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Before you get started on meal planning, there are some tools you will need. Some of these are simply for prepping ingredients to store them in your pantry or refrigerator, while other tools are for when your meal planning turns into actually cooking and preparing meals, then freezing them. Here are some different tools and accessories to try to get for meal planning. Don’t think that you need to rush and out spend money or jump on Amazon to buy. Determine if it is something you really need and decide if you have the funds to purchase now or if you need to save for it. I don’t want it to be a financial burden. These are just suggestions that can make cooking at home a little easier.
Meal planning on its own doesn’t always require a food scale, but when you are prepping meals and ingredients for health purposes, it is definitely recommended. This makes it easier to measure out your food and be able to track the macros, such as calories, fat, carbs, and protein. For example, you may think you know what 3 ounces of steak looks like, but until you can actually weigh it, it can be quite surprising. Food scales are not expensive and come in digital forms so there is no guesswork at all.
Naturally, you need plenty of containers for the ingredients, prepped, and cooked meals during healthy meal planning. Start with enough leftover containers for when you don’t finish a meal and want it to save it in your refrigerator. You should also have containers and bags for the freezer, both for prepped ingredients and complete meals you are making ahead of time. Also, have some containers to leave in the pantry or on the counter, such as mason jars and various containers for holding rice, pasta, and other ingredients. I prefer glass containers, but they can be more expensive. Find what works best for you and your budget.
You also want to have enough utensils in your kitchen for meal prepping and planning. A lot of cutting is going to be done at one time with veggies, fruits, and sometimes meats, so you want good, high-quality knives. Make sure they are sharp and in good condition. You aren’t just chopping a carrot to add to soup for one night, but plenty of veggies for several meals. This is why it is important to go for the highest quality if you can. You will also need some good spatulas for cooking, and preferably silicon-coated tools that don’t stick to pans or melt under the heat. Additionally, have extra measuring spoons and cups for everything, especially ones that are well marked with the sizes.
This is huge right now and one of my favorite kitchen tools because so many people are not only trying to be healthier, but cut their carbs as well. When you use veggies as your pasta, such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers you are able to stick to a low-carb diet while still having your favorite pasta dishes. It also helps for people who can’t have pasta because they are gluten-free. So many veggies can be spiralized and made to increase the eye appeal to your meals. They are lots of different choices of spiralizers with varying price ranges, too.
**Bonus Tool** Instant Pot
An extra tool that I love is my Instant Pot. I have owned mine for 2 years now and use it at least a couple of times a week to make various dishes. I make, soups, chili, frozen chicken, rice, baked potatoes, meat loaf, and so much more. There are plenty of recipes floating around the internet to make this an amazing option. The one I own can be used for various tasks including making yogurt, rice maker, slow cooker, steamer, and more.
I hope this gives you some ideas to encourage you to cook more at home. Do you have any of these items in your kitchen?