Want to hear the secret to getting more time back into your week? It’s called The Meal Prep Power Hour.
What’s the meal prep power hour? Simply put, it’s one designated hour at the beginning of your week where you prep as much food for the next 7 days as you possibly can.
It’s quick, it’s relatively painless, and it helps cross what is usually seen as a big hurdle when it comes to meal prepping: finding the time to prep in the first place! If you know ahead of time you’ll only be in the kitchen for an hour, tops, it’s much easier to slot that amount of time into your week and get that head start.
Here’s my favorite part about the meal prep power hour:
Once complete, it cuts your average amount of cook time down significantly. A recipe that might take 45 minutes from start to finish takes 20, because you’ve already got your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
Working the power hour at the beginning of the week is a huge money saver as well! If you’ve already taken the time beforehand to ready your ingredients, it makes it that much easier to cook at home, instead of relying on takeout or buying pre made meals at the grocery store.
From here, the only thing standing between you and the power hour is actually getting it done.
Believe me, coming from the queen of procrastination, I 100% get that struggle. It’s all well and good knowing that the power hour saves you time; but actually doing the power hour is a whole new beast!
That’s why I’m gonna break it down for you today with easy, actionable steps you can take to get on top of that meal prep power hour, and save yourself time and cash-ola in the process. Saving time and money is really the end goal here, right? #mealprepgoals
Psst: If you want to just skip the big explanation part and download my easy Meal Prep Power Hour Worksheet right here, go ahead! Click the big yellow button, fill out your details to access the download immediately, and be on your way.
The biggest thing to remember is that the Meal Prep Power Hour is just one part of your overall meal plan for the week.
After you’ve got your meal plan written, here are my 4 easy steps to implementing your power hour.
- WHAT: Look through that meal plan and decide what can be made ahead of time. Think: vegetables that can be washed and cut, rice or beans cooked, sauce made, herbs trimmed.
- WHEN: I usually prep on Monday night, due to our odd family schedule with my husband’s job. But if you’re on a normal 7-day 40 hour work week, Sunday afternoon is usually a perfect time to plan your Power Hour.
- ACTION! Now you’re cooking! First, before I start anything in the kitchen, I ready the scene. Put on some tunes or a podcast. Wash the dishes in the sink and empty the dishwasher. Pull everything you will need OUT of the fridge or cupboards and lay it out; as you work through your prep list, it’s heartening to see that pile of stuff get smaller and smaller! Make it fun! Include your kids or spouse, a neighbor or friend, or – if you’re anything like me, a work-at-home mom with two young kids always hanging on my ankles- cherish some solo time to just be alone and doing your own thing for a bit. 🙌
- PACKAGE: This is my favorite tip and one that I think really sets you up best for the week ahead. Package everything as you go, but don’t just throw it all in some containers with lids; portion it out into servings, courses, or dishes – whatever works easiest for you.
And that’s it! I know – this may seem like a lot of info, but the actual process of implementing the meal prep power hour into your week is way simple, I promise you. Remember: it just takes one easy hour of cooking, and that hour can set you up for success the rest of the week. Once you get into the groove of it, you’ll see how much stress you’ve just lifted off of your shoulders!
If you want to make things even easier on yourself, check out my Meal Prep Power Hour Worksheet! There’s step by step instructions for writing your your meal plan and adding in your Meal Prep Power Hour prep list, scheduling your prep into your week, and getting it all done. From there, you just gotta do the cooking! So easy. Click the big yellow download button and then enter your details for the free access!
Ruthy Kirwan is passionate about helping busy people get their act together in the kitchen! Her site Percolate Kitchen is full of quick, simple recipes, easy-to-follow cheat sheets and guides, kitchen hacks, and meal planning tips. Find out here about her newly launched customized meal planning service, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.