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16 Practical Tips For Meal Prepping For One Person

You don't have to eat the same thing every day.

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Andrew Richard/BuzzFeed

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best tips for meal prepping for one person.

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Here are some of their best tips:

1. Invest in a kitchen scale and thermometer to make meal prepping your proteins a breeze.

amazon.com, amazon.com

"Get yourself a kitchen scale and an instant read thermometer. The former will help portion your food so you aren't tempted to make too much, and the latter will ensure that the four-ounce portion of strip steak you popped in the oven is cooked perfectly."

pkrantz

Get an instant read thermometer on Amazon for $15.29 and a digital scale for $12.99.

2. Freeze single portions of food in freezer baggies.

"Plan ahead, look for sales, and always take the extra time when you get home from the store to portion out single servings and freeze them in a bag. Make sure to write in sharpie what it is, the amount, and the date."—samlo
Redphotographer / Getty Images

"Plan ahead, look for sales, and always take the extra time when you get home from the store to portion out single servings and freeze them in a bag. Make sure to write in sharpie what it is, the amount, and the date."

samlo

3. Get yourself a mini slow cooker so you can come home to the perfect-sized meal that's warm and ready.

"I have one of those mini slow cookers that you can plug in before work — so on the weekend, I just prep a large amount of soup or chili (or anything that would re-heat well) and portion it out. That way, lunches are done for the week."—Lauren Denise, Facebook
Instagram: @thelasteast

"I have one of those mini slow cookers that you can plug in before work — so on the weekend, I just prep a large amount of soup or chili (or anything that would re-heat well) and portion it out. That way, lunches are done for the week."

—Lauren Denise, Facebook

4. Store your fresh produce in special containers designed to keep them fresh longer.

"Rubbermaid makes these FreshWorks containers that I swear by. My boyfriend lives a couple hours away and we only see each other on weekends, so I’m always cooking for one — but the problem is that I’m also buying for one. Most of the time, I buy a container of produce and it takes me a while to eat it all, then before I know it, its gone bad. I used to think these containers had to be nonsense...then I tried them. Strawberries lasted almost twice as long as usual, and fresh salad lasts forever."—Savanna Marie, FacebookGet a set of three on Amazon for $22.10.
amazon.com

"Rubbermaid makes these FreshWorks containers that I swear by. My boyfriend lives a couple hours away and we only see each other on weekends, so I’m always cooking for one — but the problem is that I’m also buying for one. Most of the time, I buy a container of produce and it takes me a while to eat it all, then before I know it, its gone bad. I used to think these containers had to be nonsense...then I tried them. Strawberries lasted almost twice as long as usual, and fresh salad lasts forever."

—Savanna Marie, Facebook

Get a set of three on Amazon for $22.10.

5. Buy large containers of ground meat when it's on sale, and store it in plastic baggies in individual portions.

"When buying meat like ground turkey, sausage, or chicken, portion it into Ziploc bags to freeze — that way, you only have to thaw enough for one meal."—amyw465731cdb
Instagram: @cutbeef

"When buying meat like ground turkey, sausage, or chicken, portion it into Ziploc bags to freeze — that way, you only have to thaw enough for one meal."

amyw465731cdb

6. Store all of your prepped foods individually so you can mix them in exciting (and different) combinations every night.

"Keep your food items in different containers and mix them in different combinations so you don't get bored"—Eduarda De Souza Queiroz, Facebook
Instagram: @drobfitness

"Keep your food items in different containers and mix them in different combinations so you don't get bored"

—Eduarda De Souza Queiroz, Facebook

7. Shop with a friend to cut down on food waste and make grocery shopping cheaper.

"One of the things that is a problem in cooking for one is the fact that you generally have to overbuy and end up tossing extra produce or half-filled condiment jars — but shopping with a friend and splitting the purchases into smaller containers can help."—CogitoErgoBibo
Getty Images

"One of the things that is a problem in cooking for one is the fact that you generally have to overbuy and end up tossing extra produce or half-filled condiment jars — but shopping with a friend and splitting the purchases into smaller containers can help."

CogitoErgoBibo

8. Don't be afraid to buy items in bulk — simply freeze anything you won't use right away.

"Cooking for one doesn’t mean you can’t buy in bulk. Ingredients like milk, butter, all kind of vegetables, meats, sauces, and even foods that you’ve already prepared can be frozen."—lauras4dedbb50a
Instagram: @inthemoodforcreativity

"Cooking for one doesn’t mean you can’t buy in bulk. Ingredients like milk, butter, all kind of vegetables, meats, sauces, and even foods that you’ve already prepared can be frozen."

lauras4dedbb50a

9. Create a stockpile of frozen meals so you can have a different dinner every night.

"I make large dishes that freeze well and use up all the ingredients I bought. I eat one portion that night, and freeze the rest individually. Once you do this a couple times, you'll have several different meals to choose from in the freezer ready to heat up and eat. Some of my favorites to freeze are curries, stews, and meatballs in sauce (to keep them from getting dry)."—Melissa Walthart, Facebook
Instagram: @flabulous__

"I make large dishes that freeze well and use up all the ingredients I bought. I eat one portion that night, and freeze the rest individually. Once you do this a couple times, you'll have several different meals to choose from in the freezer ready to heat up and eat. Some of my favorites to freeze are curries, stews, and meatballs in sauce (to keep them from getting dry)."

—Melissa Walthart, Facebook

10. If leftover food isn't your thing, meal prep just the ingredients so you can easily cook something up every night.

"I follow a mise en place style of meal prep. I plan a week of meals, spend two hours on Sunday chopping all the veggies, making all the sauces and marinades, portioning the meats out, and even preparing seasoning mixes (like taco seasoning) in little baggies. That way, when I come home from work, everything is prepped and all I have to do is throw it together in a pan or pop it in the oven."—emilys44c16843b
Instagram: @erinrosephotodotcom

"I follow a mise en place style of meal prep. I plan a week of meals, spend two hours on Sunday chopping all the veggies, making all the sauces and marinades, portioning the meats out, and even preparing seasoning mixes (like taco seasoning) in little baggies. That way, when I come home from work, everything is prepped and all I have to do is throw it together in a pan or pop it in the oven."

emilys44c16843b

11. Work with what you have.

"Google the ingredients you already have in your fridge/freezer. For example, a search for "edamame, cilantro, ground beef recipe" will give you a great starting point and you'll usually only have to pick up a few extra ingredients."—caitiekickpuncher
google.com

"Google the ingredients you already have in your fridge/freezer. For example, a search for "edamame, cilantro, ground beef recipe" will give you a great starting point and you'll usually only have to pick up a few extra ingredients."

caitiekickpuncher

12. Prep the same ingredient several different ways so you have options.

"I cut up chicken breasts in various ways and store them in Ziploc bags. One breast I cut into slices and split between two bags: one with fajita seasoning, and the other with curry — then the second breast I filet in half, and bread one of them and roll up the other one with cheese and ham. Two chicken breasts now become four meals!"—ivisq
Vinicef / Getty Images

"I cut up chicken breasts in various ways and store them in Ziploc bags. One breast I cut into slices and split between two bags: one with fajita seasoning, and the other with curry — then the second breast I filet in half, and bread one of them and roll up the other one with cheese and ham. Two chicken breasts now become four meals!"

ivisq

13. Repurpose your leftovers into entirely different meals.

"Start repurposing your leftovers. Extra steak or ham can be eaten with fried eggs, in an omelette, or in a breakfast sandwich. Mashed potatoes can be turned into pancakes or croquettes. Stuffed peppers can be made into soup and frozen."—S10L16
Getty Images

"Start repurposing your leftovers. Extra steak or ham can be eaten with fried eggs, in an omelette, or in a breakfast sandwich. Mashed potatoes can be turned into pancakes or croquettes. Stuffed peppers can be made into soup and frozen."

S10L16

14. Instead of buying prepackaged meats, hit up the butcher counter — that way you buy only what you need...

"I started going to the meat counter at my specialty store (and the one at Whole Foods). Just find a grocery store that allows you to buy single servings of meats instead of buying the pre-packaged stuff. I can get one pork chop instead of four or a quarter pound of ground turkey instead of a pound and a half. This not only helps me prevent food waste, but also allows variety in my meals (I'm not stuck eating the same chili leftovers all week)."—Cakes14
Instagram: @erica_bauman

"I started going to the meat counter at my specialty store (and the one at Whole Foods). Just find a grocery store that allows you to buy single servings of meats instead of buying the pre-packaged stuff. I can get one pork chop instead of four or a quarter pound of ground turkey instead of a pound and a half. This not only helps me prevent food waste, but also allows variety in my meals (I'm not stuck eating the same chili leftovers all week)."

Cakes14

15. And veggies too! Avoid buying the prepackaged varieties and start looking at the loose produce bins.

"Also, buy your veggies individually from the loose bins instead of the prepackaged stuff — that way, you only buy what you need."—KatieOz920
Instagram: @iam_emelie

"Also, buy your veggies individually from the loose bins instead of the prepackaged stuff — that way, you only buy what you need."

KatieOz920

16. Try adding a bit of fresh herbs (or frozen herb cubes) to your reheated meals to brighten their flavor.

"Throwing in some fresh herbs or a frozen herb cube once you reheat a meal is a game changer! It brightens everything up and you won't feel like you're eating a freezer meal."—Melissa Walthart, Facebook
Manu10319 / Getty Images

"Throwing in some fresh herbs or a frozen herb cube once you reheat a meal is a game changer! It brightens everything up and you won't feel like you're eating a freezer meal."

—Melissa Walthart, Facebook

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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