Meal-prepping must-haves and other things to consider

There are many reasons people choose to meal prep, and saving time is perhaps the most common. However, to make the most of your time and energy, it’s crucial that you also have the right tools.

Meal-prepping can save you a ton of time during your workweek since you get your cutting, cooking or other prep work out of the way. Along with saving time, many find that they can save money when meal-prepping. Additionally, any person eating clean this year knows that meal-prepping is essential to maximizing nutrition.

No matter why you plan to start meal-prepping, it’s worth investing in suitable instruments for the job.

What is meal-prepping?

The concept of meal-prepping is simple — it usually refers to preparing foods in advance for your meals. You can meal prep for a handful of applications, such as lunches at work, weeknight dinners, or meals. To effectively prepare for your meals in advance, it’s essential to consider why you want to meal prep and what tools you’ll need, from the kitchen to the break room.

Essential products for meal-prepping

  • Mandolines, vegetable slicers and food processors: meal-prepping often requires slicing, dicing or processing vegetables before storage. For that reason, most elect to purchase mandoline slicers, vegetable slicers and food processors that can make cutting veggies quick and easy. Upgrade slicers can also include spiral cutters and ribbon cutters.
  • Meal-prepping scales: Buying a scale is especially important for those who are meal-prepping for nutritional purposes. Pre-weighing your foods lets you micro-manage your nutrition before packing it away, so you don’t even have to think twice when it’s mealtime.
  • Storage containers: Storage containers are a crucial part of meal-prepping, letting you separate and stow your food between prep and meal times. You can find storage containers in many materials, most prominently including glass and plastic.
  • Storage bags: Meal prep storage bags or insulated lunch boxes are helpful if you’re transporting your foods often, like those traveling to and from work. Some storage bags are designed for meal prep with multiple compartments and built-in food storage containers.

Best meal-prepping vegetable slicers

Top meal-prepping vegetable slicer

Dash Safe Slice Mandoline Vegetable Slicer For Meal Prep And More

Dash Safe Slice Mandoline Vegetable Slicer For Meal Prep And More

What you need to know: This nifty vegetable slicer features a unique blade-proof design that makes it easy to slice veggies without risking the safety of your hands.

What you’ll love: The upright mandoline style makes it a safer option for families. The slicer’s body comes in gray, aqua, green, navy, red or yellow. It also comes with 30 cutting presets to customize the type of cut you need.

What you should consider: Some buyers said this mandoline tends to get stuck with denser veggies.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top meal-prepping vegetable slicer for the money

Fullstar Vegetable Chopper Dicer And Mandoline Vegetable Slicer

Fullstar Vegetable Chopper Dicer And Mandoline Vegetable Slicer 

What you need to know: The Fullstar vegetable chopper is about as good as it gets without a food processor, offering superior cutting and a useful storage compartment for diced veggies.

What you’ll love: This unique slicer has 11 cutting inserts for different vegetables and other foods. It comes with a safety glove and a spiralizer ribbon cutter. It’s also dishwasher-safe and easier to clean than some vegetable slicers.

What you should consider: This has fewer preset cutting blades than some mandolines.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best meal-prepping scales

Top meal-prepping scale

Etekcity 0.1-Gram Food Scale For Meal Prep And More

Etekcity 0.1-Gram Food Scale For Meal Prep And More 

What you need to know: This is the ultimate scale for meal-prepping, with a broad bowl surface that fits larger portions while doing food prep.

What you’ll love: It has extremely high-precision monitoring for the utmost in accurate readouts, making it perfect for micro-managing your nutritional needs. This scale comes in red or stainless steel.

What you should consider: Some buyers had to replace this scale’s batteries sooner than they expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top meal-prepping scale for the money

Greater Goods Meal Prep Food Scale With Digital Display

Greater Goods Meal Prep Food Scale With Digital Display 

What you need to know: This food-prep scale has a clear digital display and a handful of unit conversion options.

What you’ll love: This basic kitchen scale is a great tool for meal prep and offers an easy-to-clean surface. It’s available in nine different colors, including cherry red, blush pink, mint green and ash grey.

What you should consider: Larger objects don’t fit as well on this scale as those with a wider surface.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best glass meal-prepping containers

Top glass meal-prepping container

Pyrex Simply Store 18-Piece Glass Meal Prep Storage Containers

Pyrex Simply Store 18-Piece Glass Meal Prep Storage Containers

What you need to know: This set from the trusted classic brand Pyrex comes with nine storage containers, each with its own fitted lids.

What you’ll love: Made from durable glass, these containers are safe for the freezer, microwave, oven and the top rack of the dishwasher. The lids are BPA-free, and the purchase of this set comes with a two-year limited warranty. You can also buy this in 28-, 34- and 52-piece sets.

What you should consider: Some buyers found that their containers warped or cracked after long periods of use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top glass meal-prepping container for the money

Prep Naturals Five-Pack Of Glass Meal Prep And Food Prep Containers

Prep Naturals Five-Pack Of Glass Meal Prep And Food Prep Containers

What you need to know: This five-pack of food storage containers is an affordable pick for those who want glass.

What you’ll love: Buyers love this set’s snap-on, airtight lids and the stackability of the containers. They’re also very durable and can hold about 30 ounces. You can also buy them in five- or eight-packs in a 36-ounce configuration.

What you should consider: These are heavier than other storage containers made in plastic.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best plastic meal-prepping containers

Top plastic meal-prepping container

Rubbermaid Easy Find 42-Piece Plastic Meal Prep Container Set

Rubbermaid Easy Find 42-Piece Plastic Meal Prep Container Set

What you need to know: For those who prefer the lightweight build of plastic containers, this 42-piece set features a wide range of sizes.

What you’ll love: These come at a great price point, offering BPA-free plastic that’s great for storage in freezers, fridges or cabinets. They’re also easy to transport and feature sizes ranging from 4 ounces to 7 cups.

What you should consider: These warped more quickly than expected for many buyers. However, some reviewers advised venting the lids properly in the microwave helps avoid this problem.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top plastic meal-prepping container for the money

Freshware 15-Pack Of Plastic Meal Prep Containers

Freshware 15-Pack Of Plastic Meal Prep Containers

What you need to know: A smaller, less-expensive pack of plastic containers, these also include built-in compartments that make them ideal for meal-prepping.

What you’ll love: These offer a lot of volume per container, and their uniform shape makes them easy to stack. Each container has a capacity of about 32 ounces. In addition to packs of 15, you can also buy these in 21- and 150-packs.

What you should consider: The compartments make these lids a little less sturdy than other containers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best meal-prepping bags

Top meal-prepping bag

ThinkFit Insulated Meal Prep Lunch Box And Bag Set

ThinkFit Insulated Meal Prep Lunch Box And Bag Set

What you need to know: For the serious meal prepper needing storage for multiple meals each day, this large insulated lunch bag is designed for food prep transportation.

What you’ll love: This food-prep bag comes with six food portion containers and other accessories such as a shaker cup and pill organizer. You can buy this bag in red, black, blue or purple.

What you should consider: Buyers say this bag is a little smaller than it appears in the product photos.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top meal-prepping bag for the money

Versal Insulated Lunch Bag With Three Meal Prep Containers

Versal Insulated Lunch Bag With Three Meal Prep Containers

What you need to know: This meal prep bag is about as big as a large insulated lunch box, offering enough storage for up to three meals.

What you’ll love: Buyers appreciate this bag’s price point and its space-maximizing design. It has extra bags for organizing your meals and two reusable ice packs. It can be purchased in either black or purple.

What you should consider: This bag didn’t offer enough space for some buyers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 
 

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.