Summer is ending and kids are back in school. The busy season has started. Two things that will help you continue to eat healthier is planning and prepping. Having meals planned out for the week is a huge help!

Here are some other tips to make mealtime easy while keeping it healthy!

Chop veggies ahead of time

Pre-chopping vegetables not only saves time, but cuts down on the pressure of cooking, because prep work can be a lot. Find a couple of recipes you want to make for the week, buy the veggies you need and chop them up on the weekend. This works better with firmer vegetables like peppers, onions, broccoli, celery, carrots and cauliflower. I store them in  glass containers and most of them stay good for up to 5 days.

Cook beans and grains in large batches

If you’re making beans or grains make them in larger batches to use for two or three meals. One night could be chili and the next, taco night. Beans will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also freeze them for longer. It’s recommended to freeze them in small batches between 1-3 cups. Grains, like quinoa, usually last in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can also be stored in the freezer in small batches.

Stock up on frozen fruits and veggies

Having frozen produce is great for when you don’t have pre-chopped veggies and you’re in a time crunch! There’s no washing, chopping or peeling required. These work great for stir-fries and soups. Frozen fruit goes great in smoothies and oatmeal.

Make dressing or sauces ahead of time

Making a dressing or sauce beforehand, like the night before or even morning of, will save you time later on. It can be used on a salad, veggie bowl or pasta dish. Depending on what ingredients are in the recipe you make will depend on how long it’ll last. Most can last anywhere between 3-5 days to a week or two.

Even if you don't cook every night, cooking more nights at home than eating out is not only better for your health, but will also save you money!