There are always ways that we can make any daily task easier or more efficient! I have gathered together some items I have found helpful over the years. These products either help cut down on prep time or make transportation easier! I hope you find them as useful as I do.
Buy glass or BPA free tupperware so that you are able to microwave the container itself. Buy multiple sizes for snacks and bigger meals. Always portion out leftovers into individual meal sizes to make it easy to grab and go. This also helps to cut down on plastic waste from thrown out bags or one time use plastic.
Bed, Bath and Beyond:
These glass storage containers range from $19.99-39.99 depending on the number of containers in the set. They seal very well and are microwave safe. Since they are glass you can even cut your meat in the container.
2.) Garlic Press
It can be very tedious to chop and peel garlic cloves. Most people end up either using dried garlic or omitting garlic completely because of the hassle. Fresh garlic has a ton of health benefits while also making your food taste amazing. Having a garlic press can save you valuable minutes in the prepping process. These are affordable and can be found in many locations (Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond)
3.) Vegetable chopper
This is another great tool to have in your cooking arsenal. It makes vegetable prepping much easier and less risk of cutting a finger! There are many different types and brands. But a few that I like can be used for any type of vegetable.
Target vegetable chopper for 19.99$
4.) Citrus press
Make getting your citrus juices easier with a press! Some people forget that lemon and lime juice are great low calorie flavorings for meats and vegetables. Press some citrus juice into your water or tea for extra flavor and Vitamin C.
Target carries some for less than 5$
5.) Pre-mixed spices
No need to buy a million individual spices that take up a ton of room in your kitchen. Head to specialty stores to find some of your favorite spice blends to add the most flavor to your meals. Find a blend that you like for different meats and for vegetables. This can help prevent getting bored with your meals. You can also find inspiration for your next weeks meal prep by experimenting with different spice blends. EX: finding a great jerk chicken spice blend that inspires you to create a Caribbean themed meal prep.
Savory Spice Shop is my personal favorite store to go to for inspiration and spices. They have multiple locations in Colorado and a great rewards program.
6.) Frozen vegetables
You should always have at least 1 bag of frozen vegetables in the house at any time. Frozen vegetables can help save money and time. Since these vegetables are frozen instead of canned they retain more nutrient value. The steamable vegetable bags can help cut down time on cooking and prepping the vegetables.
7.) Slow Cooker
The Insta Pot or Crock Pot can be great tools that allow you to cook without having to be in the kitchen. You can easily prep all of your proteins in a slow cooker on a Sunday. These tools also keep your meat moist and tender while giving you infinite variety to what you can cook. There are a ton of great crock pot cook books available to pick recipes from.
8.) Meal delivery services
Don’t discount using companies such as Hello Fresh or Blue Apron to help spark inspiration and help you learn how to cook. These companies let you choose the proteins that you like and how many servings you want to make each meal. These services also help teach portion sizes and what balanced meals look like. They can be a bit pricey but worth trying.
9.) A sharp knife.
If you are going to start cooking at home make sure you start off with good equipment. Take the time to buy a sturdy cutting board, a decent spatula, measuring cups and any other basic cooking utensil. A sharp knife can help cut down on prep time by making fruit and vegetable prep more efficient. Make sure you keep up with regular maintenance of your knifes by sharpening them at home. There are many options for sharpening your knives at home:
Electric sharpeners can range in price but you can find a decent one around 30-40$
Hand held knife finisher can help with keeping a recently sharpened knife sharp. Price for these can be around 10$