5 Types of Meal Prep to Fit Your Lifestyle

There is no one way to master meal prep. Here are 5 ways to prep. Pick the one that fits your lifestyle the best! 

5 types of meal prep to fit your lifestyle


Depending on your lifestyle and tastes, one specific method might work better for you to both learn, and to and stick with this habit.

I use a form of all of these methods, but it varies week to week based on what kind of time I have set aside for my planning and prep.

If you are just starting out with adopting this habit, have a look at some of the methods I do,  and then decide which might fit into your lifestyle!

 1. Prep Raw and Freeze

4 Types of Meal Prep to Fit Your Lifestyle

I love love love this method and it is by far my favourite.

Prep day simple with no cooking – just assembly, and it makes weeknight dinners not feel like reheated leftovers.

This is a great method when you can carve out some dedicated time – at least 3 hours. You also have to factor in the upfront cost to do this. You are likely buying ingredients for more than a week of meals, and that might not be feasible for you.

This is a good method for you if:

  • You can carve out a dedicated chunk of time to do the prep. You don’t need to do this weekly, but if you can find some time on a weekend once a month, this will be a good method for you.
  • You are not the only one cooking dinners at your house. With this method, it is easy for someone else (teens and husbands) to get dinner started on their own.
  • You don’t have time to dedicate to prep once a week.

If you are looking to get started with this type of prep, check out Prep Ahead Spicy Beef and Lentil Stew, Healthy “Cheesy” Chicken Fingers, Sweet Chili Chicken Burgers, or these 10 Instant Pot Freezer Meals

 2. Cook and Freeze

5 Types of Meal Prep to Fit Your Lifestyle

This method is the most work up front and so only do this type of prep for certain types of meals.

This is a good approach for casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, and grab and go lunches.

I use this method for my lunches mostly. I have been known to cook a few weeks of lunches at once and freeze in individual potions that I simply grab out of the freezer in the morning.

This is a good method for you if:

  • You are not overwhelmed by cooking many meals at once.
  • You have ZERO weeknight time and really just need freezer to oven meals ready to go.
  • You don’t have time to dedicate to prep once a week.

3. “No Cook During the Week” Prep

5 Types of Meal Prep to Fit Your Lifestyle

I am not a huge fan of this method because you need to dedicate a large chunk of your Sunday to do this. You will dirty every single dish in the sink, and then you eat what feels like leftovers all week – in my opinion. 

I personally don’t like this method and very rarely use it. But this method for you if:

  • You don’t mind eating leftovers on repeat.
  • You have a large portion of time, once a week to dedicate to prep.
  • You hate cooking and really only want to cook as infrequent as possible.
  • You are looking to have super tight budget for weekly food.

 4. Prep Once, Cook (efficiently) all Week Prep

5 Types of Meal Prep to Fit Your Lifestyle

This is the meal prep zone that I live in!

Essentially, with this method, you chop your veggies, make up your sauces, pull your meat out to thaw – maybe even add your sauces to your marinade, but I don’t often actually cook meals on my prep day. I cook each meal on each weeknight, but it all comes together much much quicker. 

Most weeks, I have this down to an hour – see this post to learn more about that. 

You still need to carve out time on  your weekend to do this, but I find this method to be a good balance and not take up my entire day.

This method is for you if:

  • You are short on time to do a big prep session.
  • You don’t like eating what feels like leftovers.
  • You are overwhelmed prepping a large amount of meals at once.

If you are looking for more tips and tricks for all that is meal prep, check out the whole part of my blog filled with all my tips and tricks posts, and if you are ready to get filling up that freezer, check out the fill your freezer section too!

5. Outsource For Help! 

5 Types of Meal Prep to Fit Your Lifestyle

Yes, as much as I have prepping down to a science I will outsource sometimes. I use a local meal assembly studio (Social Supper.)

With these services, they do all of the heavy lifting – planning, shopping, chopping and clean up. I dedicate one hour to go in and assemble my meals,  and end up with many dinner meals.

I also will use this service when my family’s schedule is nutty- aka summer. We camp on the weekends, and my Sunday prep time becomes non existant.

This method is for you if:

  • You like the idea of meal prep freezer meals but hate being in the kitchen.
  • You have ZERO time to dedicate in the kitchen.
  • You are overwhelmed by every other type of meal prep.

While I can appreciate it isn’t convenient for most of you to come to Airdrie, Alberta to prep your meals, I encourage you to look for similar services in your area – these little businesses are everywhere and are AMAZING.

So, there you have it, a few ways you can get started with meal prepping – in a way that fits your lifestyle! 

Need some more inspiration? Come follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or join my online community!

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