These 6 Lunch Meal Prep Tips Will Make Monday (and the Rest of the Week) Easier

Woman Preparing Healthy Meals


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Woman Preparing Healthy Meals

Prep Pointers

If you work outside of your home, maybe you feel the (pricey) pull of, "Where should I go for lunch today?" Or maybe you work from home and have to make your lunch day in and day out, a task that can feel entirely overwhelming. Enter: meal prep. Taking some time to prepare multiple days worth of lunches can make the entire week feel less daunting. Here are some meal prep tips to make the process easier and worth your effort.

Related: 10 Easy School Lunch Ideas to Take the Stress Out of Meal Prepping

Clear glass food storage containers on white background
Katelin Kinney/istockphoto

Consider the Containers

Before you embark on a meal prepping journey, you'll want to make sure you have quality containers to store your meals in. Consider what is most convenient for you: Do you want compartments? Do you prefer glass over plastic? What works best for dishes that need to be reheated? This isn't a one-size-fits-all component of meal prep, but it's an important one to figure out before you get started.

Related: Freezer Meal Ideas to Prep Ahead for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Man taking out frozen meat from freezer.

Plan Around the Protein

There are tons of viable recipes that bode well for meal prep, but eating a different protein every day isn’t always easy. Pick one and find a couple of different recipes using that protein. You can even safely choose two proteins and have a pretty hassle-free experience, but going beyond that just creates chaos.

Try this:

Related: Cheap Bulk Meals That Will Last All Week

Woman Crossing Items of Shopping List

Lean on Lists

First things first: Make a list of lunch meal prep ideas. Narrow the list down to a weekly menu of sorts. Then, make a shopping list. Use it to buy groceries. Refer back to your menu list as you begin prepping. Do not fear the lists, people — embrace them. They are organization optimizers. 

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Herbs and Spices

Spice It Up

Meal prepping is often looked at as a cookie cutter experience that can become boring. But you don't have to make five containers of the same meal and eat them each day, Monday through Friday (although you can if you want to, of course). To keep things interesting, experiment with different spices and seasonings.

Try this: Look for recipes (like this turmeric ginger salmon) that contain spices known for their health benefits, especially if your meal prep is rooted in obtaining a healthier lifestyle.

Hands writing a shopping list in front of open cabinets

Pay Attention to Your Pantry

Shop your pantry before you shop the store. Take note of what you have on hand and try to build your meal prep menu around some of those ingredients. It's a great tactic for saving money and making sure the foods hanging out in your pantry don't feel neglected.

Photograph of silver crockpot isolated on white background

Become Best Friends With Your Slow Cooker

When it comes to meal prep, you want the "prep" part to be as seamless as possible, so lean on your slow cooker. Look for "set it and forget it" recipes that will make the entire process easier.