I hate meal prep!
It looks so pretty on Instagram when you see the perfect containers of healthy meals – all beautiful carbon copies of one another. Sure, it looks appealing, until you are on Day 4 of that taco salad and you think you’d rather order anything than have to eat that one more time!
Boring. That’s honestly what I think of meal prep. I do not like eating the same thing every day. Or even every week.
It sounds amazing and seems like a great way to simplify your week. I mean, that’s all that we all want, isn’t it? For things to be simple!
Why Meal Kits?
Then, I found the meal kits. I’ve done several of them! I started with Plated, which sadly is no longer, and they were my favorite as far as taste and recipes. I learned a lot of new flavor combinations and got some great ideas for meals using them. I also found the quality of Plated to be excellent. Again, it’s sad to me that they are no longer, as I felt they were a superior company.
For a while, our Kroger had their own version of a meal kit, but our Kroger no longer carries it so I am not sure those even exist now either.
I tried the Martha Stewart Meal kit. I was disappointed in the quality of the food I received on more than one occasion, so that didn’t last.
We’ve also done Home Chef, through Kroger purchases, as they are now in stores. I can’t say I love the Home Chef taste very much. Some of their food combinations were a little odd and not palatable to my family.
Then, I started thinking about my favorite parts of the various meal kits.
- Everything was together in one spot with a specific recipe ready to go. There was no thought about what to make that evening and no searching for the ingredients in the cabinets and refrigerator!
- Home Chef and Kroger’s meal kits went a step further and had the vegetables already chopped up!
I decided I could make my own meal kits. With recipes I KNOW we love! It also would allow me to try new recipes in the middle of the week, which I usually avoided!
How to Make Your Own DIY Meal Kit
Start With Your Recipe
To start making your own DIY Meal Kit, you need to start with a recipe. Find the recipe and print it out to go along with your kit. This way it’s right at your fingertips!
No googling, no finding it on Pinterest, and no digging through your recipe box.
Recipes You Can Use for Making Your Own DIY Make Ahead Meal Kit:
- Turkey Meatloaf – for this, measure out your bread crumbs and dice up your cheese ahead of time
- Sausage and Bacon Quiche – a meal kit for this one is very handy! I would go ahead and make the bacon and sausage so it can be added when making the quiche. Measure out your cheese and toss it in the flour ahead of time as well.
- One-Skillet Chicken with Bacon and Green Beans – this is a Skinny Taste recipe that I’ve made recently and did make a meal kit for! Dicing up the scallion and garlic ahead of time really helped out!
Get Your Containers and Ingredients Together
Get your containers and ingredients together. You can use big Ziplocs if you want, it doesn’t have to be anything amazingly fancy. I personally saved Home Chef containers over the course of using them, so I have some very small (cute) containers from that. You can also buy storage containers in various sizes.
The beauty of using containers rather than the baggies is that it reduces waste, and I personally prefer to use as little plastic as possible. Check out these reusable food bags!
When it comes to containers, don’t forget to think outside the box a bit. The yogurt, Oui, comes in the tiniest, cutest glass containers, and I love reusing them. You can buy lids for them to make it easy to reuse! Also, I shared a meme on my Facebook page that Cool Whip containers are KY’s favorite reusable container, but seriously, why not? There is no shame in cleaning and reusing packaging!
Vegetables or Fruits
Chop up your fruits and vegetables ahead of time. If you need a half an onion, go ahead and dice that up and place it in its proper container. If you add multiple things at one time, store them together! For example, if you are going to dump the onion and garlic in at the same time, store those in the same container – no need to separate them!
Go ahead and measure out your dry ingredients! If you need 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, go ahead and measure those out and place them in their air-tight container.
I would recommend to go ahead and chop up or prep your meat as well. If you have chicken that needs to be pounded thinner or diced up, go ahead and do this as well. Your goal is as little work as possible during the week.
Another thing I often do is brown up meat ahead of time. This makes things much easier!
DIY Meal Kit Assembly
Once you have everything prepped and in the proper containers, you want to place them in their larger container. It can be a larger plastic bin or even a larger plastic bag. Label it if you are going to have more than one or two meals so you know exactly which one is which! Be sure to tuck your printed recipe in there!
Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. If everything doesn’t fit, that’s ok. Just either place it right on top of the bin or have it right in the front of the cabinets. For example, if my meal requires canned beans, I won’t bother putting the can in the container. I will make sure it’s right in the front of the cabinet, easy to grab. Again, the point is just to be able to grab and go!
Once you have your kit together, your weeknight meals should be a breeze!! I’d love to know what recipes you think would lend themselves to great meal kits and even see your meal kits in action!
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