We have tried meal-prepping many times in our house and every time I end up losing half of my storage dishes and tupperware! My husband is horrible at remembering to bring them home and often left them in his car. Once they finally did make it inside they were so stinky and gross they had to go through the dishwasher a couple of times, and we were just stuck with nothing until they were finally clean. The cycle just kept repeating itself until I realized it would be SO much easier if we just bought some disposable divided containers. I often would buy the pre-made snacks they offer at most grocery delis in divided plastic containers just to have something quick and somewhat healthy to grab out of the fridge. They aren't cheap for how simple they are and you can easily make your own for less than half the price!
I did some searching online and found just what I was looking for at the Web Restaurant Store. I ordered these 4-section divided containers (tops come separately) for lunches, and these 3-section containers for smaller snacks. Both come in a variety of sizes and quantities but I thought the 50-pack was the most reasonable price-wise and would last me quite a while (also I don't have a ton of storage space to hold more than that!). I was thrilled at what great quality they were when they arrived and they have officially made my meal prep so easy!
The next step was packing the lunches and snacks. I took a completely different route than before when we meal prepped and ALWAYS made a total mess of my kitchen every Sunday afternoon AND would have endless amounts of dishes to clean after. These lunches and snacks require practically ZERO prep! You just take things out of the package and divide them up, maybe slice up a few things. Of course you can customize them to any special diet needs (paleo, low-carb, etc.) and there are just endless possibilities once you get started! I like to have some variety so I tried to make each one a little different and so far I have stuck to my healthy lunches and snacks everyday for the past week! I've included a couple of my finished box ideas to get you started below AND a printable shopping list of what you need for a week's (or more!) worth of snacks and lunches!
Snack Idea: Pretzels (about 100 calories for 12), Cheese (cut up a cheese stick or sliced cheese- I like Colby and Smoked Gouda), + Fruit (my favorites that pack well are grapes, blueberries, or raspberries)
Total calories: 243
Snack Idea: baby carrots + dip (I grabbed pre-made "Feta Dip" in the deli at Lucky's Market- you could also do ranch!), cheese of your choice
Total Calories: 220
Lunch Idea: pretzels with Laughing Cow cheese, grapes (or other fruit), 2 Pickles (only 5 calories each!!), lunch meat (salami, prosciutto, turkey, roast beef, etc.)
Total Calories: 360!
Lunch Idea: Deli roll-ups (pre-made in most delis at the grocery and easy to divide up for lunches), 2 pickles, a tangerine or other fruit, pistachios, cheese (I just cut up a cheese stick).
Total calories: 415!
Other lunch/snack ideas: chicken, half a sandwich, almonds, salad toppings (and bring a big bowl of lettuce separately), peppers, celery, popcorn, crackers, strawberries, banana, Lara bars, trail mix, granola, yogurt, hard boiled eggs (trader joe's sells them already made).
Drinks to have on hand (all 0 calories + zero sugar): bottled water, sparkling water, La Croix flavored sparkling water, Steaz unsweetened iced green teas
You can make a week's worth of lunches and snacks in under an hour on Sunday night and be prepared to eat healthy all week! I am definitely not an expert when it comes to nutrition, but this is just something that has worked for me that I wanted to share. Hopefully it can help guide you and give you a very easy and simplified way to get started on meal prep. What are your favorite things to prep for lunch? If you have more healthy lunch ideas, please let me know in the comments below!