Meal planning can be an overwhelming process, but there are a few helpful tools and accessories that you can add to your kitchen to streamline the process. Besides just writing meals that you want to serve on a calendar, make sure that you have everything that you need to prepare the dish. For example, do you have enough containers or seasoning? Do you have a surplus of freezer bags? There are a few must-have tools that you need in your kitchen to make your meal planning simple!
Helpful Meal Planning Tools
While meal planning doesn’t always require a food scale, it is so much easier to portion out chicken and other meats with one. If you are counting calories or just want to be more conscious of how much you are eating throughout the day, a food scale will become essential. You can track calories, fat, carbs, and protein easily. It will also help stretch your meal budget further since you will be serving the “right” size of each dish. Grab a digital scale that is easy to clean (since you will be weighing raw meat), and get started!
There are NEVER enough containers! If you’re like my family, we use them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND snacks. While we go crazy if we are missing a lid or two, we always have a surplus of available containers for use.
Other key containers include mason jars with lids for infused water, easy salads, and canning, along with specialty containers for soup, rice, and pasta.
Pro tip: Don’t forget about durable freezer bags! Grab a bulk box of freezer bags (Don’t skimp on these!) that are known for easy freezing and cooking.
Upgrade your utensils
Meal planning requires a lot of cutting so sharp knives are key. Make sure that you have several sharp knives at your disposal and a knife sharpener. Purchase a set of cutting boards to make it easier, and I love using these plastic boards that have designated uses for each board. For example, you cut your meat on one board and your vegetables on another. It makes meal preparation easier and removes all the guesswork!
Wooden utensils are my favorite, and you will also need a good spatula. A garlic press is one of my top kitchen tools for meal planning since I mince a lot of fresh garlic for our meals.
Healthier meals are easy when you can spiralize! Swap your favorite pasta for “zoodles” using zucchini, and use a spiralizer to get the job done. You can also spiralize potatoes for a fun side dish as well. Kids love food when it’s more FUN!
There are a lot of other fun gadgets that can help make meal planning fun, but try to keep it simple. Use tools that shorten your meal prep time and don’t add extra bulk to your kitchen counters or cabinets. Assess what you have, and what you need, and start meal prepping the easy way!