By Rob, 4 mins read

How to meal prep for the week an easy guide for beginners


If you’re looking to make healthier food choices and save money in the process then meal prepping might be for you.

I’ve been prepping my meals for well over a decade and have learnt a thing or two along the way.

So I wanted to show how I prep for the week and share some insights that should help others get started.

What you’ll need:

Useful tip

When starting, it’s perfectly fine to use what you already have – if you have plastic containers, use those.

Share this on X (Twitter)

1. Plan your meals

First things first, you need a plan. And by plan, I mean a meal plan.

Now your meal plan is going to depend on how many people you’re cooking for:

  • You

  • You and your partner

  • Your entire family

Whichever the case, use this to decide how many meals you’re going to cook and how many servings.

Lunch and dinner

Here’s an example of what I’d look to cook for the week:


For breakfast, my go-to is overnight oats or granola.

With enough food containers you can easily meal prep the dry ingredients for overnight oats for the entire week (that’s what I do).

I often do some variations of these two recipes:

Useful tip

You can create a simple base of oats, chia seeds, flax seeds and cinnamon and top with whatever you fancy when it comes to eating.

Share this on X (Twitter)


If you’re anything like me, this one’s not to be forgotten. You need to consider the things you’re going to eat around your meals – snacks!

For me, this will include some unhealthier options like; chocolate, crisps, crackers etc. but largely consist of healthier options like:


Every day I have a mixture of different nuts, usually consisting of cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts – it’s a great way to increase the number of "plants" in your diet which has so many health benefits.

Useful tip

Don’t feel like you have to plan everything you’re going to eat for the week, allow some flexibility to eat something you’re craving.

Share this on X (Twitter)

2. Create a shopping list

With your meals to hand, add all the ingredients, you need to a list.

This could be a paper list, a note-taking app or a dedicated shopping list app.

I prefer using an app, so I can remove the items I’ve added to my basket as I go through the shop.

Useful tip

A shopping list is a surefire way to save money and avoid unhealthier foods as you’re more likely to stick to the things on your list.

Share this on X (Twitter)

3. Check what you have

Once you’ve created your shopping list, check your cupboards, fridge etc. for ingredients you might already have.

This will stop you from buying excess food that’ll either get thrown away or fill up your cupboards to be forgotten about.

4. Go shopping

This one doesn’t need much explaining, go to the shop and buy what you need.

My approach is; to go to my main supermarket (Aldi) to do the bulk of my shopping.

If there’s anything that I can’t get from Aldi, I’ll then head on over to Morrisons to get any remaining bits.

Useful tip

Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, this will help prevent you from impulse buying food because you’re hungry.

Share this on X (Twitter)

5. Tidy your kitchen

The idea of tidying your kitchen just as you are about to mess it up sounds a little counterintuitive – but don’t skip this step (especially if you have a small kitchen like me).

  • Make sure your counters are clear so you have space to work

  • Wash up any dirty pots, pans, utensils etc. so they’re ready when you need them

  • Organise your kitchen so you know where to look for a tin opener, colander, grater etc.

All of this will make the cooking process far less stressful.

6. Time to cook

When it comes to cooking, there’s one rule I have and that’s to avoid multi-tasking.

That means:

  • Not trying to cook multiple meals at once

  • Avoid doing prep work whilst cooking the meal

Here’s how I approach cooking instead:

  • Figure out what meal I’m going to cook

  • Get all of the ingredients ready on the counter

  • Chop up any veggies etc. that are needed for the recipe

  • Blend/mix any sauces that are needed

By having everything ready, it means I’m not running around trying to do 10 things at once, whilst my onions are burning because I haven’t chopped up the carrots yet (maybe you’ve been there).

I’ll go through this process for up to two recipes on a Sunday – opting for more time-consuming recipes now and saving easier, quicker meals for later in the week.

Useful tip

You can also prepare parts of a meal, such as chopping up veggies or preparing a filling/sauce that can be used later in the week.

Share this on X (Twitter)

7. Prepare “extras”

The hard work is over, but don’t stop here.

Now it’s time for the easy bit, prepare breakfast and snacks.

For me, this means:

  • Prepare dry ingredients for overnight oats (up to 8 containers)

  • Prepare mixed nuts and multivitamins (up to 4 containers)

  • Prepare protein shakes (up to 3 servings with different containers)

  • Grind coffee for the following day

This way I’ve fully prepared for at least 2 days into the week.

Useful tip

If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t feel pressure to do everything all at once, instead try preparing your breakfasts or snacks for the week and build from there.

Share this on X (Twitter)
If you enjoy these posts, please consider supporting me for just the cost of a coffee... Buy me a coffee

If you enjoyed this article share it with your friends and family who might also enjoy it