#MealPrep. #MealPrepSundays. #MealPrepping. These are all hashtags with millions of uses in the last month alone. What was once a niche chore for the frugal-minded has become a money-saving movement, complete with Instagram influencers, lifestyle bloggers and t-shirts made exclusively for meal preppers. That’s because the simple task of pre-making lunch for the week ahead is a noble and purposeful use of two hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Luckily, you don’t need much to join the tribe. Here are eight things every meal prepper should have.
Silicone Muffin Pan
Behold, the muffin mold is your key to pre-making breakfast. From low-sugar bran muffins to miniature baked omelets, the muffin mold is invaluable. This silicone one is perfect for popping out more delicate muffins that stick to metal trays.
Becoming a meal prepper means knowing how to shop. You become something of a grocery hoarder, one completely unable to resist a good deal on boneless, skinless chicken breasts. That’s what the Fridgely app comes in. Scan your receipt and it logs what groceries you bought (and how much) into a list. From there, you can build recipes you make frequently and it automatically tells you what you’re missing. It even alerts you when your food is about to expire.
Moleskine Weekly Planner
The weekly planner is for folks who aren’t satisfied with the same recipes week after week. Scribble ideas for coming weeks, nutrition info and whatever motivational quotes needed to remain diligent.
Nordic Ware Aluminum Sheet Pans
What’s the least taxing way to cook a lot of food at once? Throw it on a sheet pan and into the oven. Nordic Ware’s aluminum sheet pans are heavier and twice as thick as your typical pans. This means they don’t warp and bend at the whims of your hot oven. They also have much higher walls, so oils and juices don’t spill over and burn into the base of your oven.
Escali Kitchen Scale
Second only to building a healthier budget, diet control is a huge plus of jumping on the meal-prep bandwagon. Whether you’re bulking or trying to drop a waist size, a kitchen scale is of paramount importance to portioning and a consistent diet. This one is accurate to 0.05 ounces.
One of the limits of making meals to eat days later is the inability to keep the sauce, dressing or gravy in the same container as the food (it’ll get very soggy), which is precisely why you need these tiny jars. Whatever sauce or salad dressing you would’ve soaked your lunch with can go in one of these, then shaken back to life when it’s time to eat. It’s also the perfect carrier for overnight oats, another meal prep favorite.
Oxo Good Grips Smart Seal Food Storage
Oxo's glass food storage is pricier than your usual plastic stuff, but it’s worth a little extra if you’re bringing lunch to work every day. The four-point seal is a hell of a lot tighter than the flimsy stuff you’re used to, and the glass body won’t bend, brake or melt when warmed up in the microwave (or oven).
Material Kitchen Angled Cutting Board
A final but essential piece of gear: a cutting board that’s up for anything. This one features an angled edge to more easily swipe chopped veggies from board to pan. Flip it over and you’ve got a carving board with extra-deep grooves to catch juices from roasts and the like. It doesn’t hurt that it looks great in a kitchen.