How to Meal Prep in 30 Minutes or Less

Want to learn how to meal prep in 30 minutes or less?

This post is for you!

Through teaching women online, I’ve found that meal planning and meal prepping is intimidating for a lot of people; the words alone bring up feelings of overwhelm, inadequacy, and dread.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.


Meal prep doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t have to take up your entire day. A common misconception is that meal prep = preparing ALL of your meals for the week ahead and then some. While this would be great, it’s unrealistic for anyone who also wants to relax and enjoy the weekend.


I meal prep every week and can usually do it in 30 minutes or less.

I do this by truly “prepping” foods for meals, not necessarily cooking them. When I get home from the grocery store I wash, chop, prep, and store them in the refrigerator so that during the week I can either grab-and-go OR grab-and-cook.

You don’t have to prepare every single meal on Sunday afternoon to set yourself up for a healthy week. But there are a few specific things you can do that will save time, energy and stress when life gets busy.


// Wash, peel, and chop all produce. These can be used for meals and snacks throughout the week. Prepping them in advance will save time when you’re ready to eat or cook. Keep in mind that some produce will last better than others when peeled/chopped in advance.

// Take a look at your meal plan for the week and select 1-2 components that you can prepare ahead of time. Examples: quinoa, rice, roasted veggies, grilled meat, etc.

// Store all of your prepared foods in clear glass containers so that they’re easy to find when you’re in a rush. I finally tossed all of our old mis-matched plastic containers and invested in a new glass set and this small investment has TOTALLY renewed my motivation to meal prep again! Click here to see my favorite brand.


Here’s an example of what I prepped this past Sunday:

  • Washed and sliced fruit: watermelon and grapes.
  • Washed veggies: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers.
  • Additional meal components: quinoa, lentils, hard-boiled eggs, roasted butternut squash.

As soon as I got home from the store, I got the quinoa, eggs, and squash going. While they cooked I washed, chopped, and prepped the produce. 30 minutes later I was done and still had time to relax on the couch before nap time ended. 🙂

Meal prep is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you stay on track with your health and fitness goals. I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t have to slave away in the kitchen all day and you don’t have to fill your freezer with meals for the month.

Keep it simple. Keep it practical.

When you go to bed on Sunday night with a fridge full of healthy food for you and your family, you will feel satisfied, in control, and ready to take on the week!



PS – For encouragement and support as you strive to live a healthier life, check out The Balanced Life Sisterhood!




Ready to finally stay consistent with exercise – even when you’re short on time & energy? Join me for the FREE Creating Healthy Routines Workshop & walk away with an exercise routine you can put into action immediately!

  1. Summer Hagge 4 years ago

    You meal-prep like a PRO! Every time I meal prep- I end up totally over-prepping and either throwing out food, having it go bad, or just getting SICK of everything I prepared ahead. Any ideas for how MUCH to prep?

    • Author
      Robin Long 4 years ago

      Ooh this is a great question! I usually prep one breakfast (which makes 3-4 servings), one lunch (2-3 servings) and then cook dinner every night for our family. Once I’ve finished the food I’ve prepped I fill in with leftovers, smoothies and whatever else is still in the fridge. My advice would be cook less than you think you need and then have some healthy staples in the house so you can throw together a quick healthy meal if you fun out of options. 🙂

  2. Sarah 4 years ago

    I always thought that for a lot of produce, you shouldn’t wash it until you are ready to use it? Are there “rules” for which ones you can wash/prep ahead and which ones should wait until just before use? Thanks!

    • Author
      Robin Long 4 years ago

      This is a great question! And one that I’m not totally sure on. I do remember reading that strawberries and blackberries stay freshest when washed, dried and stored in an air-tight container, but blueberries shouldn’t be washed until just before eating (they’ll stay fresher). I was and store grapes as well and they stay fresh for up to a week. I think one key component is having high-quality food storage containers. 🙂

  3. Summer Hagge 4 years ago

    Yeah…I wonder that about the fruit prepping as well. What do you think @robin?

  4. MONICA 4 years ago

    It was suggested to me to wash fruits or veggies with vinegar/water mix to kill bacteria that makes the fruits or veggies go bad quickly. So far it’s helped to make them last a little longer after cut and washed.

  5. Stephanie 4 years ago

    Hi Robin! It looks like in one of the pics you have the cut up butternut squash you can get at TJs! We recently bought those too. I have a 13-month-old and have given them to him both raw and steamed. He’s been a little unimpressed with both options. How do you feed it to your little ones? Thanks for the tips!

    • Author
      Robin Long 4 years ago

      Hi Stephanie!
      I’ve roasted them and sprinkled them with cinnamon. Another time I roasted them and sprinkled them with a bit of cumin, paprika and a tiny bit of chili powder. 🙂

  6. LeAnn Drumm 3 years ago

    Robin, what cup sizes of GlassLock do you use for your meal prep?

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