Meal Prep Essentials Every Kitchen Needs

Meal Prep Essentials are going to change your life! The art of meal prep has never been easier with the wide array of gadgets and ideas to make your life easier and ensure that every meal is served as nutritious and delicious as possible. It’s a habit I have personally developed for my own family and the benefits are immeasurable!

Proper meal preparation helps you avoid fast food, sugary snacks and last minute frustrations – and also helps you meet your fitness and health goals. These are the essential items that will help you on your way to becoming a master food prepper.

Check out the Meal Prep Essentials You Need:

Meal prep essentials containers with fish, lemons, salad, and zoodles

Create an Extensive Grocery List

Create an extensive grocery list. One item you should never overlook is the essential grocery list. It only takes a few minutes each week to put together ingredients for your pre-planned meals – and the time it saves will make it well worth your while. I know several times I haven’t put something on my list, arrived at the grocery store, and realized I couldn’t remember if I had a specific item in our cabinet. Now I don’t head out to shop without a list!

Click on the Grocery List Image below and print! Make it a habit to make a list for what you need and stick to it. This helps eliminate wasteful spending and you won’t forget something important.

Printable Grocery List created by Lynchburg Mama

Use The Dinner Daily to Save Money and Time!

Check out some apps online that are designed to help you eliminate costly and unplanned purchases, reduce waste and add healthier foods to your diet plan. Not only will you save time with your grocery list, but you’ll also save money.

My personal favorite is The Dinner Daily. The Dinner Daily makes delicious dinners easy and affordable for busy families and couples with customized weekly dinner menus based on your favorite store sales. Save $1,200 a year or more on grocery costs!

Measuring Tools

Measuring devices are important meal prep essentials. Portion-specific containers, measuring cups and spoons and a food scale are all helpful when preparing your meals. There are so many helpful choices available that you shouldn’t have any trouble choosing a variety that fit your needs.

Personally, I love these airtight glass containers. They are leak-proof with tight-fitting lids that are easy to open. Three containers are one compartment, three are two, and three are three. These make prepping your meals easy!

One of the most difficult parts of meal prepping was learning portion size. Using portion-control containers will help you visualize how much a portion size should actually be. Our dinner plates are often over-sized, resulting in us feeling the need to fill them up. Invest in a good digital kitchen scale to help, too!

Cutting Board

Invest in a good cutting board. Every good chef has his or her favorite type of cutting board. It’s a good idea to have two boards to keep one for meat preparation and one for such foods as vegetables and fruit.

This durable, oversized cutting board set is the same one I use in my kitchen. The deep grooves along the edge keep liquid from spilling over onto my counter and are easily to clean. These are also dishwasher-safe!

Choose from inexpensive, plastic or wooden ones to meet your chopping and slicing needs. Eventually, you’ll likely want to try other types and sizes, but in the beginning, just have the basic two on hand.

Assorted vegetables and seasonings showing meal prep essentials

Flavor, Flavor, Flavor!

Oils, herbs and spices will enhance any of your pre-planned meals by adding flavor to your meats and vegetables. Spices such as oregano, cilantro, garlic, sage and rosemary bring flavors to life in your recipes, while olive oil or other types of flavored oils keep you healthy. By using seasonings, healthy food does not have to be boring or flavorless! To me, these are the most important meal prep essentials. Pre-season the food or use small portion containers to bring seasonings and oil along with you.

Small Appliances

Get a good slow cooker or Instant Pot. One of the best essentials you can add to your repertoire of meal prep essentials is a small appliance that will making cooking easier and quicker. It will save you tons of time and effort during busy days and provide your family with nutritious meals.

Assorted Prep and Cooking Utensils

Make sure you also have on hand some sharp knives, wooden spoons and other helpful gadgets you’ll use to speed up and simplify your prep time. I have owned numerous special tools over the years but honestly, a good set of knives are all you need for cutting fruits and vegetables.

If you’ll be preparing on-the-go meals for you and your family, a portable bag is also an essential you’ll need to consider. Some are insulated and have compartments for beverages.

Which meal prep essentials do you feel are important to have?


Every kitchen needs a good set of meal prep essentials! Proper meal prep helps you avoid fast food, sugary snacks, and last minute frustrations. Learn the basic tools you need to get started!

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