The freezer is your best friend when it comes to preparing meals in advance. Naturally you can’t always keep a whole week’s worth of dinners fresh in the fridge, and you wouldn’t want to be eating the same thing every night anyway. Make large batches of things like casseroles, soups, and chilli so you can freeze individual portions to pull out whenever you need them.
Make a plan
Preparing your meals in advance obviously requires a bit of planning, and can be the hardest part to make a habit of. Pick a day when you know you’ll have time and plan out your meals for the week or even more, if you can. Find recipes online for inspiration, and use them to create your shopping list. Think about what you already have in the freezer, too, as this can give you a bit of flexibility if your meal plan needs to change during the week.
Bag a smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get more fruit into your diet without much effort, and with a bit of planning ahead it can be even easier. Find a recipe you like or just choose your favourite fruits to mix together, and figure out how much you need to make one smoothie. Just make up individual bags of ingredients and freeze them, so you can grab one and stick it straight in the blender when you need it.
Use an app
Like most things these days, there’s usually an app that can make life easier. Meal planning apps can take a lot of the work out of organising your week, and keep everything in one place. If you have an iPad, try Menu Planner, which also tracks nutritional value for each meal. There’s also Recipe Calendar on Android that even automatically creates a shopping list from you meal plan.
Pack your lunch
Lunch is very often a sinkhole for money when you’re at work or out and about. It’s all too easy to buy ready-made sandwiches and meal deals that may seem good value at the time, but it quickly adds up. Plan for a little extra at mealtimes in order to have some leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, or use frozen portions that you can grab to reheat at work.