How To Start Meal Prepping, For Beginners

It starts with having the right kitchen essentials.
Dmitrii Balabanov via Getty Images

Want to eat healthier and enjoy your meals while you do it? If spending less time cooking and more time enjoying your foods sounds like your cup of team, meal prepping might be the time-saving hack you need.

The point of meal prepping is to cut down on the time and effort it takes to prepare and cook food throughout the week. It’s also a smart way to make sure you’re eating a nutritious, balanced and thoughtful meal each night, instead of just throwing together whatever is in your pantry when you get home.

Though it does involve some planning and — you guessed it— prepping, it’s guaranteed to save you time and effort in the long run, with the right kitchen supplies.

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Though meal prepping can mean different things to different people, figure out which method works best for you. You can batch cook one big meal for the week and store it perfect portioned containers and bento boxes for a quick reheat. Or, if you prefer to cook a fresh meal every day, you can knock out the meal-prep time by divvying up the uncooked ingredients into pre-portioned storage until you’re ready to toss it into the pan or Instant Pot.

Meal prepping takes a bit of effort, but with enough practice and the right supplies, it can be a great way to save time on cooking and a way to ensure that you always have something healthy to eat.

So you can focus on the food, we’ve pulled together some of the must-have supplies you’ll want on hand to start meal prepping as a beginner.

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A cutting board that you can use to cut produce, proteins and more.
Avoid cross-contamination with these color-coded mats that fit snugly onto a bamboo board. Get it here.
These collapsible colanders for more straining and less waiting.
Wash your veggies and drain your pasta at the same time with these collapsible colanders in three different sizes. Find it here.
A giant pan with dividers so you can cook everything at once.
Stop trying to fit all of your pans on the stove top and cook with this five-compartment pan. It’s non-stick, stain resistant, oven and dishwasher safe. Add it to your cart.
An Instant Pot so you don’t even have to cook.
This all-in-one pot works like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cookers, steamer, saute and yogurt maker so you can cook or keep your food warm with the push of a button. Find it here.
Reusable silicone food-storage bags for freezing or keeping food fresh.
These zip seal bags come in multiple sizes and are an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags. Get them here.
A proper set of knives that will cut down on the time it takes to chop.
Cut through anything with these assorted ceramic knives. Find them here.
This set of three compartment plastic containers for storing your meals.
They’re stackable, microwavable and dishwasher safe. Add them to your cart.
A set of measuring cups and spoons for perfect portions.
Add just the right amount of salt and spice with these stainless steel measuring cups and spoons. Find them here.
Large glass containers for storing batch cooked meals in your fridge.
Perfect if you don’t want to separate dinners into those little plastic portion containers. Get them here.

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