to stick to a diet and lose weight. You also won’t have to put as much time into deciding what you’re going to eat, saving you the last-minute stress of throwing together a meal.
Meal prep containers can also help you save a lot of money on your grocery bill, as you can reduce food waste and make the most of what you buy. You can buy in bulk at the store, which saves even more money. You can also save money by avoiding eating out during the day and for dinner.
Furthermore, by doing all of your cooking in advance, you can free up time during the week when your schedule is busy. You also won’t have to spend as much doing dishes, freeing up time after you’re done eating.
You’ll also be able to more easily stick to a diet and lose weight. Meal prep containers allow you to portion out food in advance so that you don’t overeat. You’ll eat more fresh produce and cut down on packaged foods that are high in saturated fats and carbs.
Meal prep does come with a few downsides. Some food will lose flavor after a few days, and meals may get repetitive throughout the week. If you don’t carefully label containers, there is the risk of eating spoiled food.
The containers also take up a lot of space. If you have a small refrigerator, you may only be able to prep food a few days in advance.