It’s lunchtime, and you have no time to spare. You end up grabbing something quick, like always, and in the end, you wish you’d managed to pack that salad from home. If you want to shake up your daily eating habits, meal prepping might be your best bet. Meal prepping can save you a ton of time during your workweek since you get all the cutting, cooking, or other prep work out of the way.
Along with saving time, you’ll save money when meal-prepping. Additionally, anyone eating clean knows that meal-prepping is essential to maximizing nutrition. No matter why you plan to start meal-prepping, it’s worth investing in suitable instruments for the job.
From how to get started to what tools you need to make it easy, we’re breaking down exactly what you need to reach your meal-planning goals.
The concept of meal-prepping is simple — it usually refers to preparing foods in advance for your meals. You can meal prep for a handful of applications, such as lunches at work, weeknight dinners, or meals. To effectively prepare for your meals in advance, it’s essential to consider why you want to meal prep and what tools you’ll need, from the kitchen to the break room.
What you need to know: This nifty vegetable slicer features a unique blade-proof design that makes it easy to slice veggies without risking the safety of your hands.
What you’ll love: The upright mandoline style makes it a safer option for families. The slicer’s body comes in gray, aqua, green, navy, red or yellow. It also comes with 30 cutting presets to customize the type of cut you need.
What you should consider: Some buyers said this mandoline tends to get stuck with denser veggies.
What you need to know: The Fullstar vegetable chopper is about as good as it gets without a food processor, offering superior cutting and a useful storage compartment for diced veggies.
What you’ll love: This unique slicer has 11 cutting inserts for different vegetables and other foods. It comes with a safety glove and a spiralizer ribbon cutter. It’s also dishwasher-safe and easier to clean than some vegetable slicers.
What you should consider: This has fewer preset cutting blades than some mandolines.
What you need to know: This meal-prepping scale tracks food in both grams and ounces and is made of lightweight plastic that makes it easy to store.
Why you’ll love it: It comes with a macro counting app and is compatible with Fitbit and Apple Health.
What you should consider: This scale is flat, with no bowl for small food items.
What you need to know: This food-prep scale has a clear digital display and a handful of unit conversion options.
What you’ll love: This basic kitchen scale is a great tool for meal prep and offers an easy-to-clean surface. It’s available in nine different colors, including cherry red, blush pink, mint green and ash grey.
What you should consider: Larger objects don’t fit as well on this scale as those with a wider surface.
What you need to know: This set from the trusted classic brand Pyrex comes with nine storage containers, each with its own fitted lids.
What you’ll love: Made from durable glass, these containers are safe for the freezer, microwave, oven and the top rack of the dishwasher. The lids are BPA-free, and the purchase of this set comes with a two-year limited warranty. You can also buy this in 28-, 34- and 52-piece sets.
What you should consider: Some buyers found that their containers warped or cracked after long periods of use.
What you should know: From iconic Rubbermaid, this set of seven containers is made from BPA free triton plastic, which means you can still see what’s in the containers, and they’re light enough to pack in your lunch bag.
Why you’ll love it: These containers are leakproof, have built-in vents in the latches for easy steaming, and they stack perfectly on top of one another
What you should consider: Made of plastic instead of glass, wear and tear mean you might need to replace them sooner than you’d like.
What you need to know: A smaller, less-expensive pack of plastic containers that also includes built-in compartments that make them ideal for meal-prepping.
What you’ll love: These offer a lot of volume per container, and their uniform shape makes them easy to stack. Each container has a capacity of about 32 ounces. In addition to packs of 15, you can also buy these in 21- and 150-packs.
What you should consider: The compartments make these lids a little less sturdy than other containers.
What you should know: In the world of reusable storage bags, Stasher is king. The silicon is durable and easy to wash, and the seal ensures food stays fresh longer.
Why you’ll love it: You can throw these in the dishwasher, in the microwave, and even the oven, and using one of these eliminates over 200 plastic baggies a year.
What you should consider: These bags aren’t cheap, but they’re worth the price.
What you should know: These bags are made of food-grade PEVA material, can be used to freeze food, and come with different colored seals so you can keep track of what you’re storing.
Why you’ll love it: You get different sizes in this affordable 10-pack: four gallon bags, four sandwich bags, and four snack bags.
What you should consider: These bags should be washed by hand, and some have found the seal to leak on occasion.
What you should know: Made with the same durability as your kid’s favorite lunch bento box, this container has three compartments, includes utensils, and comes in eight colors.
Why you’ll love it: This container is stylish, easy to clean, microwaveable, and small enough to put in a work bag or even a purse.
What you should consider: The lid doesn’t snap on, meaning you will need to use the sealing band every time.
What you need to know: For the serious meal prepper needing storage for multiple meals each day, this large insulated lunch bag is designed for food prep transportation.
What you’ll love: This food-prep bag comes with six food portion containers and other accessories such as a shaker cup and pill organizer. You can buy this bag in red, black, blue or purple.
What you should consider: Buyers say this bag is a little smaller than it appears in the product photos.
What you should know: An immersion blender is a must when meal prepping. You can make smoothies, soups, dips, and more in a flash.
Why you’ll love it: It comes with three attachments: a frother, a whisk, and a blending shaft, and all three are dishwasher-safe.
What you should consider: Why you haven’t bought one sooner.
What you should know: It has an autopilot mode for busy nights, and the quartz heating elements and smart algorithms ensure evenly cooked food every time.
Why you’ll love it: It has 13 cooking functions including baking, slow cooking, and even dehydrating. It’s also super efficient and cooks food faster than several other models. You can even set it up to be compatible with Google or Alexa.
What you should consider: The price tag, and the fact that none of the accessories are dishwasher-safe.
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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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