Here are 10 of the best meal prep containers to get started on your meal prepping journey. Meal prepping is one of my favorite ways to save money on groceries and save time during the week.
If you’re a meal prepping beginner, it can be hard to know what you need to get started. Luckily, you just need a few good meal prep recipes, a quick Meal Prep 101 reference and enough containers to get you through the week.
🥪 Types of Containers
These will come in a variety of choices depending on what you plan to use them for. We chose these options based on:
Durability | We want something that is going to stand up to being shuffled in the refrigerator, on the train to work, in the refrigerator, through a microwave and then home again. These containers can do all of that. The lighter ones are more disposable and can withstand the trips a few times but are not a long term solution like the divided glass ones.
Reheating | Check to make sure that the container can be put in the microwave. You are looking for ones that you can take from the refrigerator and put straight into the microwave to zap it for a few minutes.
🍇 How to Get Started
If you’ve never meal prepped before, I recommend getting started with just one meal type – just breakfast, just lunch or just dinner. This will allow you to get the hang of it and can get away with purchasing fewer containers upfront before you know if you even like meal prepping and will stick with it.
I’ve included my own personal favorite containers below that I use in my own kitchen as well as the highest rated and reviewed best containers on Amazon.
- Create a list of recipes to make. You can start from scratch, start from your family favorite recipe binder, choose from the 15 Recipes in the Grab and Go E-Book that are all made to be travel friendly or a week’s full of Vegetarian Meal Plan all ready for you.
- Grab all the groceries you need (use my printable grocery list).
- Make sure to have your meal prep containers ready and laid out.
- Work on meal prepping each recipe.
- Place items stacked in the fridge until ready to serve up!
🍲 Common Questions
Meal prepping is when you prep your meals ahead of time, and store in the refrigerator in containers. That way you can grab and go as you head out the door, need a quick lunch, etc. It can also be cutting and organizing meals so you can pull out of the refrigerator and start cooking.
One of the biggest benefits is you save time on days when you might be crunched for time. You also can save money if you buy larger bulk items for meal prepping. It also keeps you on track of eating “healthier” compared to running through a fast food, etc.
1-2 hours per week or a couple times a week tends to be adequate. It all depends on the meals you are prepping, how much, etc. But on average for a week or most of week you can expect around one hour is efficient.
It depends on what it is. Lettuce based ones last 3-4 days, meats last 3-4 days. Veggie based ones last up to 5 days.
Glass Meal Prep Containers. These are my FAVORITE meal prep containers! They’re nice and sturdy, glass, and have a snap locking lid so your food is secure and won’t ever spill out accidentally.
2 Compartment Glass Containers. These are similar to the glass meal prep containers above, except these are 2 compartment containers. If your meal prep includes ingredients that should be separated (like a stew and rice, salad and dressing, or like this parfait), two or more compartments are best to keep your food fresh.
Fit Packer Containers. These single compartment meal prep containers are such a great value. You get 16 containers for a very reasonable price. I’ve used these containers in a few of my previous meal prep posts…here they are in action.
Deli Food Storage Containers. I love using these containers for soups or smaller meals like these potato breakfast bowls. They’re very inexpensive and you get a ton of them so if you lose a few it’s never a big deal. This is a great one to start as you won’t spend as much money right at the beginning.
3 Compartment Containers. These 3 compartment containers are great if your meal prep includes several different parts to the meal (main, side and maybe some fruit or nuts). The three compartment containers are also great for making lunchable style meals.
2 oz. Cups with Lid. We use these little cups a lot for dips to go with veggies my husband takes to work. They’re marketed as Jell-O shot containers, but if you’re looking for something a little more office friendly, they’re great for holding and separating salad dressing and sauces to keep your meal preps nice and dry so nothing gets soggy.
Jaxx Meal Prep Bag with Containers. If you need to pack a large amount of food because you have a long workday, aren’t going home straight after work, or will be out of town, this meal prep bag is perfect. It has six containers, an ice pack, a shaker bottle, and a pill organizer.
A2S Meal Prep Bag with Containers. If you need a meal prep bag for lunch, but don’t quite need as many containers as the Jaxx bag provides, this meal prep bag has three containers, utensils, an ice pack and a thermos – which is more than enough for most peoples’ typical work days.
13 Pack Containers. This big pack of food storage containers has several different sized containers so you always have the right size you need for things like snacks, lunches or to package leftovers after dinner.
16 oz. Mason Jars. Of course no meal prep container list would be complete without mason jars. Mason jars are great for make ahead salads, oatmeal and multi-layered meals. You can see that we use these not only for meal prep but also for gift giving.