The new year is a perfect time to level up your meal prep game.
Save some serious cash, improve your couponing skills, and eat well with these 15 tips.
1. Use Circle to buy large portions of meat.
There aren’t a lot of meat coupons out there, but Circle inside the Target app will drop deals like ham for $1.00 a pound! When that happens, stock up and prep at least five to six meals at once.
Here are the best up-to-date deals on Circle right now.
2. Chop up all of your veggies the day you buy them to keep them from going bad.
First things first —use coupons on produce!
Truth is, you’re not saving money if you’re throwing out moldy vegetables every week. Cutting them up properly and storing them makes them easy to grab (no excuses!) — and helps keep them fresher longer.
3. Plan your menu based on the best coupon deals.
Check your ads, clip your coupons, and then plan your meals around what you can get for the best prices.
(Pssst, visit our Extreme Couponing Deals page to find the best deals out there.)
4. Buy meal-prep containers in January and August when there are great coupons.
We’ll let you know when the best coupons come out. Stock up, because you know at least a few will get tossed. (Anyone else forget to clean them out once in a while?)
TIP: You shouldn’t ever pay more than $.50 to $1.00 each for these, depending on the brand.
5. Buy storage bags at Dollar Tree and use coupons to get them for free.
These are a must if you’re doing any prep ahead of time. Never pay more than $0.50, and we’ll even let you know when you can score them FREE with coupons!
6. Use coupons, Circle, and Ibotta together to get cheap eggs then cook them in bulk.
Boil at least a dozen at a time, and you’ll always have a high-protein add-on for your meals. You can even cook them in the oven!
7. When you know you love something, use coupons to stock up.
Not sure when it’s worth it to buy in bulk? Follow our stock-up price sheet, and we’ll let you know when a deal is too hot to pass up.
8. Buy spinach in bulk with coupons — and then freeze it.
Make salads for the week then freeze the excess.
9. Stock up on organic frozen fruit when coupons drop.
There aren’t tons of frozen fruit coupons, so when they drop you should snag them and prep some smoothies for easy meals.
Combine 1/2 cup frozen strawberries and 1/4 cup pineapple with a handful of spinach in a zip-top bag and keep in the freezer. Blend with a cup of water when you’re ready, and you have an easy smoothie snack.
TIP: Add banana or avocado for even more flavor.
10. Use freebies to stretch your meal prep budget.
You won’t get a whole meal out of a free yogurt or health bar, but you’ll have one less snack to plan for — and a little more budget.
We even keep a list of the best freebies out there so you know what to look for.
11. Make breakfast sandwiches ahead of time and keep them in the freezer.
Get the full recipe here.
Also try this with breakfast burritos!
12. Double your favorite meals and freeze one for later.
Soccer, gymnastics and piano lessons all on Wednesdays? Of course they are.
When the coupons are good, print your maximum number to double the size of your meals. Then keep life simple and pull out a made-ahead freezer meal for the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
13. Cook extra grains and freeze them when it hits the stock-up price.
Cooked grains freeze exceptionally well, and there are coupons for them often. If you have extra, just freeze them in individual portions.
Download our app to keep a lookout for deals on a new rice cooker.
14. Buy bananas for cheap at Trader Joe’s — no coupons needed.
Trader Joe’s sells their bananas for $0.19 each, which is about $0.11 cheaper than the average price at other grocery stores.
It’s the best price out there, so stock up and freeze them for smoothies.
15. Plan ahead for easy breakfasts with Ibotta.
Ibotta often has great cereal or oatmeal rebates. Use them to make your meal prep easier!
You can get great deals if you stack your coupons with Ibotta. We even have an entire page dedicated to Ibotta deals.