7) PLAN YOUR MEALS
I know this seems obvious but planning meals will save you time throughout the week and you will save so much money. You can either plan your meals for each day or pack your lunches for the week so you can take them and go. You will be glad you did this when you see the amount of time and money you save. This is the first step in reorganising the way you plan and eat your meals throughout the week, by doing so tip #6 will be a breeze.
6) COOK MORE THAN ONE MEAL AT A TIME
I try to prep my vegetables for my meals for the week or the next three days at the same time, I may decide to make jacket (baked) potatoes, or a pasta dish and a chicken dish for example: While the pasta is cooking, I will pop the baked potatoes in the oven while prepping the chicken pieces with whatever sauce or marinade before placing it in the oven and then prepare any ingredients I need for the dishes, you can then get any other ingredients ready while the other foods are cooking. YESthis is a lot of work, a bit of prior planning is crucial, but in a couple of hours you can achieve what you would be doing for the next three or four days at 1 – 2 hours a day…..think of all that free time in the week you have saved plus you now have control of what you will eat through the week without the excuses of being too tired to cook and reaching for that takeaway menu instead!
5) TAKE FRUIT OR RAW VEGETABLES TO SNACK ON
Tired of watching your fruit and vegetables go to waste because you haven't gotten around to using them? These items make great snacks and sides for your meals and it doesn't take very long to peel and cut Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, asparagus, celery or any other raw vegetable you may want to eat while you are at work. Putting portions of these items in baggies in the fridge will get you through the week and all you need to do is take the baggie out of the fridge and go.
I love nuts! They taste great, but the best thing about nuts is you can portion them out into small containers and you have a snack(s) you can keep in your purse or take to work with you without using too much space on your desk. Portion control is important as some nuts can be high in fats but with a little planning (during tip # 6) and self-control, to ensure you don’t go over the recommended serving size, you will soon regret not introducing these delicious and healthy snacks into your daily routine sooner!
3) ALWAYS BUY SOME FISH
Not only should fish be a staple to everyone’s diet, it takes less time to cook which really helps when planning and preparing meals. Fish takes less time to cook and it has beautiful healthy fats. There are so many types of fish that it can be very easy to find one for your palate. Oily fish helps with brain function, weight loss, healthy skin and joints. It gives you those healthy fats and plenty of protein.
Cheese is delicious. Just a snack containing an apple and cheese or grapes and cheese makes me incredibly happy but as with nuts, portion size is also important here so make sure you portion out your cheese and pop it in containers to take with you throughout the week. If you have allergies to cheese there are alternatives out there, if you don't like cheese, don't sweat it, you can find something else to take with you. Cheese has fat and protein and it can be paired with most fruits.
1) SLOW COOKER MEALS
This tip will revolutionise your meal preparation and save you even more time in the kitchen. When I come home with my grocery shop, I add marinades to freezer bags and portion out my meat for each freezer bag. This way I can pull it out to defrost when needed and then add it to my slow cooker to cook until I wake up in the morning. I can then portion out the cooked meat into containers and I have food for lunch and maybe dinner for everyone later. If, like me, you cook for an army, it’s a great idea to freeze cooked meals for those odd occasions when you haven’t prepared anything. Preparing meals this way ensures that my husband and I never go to work without lunch. Yes, the initial preparation takes a little time but it’s worth it when you are eating healthy homemade meals with ingredients that you know and love.