knife and cutting block ready for chopping

Preparing Your Meals Ahead of Time

How to be ready to stay at home during the COVID-19 outbreak 

Instead of panicking and buying anything and everything you can think of, be strategic and plan out the next couple of weeks so you are ready and prepared for eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. Meal prepping isn’t as hard as you may think and can really help out during this time.

washing hands in a kitchen

Just because you can’t leave doesn’t mean you have to slack on the variety and flavor of the meals you will be preparing. There are ways you can meal prep ahead of time to make it easier on you. By planning out your meals and freezing them, you will be ready to provide some delicious home cooked meals without having to stress. 

Like Preparing for a Hurricane

Many Floridians are used to the idea of stocking up and staying at home because we do this every year during hurricane season, however unlike hurricane prep we will still have power, AC and running water! That means we don’t have to exist on only tuna fish, PB & Js and cold canned food. Woo-hoo!

Keeping Fresh Produce for Weeks

Freezing is the best way to save your produce. You can spend one day washing, chopping (if needed) and separating your produce into different containers and bags. I find that bags make it a lot easier to save space in the freezer, so I chose that route. 

Take the time now to rotate stock (especially if you keep hurricane supplies year-round) and inventory what you have. Organize your freezer, fridge and pantry for easy access and visibility. Take a look at what you already have on hand and begin planning meals, using perishables first and freezing what you won’t eat right away. 

Where To Find Meal Prep Recipes

Here is a collection of my favorite blogs that can show you how to meal prep, while keeping the cost down and even utilizing similar ingredients so you get the biggest bang for your buck. Some of these sites even have grocery lists you can print out, taking the hassle out of making a list. 

Cook Before and Then Freeze:

Raw Ingredients Frozen Together: 

meal prepping in mason jars

How to Meal Prep on a Budget?

By taking the time to do a little bit a research before hand, you can easily work within your budget as you meal prep. Find recipes that have similar ingredients and have a complete grocery list figured out before you head to the store. This will help with keeping you on track and focused. If your local grocery store has an app you can access online or if the weekly specials are mailed to you, then you can utilize those specific sales when planning out your meal prep.

Where To Buy Meal Prep Containers?

Depending on the size of the group you are feeding will depend on what you need to start prepping your meals.

  • I use gallon size freezer bags when I am prepping meals for my entire family. If you lay them flat in the freezer then you can easily stack them on top of one another and save a lot of space.
  • If you are meal prepping for one, I recommend you make your meals a head of time and then separate them into individual portions and freeze them separately. You can find these in bulk on Amazon or if you don’t need that much, head to your local dollar store and you can find plenty of options. Keep in mind if you choose to reheat your meals directly in the containers, you will want to make sure they are microwave safe and BPA free.
  • Mason jars are another option. Although I don’t recommend using this for freezing.

Best Meal Prep Service

If you still want to go the route of preparing your own meals, you can always choose to use a meal prep service. If you’ve never used a service for meal prep and want to find the best one in your area by searching and reading reviews.

If you are located in the Volusia County area we recommend checking out After Body Meals.

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