Meal Planning for Beginners

Meal Planning for Beginners

Zoe Stilphen

June 15th 2021


Do you often find yourself in a rush, with not enough time to cook up the healthy and hearty meals that you enjoy? Get in all of your nutrients with one easy hack: meal prepping! Meal preparation is a healthy and simple way to get all of your meals ready for the week so when it comes time to eat, you’re heating things up instead of getting cold feet in front of the pantry. Meal prepping can help you stay on track of a meal plan and can save you time preparing food throughout the week.


Getting started doing meal prep can be a bit daunting, but don’t fear! It’s easier than you may think. A great first step is to write down your meal goals. Are you looking to get in a lot of protein, perhaps more veggies? Write it down.


Next, consider what you want to include in your list of meals. Write down a list of what meals you want to eat for the week: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Make sure to choose foods that will stay fresh and delicious through the week.


Here is a list of foods that keep well:

  • Pasta

  • Beans

  • Meat

  • Cheese

  • Fruits (apples, oranges)

  • Hearty vegetables (Carrots, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers)

  • Roasted vegetables


Try to avoid foods that perish easily so that when it comes to the end of the week, you’re looking forward to your meal knowing that it will still be fresh and yummy! Softer foods like berries or greens can break down over the week. Crackers, chips, or other dry foods are great to have but can soften up if left in a container for an extended period of time.


If you choose foods from the list above that will stay fresh, your prepped meals can last up to a week! Make sure to think about what sauces or toppings you may include that could hinder freshness. You can always add them on to each individual container! Speaking of containers, a great way to maintain a schedule and standard for your meals is to invest in microwaveable containers that will stack nicely in your fridge. Having these containers makes portion control and storage much easier for use throughout the week.


Now that you have a plan for your meal prepping, it’s time to start thinking about what to make. There are so many great recipes that are perfect for meal preparation that provide balanced meal ideas at an affordable cost. Check out Budget Bytes for great recipes and tips on making meal prep work for you!