meal prep containers

If you’ve been on Pinterest or Instagram lately, you’ve likely seen the beautiful #MealPrep photos—those organized, bento-style food boxes prepared ahead of time and arranged neatly for the week. Here are some tips you can use to begin meal prepping. And bonus—you could start to save a ton on take-out.

Take Baby Steps

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be hard—it can be as simple as making extra portions of chicken or rice to use in recipes (like lunchtime salads) during the week. One way to start is to begin prepping one or two meals a week at first, until you get into the swing of it, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Focus on Your Pain Points

If you’re hangry by the time you get home from work, having a pre-made dinner ready to pop in the oven might be what makes your day. And it could keep you from calling out for pizza, which is where the real savings could come in.

Your Freezer is Your Future

Just about anything can be frozen for a later use. A good trick is to pre-bag the ingredients for a smoothie, so all you need to do is add liquid and blend. This is a great way to save those bananas (and the money you spent on them)—just slice them and toss them in the freezer for later.

Bye-Bye Boring Brown Bags

A simple Google search will give you hundreds of meal prep lunch ideas—from Mason jar salads to burrito bowls—that can be made ahead. But the real upside to bringing your meal from home is that you could save a bunch on lunch.

If you’ve got a great meal prep idea, please share it in the comments below.