This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of FoodSaver®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Do you meal prep? It’s such a simple concept and one that makes a lot of sense. But somehow, it’s not something I’ve made a habit of doing in the past. Well, now I’m making a concerted effort to change that!
Since the start of the year, my schedule has been very erratic. I’ve been doing a lot of travel, and when I’m back in town, I have to deal with the aftermath and catch-up (and sometimes sickness and jetlag too!). As a result, my diet has been all over the place; and with that, my weight has been fluctuating A LOT. With summer basically here, I want to regain control over my weight and diet, and one of the most effective ways of doing that is through meal prep.
Meal prepping may seem like a time-consuming task to some; but in the long run, it really does save you more time. It can literally shave hours off your week, in addition to the health benefits it can provide and money it can save you. Since time is our most valuable commodity, I know we ALL can spare a couple hours each week to do this.
How I’m Meal Prepping in My Household
There are many different ways you can do your meal prep (there are even paid services that will do it for you). I recently got a FoodSaver® vacuum sealer, and here’s how I’m going to be doing my meal prep each week:
- Plan ahead. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail! First, I plan to make a menu for the week, based on cooking an average of 2 or 3 times per week for 2 people (the other days are for leftovers).
- Make a grocery list. Next, I’ll make a grocery list with all the items and ingredients needed to prepare each meal, in addition to anything else needed for the household that week.
- Buy groceries and batch cook. Then on our grocery day, we’ll buy all the items and either cook on the same day or the following day. Batch-cooking can be done in a couple of hours (or maybe even less). Just make the time for it and you’ll thank yourself later. Throw on some good tunes, turn off your notifications, and focus on cooking. It’s actually quite cathartic!
- Pre-portion food and vacuum seal. Lastly, I’ll pre-portion all of the food into individual serving sizes and vacuum seal them in the FoodSaver® If there is any excess food, it can also be vacuum-sealed and put in the freezer for use in future. When it’s time to eat during the week, we can just grab a bag from the fridge, cut open and dig in. The bags are even microwavable, so there’s no need to dirty a single plate!
Benefits of Vacuum Sealing Food
Is a vacuum sealer necessary for meal prep? Absolutely not. However, I decided to get a vacuum sealer because, apart from being a cool kitchen gadget (which I’m totally obsessed with!), it has many other benefits and uses, and will save me time and money in the long run as well.
Vacuum sealing preserves your food and will help it last longer. Did you know vacuum-sealed food can last up to 2 or 3 years in the freezer? MIND BLOWN. FoodSaver® creates an air-tight seal in seconds. By removing the air, moisture and freshness are locked in, and oxygen can’t get to your food. This prevents bacteria and mold from forming, thereby preserving the food for a long time and reducing waste.
Have you ever taken note of what percentage of your weekly groceries ends up in the trash? And then, have you ever calculated how much money you’ve wasted as a result? Try it sometime. The results may shock you!
You can also save money by buying in bulk. Instead of buying pre-cut meat in packages (which is more expensive), you can buy a whole chicken or larger cut of beef. When cooking for the week, cut what you need, then vacuum seal the rest and freeze for later. Vacuum sealing also prevents freezer burn and dehydration of meat. Before getting a vacuum sealer, whenever I’d freeze meat, I’d wrap it in 2 or 3 of those thin plastic bags from the grocery store and hope for the best. So glad I don’t have to do that anymore!
Other Ways a Vacuum Sealer Can be Used
If you are considering the investment, aside from weekly meal prepping, there are loads of other uses for a vacuum sealer, like:
- Packing meals for a picnic or for camping
- Packing your lunch for work or your kids’ lunches for school (the bags take up less space than a food container)
- Cooking sous vide (the bags don’t contain BPA or harmful additives, so are safe for sous vide)
- Sealing toiletries when traveling (Currently, I wrap masking tape around the tops of my toiletry bottles and then wrap them in plastic bags, which is time consuming and doesn’t always work. Now, I can use the vacuum sealer and not worry at all about a mess in my suitcase, when traveling).
Having a vacuum sealer has already proven to be such a good idea that I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before! I picked mine up at Canadian Tire (they’re also available at London Drugs, if you live in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba). Have you ever considered a vacuum sealer, and would it help with your meal prepping?