Just because you know how important a healthy well-balanced diet is to your physical and mental well-being, doesn’t mean it’s always easy to achieve. Preparing great-tasting and nutritious meals isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Sometimes it comes down to a lack of experience or confidence in the kitchen, and other times it may be that you are always in a rush and don’t have much time for cooking. Some people chalk it up to being disorganized and never having the right items on hand.
We’re going to address each of these issues with these five fridge-stocking tips that will simplify meal preparation for you – because we all deserve to eat healthy and tasty meals!
1) Do a Thorough Fridge Organization
Before you can even think about stocking your fridge, it’s a good idea to do a fridge organization. This means taking every single item out of the fridge, check the sell-by dates on each item, giving the fridge a good cleaning, and then putting things back in an organized manner. Sometimes all it takes is better organization to make meal preparation seamless. For items that you had to discard due to them going bad, this is your chance to add them to the grocery list so you can re-stock them.
2) Plan Out Your Meals in Advance
One of the best and most effective tips is to start planning your meals. How many times have you gotten home from a busy day of work to open the fridge, not find anything appealing and then give in and call for takeout? When you plan out your meals in advance, you’ll be able to cater your grocery list to those recipes, making sure you’ve got everything on hand.
So, what happens if you’re not much of a planner and have a hard time getting yourself organized for multiple days’ worth of meals? Some companies and services can create meal plans for you. Several great meal plans go a step further and feature customization options, personalized shopping lists to keep you organized and prepared, and some even support grocery delivery services. These services make it much easier to stock your fridge with the essentials.
3) Have a Few Standby Favorites On-Hand
Even when you plan out meals in advance, it’s still a good idea to have favorites on hand at all times. You never know when you may crave that particular dish or item, so it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of these items available.
4) Use Clear-Sided Storage Containers
Then there are the containers you use for storage. While you may be used to grabbing whatever is handy, the fact is that the more visible the items are, the easier meal prep can be. Get into the habit of using clear-sided storage containers and bins. This makes everything visible from the moment you open the fridge, giving you an instant picture of what you’ve got.
5) Learn How to Store Produce Properly
The final tip is to learn how to store produce properly so that it stays fresh as long as possible. This should result in less wastage and instead enables you to use those ingredients in a variety of meals. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables have very different storage requirements, so you can’t treat all produce the same.
If meal preparation is something that stresses you out and isn’t anything you look forward to, it may be time to look at your fridge stocking and organization habits. Are you setting yourself up for failure by not having key ingredients on hand, fresh and ready to go? It’s time to shake up how you organize your fridge.