Learn how to make meal prep fast, easy, and fun.

If you’re anything like me, working full-time with a family can be totally exhausting. By the time dinner rolls around, I find myself completely unwilling to cook a huge meal. That fast food calls my name all too often, so to keep myself and my family eating healthy, I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to make dinner prep easy peasy!

1. Utilize Your Leftovers
This one’s a no-brainer. Leftovers are one of the best ways to save money and time. Also, eating leftovers doesn’t mean you have to eat the exact same thing three days in a row. Try to incorporate your leftovers into different recipes. For example, I love making chili one night, then using it later in the week with baked potatoes. Or even putting it over some crunchy lettuce and making a taco salad. There’s nothing better than cooking once and enjoying twice.

2. Prep Ahead of Time
Pick one day out of the week, preferably your least busy day, to prep your food for the upcoming week. If you don’t prep ahead of time, it’s much harder to eat healthy throughout the week. That’s when the thought of fast food and junky snacks sinks in and takes over! It’s just the law of nature. So pick a day and make it a routine. I usually go grocery shopping on Saturday and prep on Sundays—then I’m set!

*If you want to save yourself time, you can purchase food that’s already been prepped. It’s almost always more expensive, but some people find the extra cost to be worth it. So that’s an option as well.

3. Find Good Tupperware
Good tupperware will save your life. Find tupperware that has compartments so you can put different foods in one container without everything mushing together. That way you can just grab and go! Also, before you purchase tupperware, make sure it’s microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and BPA free. If you want to completely stay away from plastic containers, use glass tupperware. However, it’s harder to find glass tupperware with compartments, but they usually come in a variety of sizes, ranging from tiny to huge.

4. Repeat Easy, Healthy Recipes
Find a handful of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are easy, healthy, but most importantly, ones you like to eat on repeat. It will make meal planning practically effortless and you won’t have to constantly be on the hunt for new recipes. However, you obviously don’t want to fall into a rut of eating the same thing day after day. Try spreading out those favorite recipes in your weekly meal plan. For example, I have three different breakfast recipes that I just love and never get sick of. Those are my staple recipes and I just alternate the days that I eat them.

5. Prepare a Solid Grocery List
I hate grocery shopping. It’s almost like a chore, so I created a grocery list that I can use over and over. That way, I don’t have to create a brand new one each time I go to the store. Think of it as your grocery list template. Of course, your list probably won’t be the exact same every week, so feel free to build and add to it when necessary. You might run out of this or that and need to adjust your list. But if you have a solid checklist in place with all the basics, it makes grocery shopping a total breeze. You’ll be in and out in no time!

Now that you know these 5 easy tricks, go get preppin’!

-Julie Tukuafu

WARNING: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFit assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.