I've Been Meal Prepping for 5+ Years, and These 10 Kitchen Gadgets Save Me So Much Time and Energy

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Editor Favorite Meal Prep Tout
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It's no secret that there are many benefits of meal prepping: It's a convenient way to save time, spend less money, and eat healthier throughout the week. But when I started meal prepping more than five years ago, it was taking way too long to get all my food planned and ready ahead of time, and it became exhausting. Since then, I've discovered plenty of kitchen gadgets that help me meal prep more efficiently.

Some of my go-to items are storage solutions, including my favorite glass meal prep containers and Stasher's reusable silicone bags, as well as time-saving appliances and cookware like the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker and this microwavable cookware from Anyday. And I highly recommend freezing extra portions of comfort food in Souper Cubes to save for those rainy days when you don't feel like cooking—the silicone molds are absolutely worth the hype.

Since I write about products for a living, brands often send me samples to test. But all of the kitchen gadgets below are things I actually bought myself, so these are my tried-and-true recommendations.

Whether you're a long-time meal prepper or just testing the waters with make-ahead recipes, these 10 meal prep tools will save you so much time and energy.

Dash Deluxe Rapid Egg Cooker

Dash Deluxe Rapid Egg Cooker
amazon.com

Hard-boiled eggs are one of my go-to breakfasts, but making them on the stove involves a lot of guesswork. This compact appliance from Dash cooks up to 12 eggs at once and is incredibly easy to use—no need to wait for a pot of water to boil. Just poke a small hole on the bottom of each egg with the included tool, then pour the proper amount of water into the tray (it depends on the number of eggs and how well-done you want them). Once the music goes off indicating they're ready, simply remove and place them in a bowl of ice water for perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs every time.

Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag Bundle

Stasher Platinum Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag
amazon.com

I use these reusable silicone bags for practically everything, whether that's storing leftover produce in the fridge (like cucumber slices and avocado halves) or taking snacks on the go. I love that they come in plenty of fun colors and sizes, ranging from 4 ounces to a half-gallon. Plus, they can go in the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer. The Stasher storage bags might seem pricey at first, but they've probably saved me money since I don't need to regularly buy plastic sandwich bags.

Oxo Good Grips Vegetable and Onion Chopper

OXO Good Grips Vegetable and Onion Chopper
amazon.com

I've always hated chopping onions and peppers into tiny pieces, so I used to buy pre-cut veggies at the grocery store. That habit got expensive pretty quickly, so finding this Oxo veggie chopper on Amazon was a game-changer. Now, all I need to do is cut the produce in half (or in quarters, depending on the size) so it fits on the metal grid and then push down. The container on the bottom holds 2.5 cups, which has always been big enough for my recipes. It's pretty easy to clean by hand, but it's also dishwasher-safe. Bonus: Chopping onions with this tool doesn't make me cry.

Souper Cubes 2-Cup Extra-Large Silicone Freezer Trays

Souper Cubes 2-Cup Extra-Large Silicone Freezer Tray
amazon.com

At first, I was hesitant to shell out $37 for what seemed like massive ice cube trays—but after biting the bullet and buying the Souper Cubes, I can confirm that they're worth it. The silicone trays are basically molds that turn extra portions of food into meals I can freeze and save for a later date. Once the food is frozen, I pop out the cubes and put them in a freezer-safe bag so I can reuse the trays. The only downside I've found is that they stain easily from red sauces, but since they stay out of sight in my freezer or cabinet, it doesn't really bother me.

Anyday The Starter Set

The Starter Set
cookanyday.com

I cook in my microwave more often than I'd like to admit, especially when it comes to vegetables. So when another Real Simple editor wrote about Anyday's microwavable cookware last summer, I immediately purchased two to try out. I went for the large version of the starter set, which comes with a deep dish, shallow dish, and vented lids for each. The glass cookware is perfect for steaming veggies (both fresh and frozen) and making various types of grains, soups, and proteins. The lids are my favorite part: Just pull the knob up to vent steam while cooking or push it down to create an airtight seal while storing food. The brand even has a handy guide on its site that I reference for cooking times.

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
amazon.com

You're probably familiar with Instant Pot by now, but if you haven't snagged one yet, this is your sign. The popular multicooker (it's an Amazon best-seller with more than 118,000 five-star ratings) is one of my favorite kitchen appliances because it's a hands-off way to make so many staples. I use it most frequently for grains like rice and quinoa, but it's also great for making thick soups and other Instant Pot-specific meals. The appliance works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and more, so the number of ways to use it is practically endless.

Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Organization & Food Storage Containers

Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Organization & Food Storage Containers
amazon.com

I used to keep all my dry goods in Mason jars, but the limited sizing options and lack of availability to buy online made me rethink my pantry storage methods. I invested in a set of these Rubbermaid Brilliance containers last year, and I'm never going back. They're durable, airtight, and leakproof, and they come in enough sizes and shapes for everything in my pantry.

I use them to store cereal, pasta, grains, nuts, oats, and protein powder—and I even keep individually packaged snacks (like granola bars) in a large version to keep my cabinets tidy. Even though they're plastic, they feel high-end and give my pantry a cohesive look. I love that I can easily see how much I have left of each ingredient, so I waste no time opening various containers trying to figure out what needs to be restocked.

Etekcity Food Scale

Etekcity Food Kitchen Scale
amazon.com

Evenly dividing my food between containers has always been a challenge. Whether I tried to eyeball it or use measuring cups, one bowl always ended up with significantly more or less food. But that's what makes food scales so helpful; I can set the tare weight of the empty dishes and make sure they all weigh around the same amount once filled with food. I recently traded in my hand-me-down food scale for this sleek option from Etekcity that even comes with batteries. At just $14, it's an affordable way to make sure I'm scooping the same amount of food into each container.

Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers

Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers
amazon.com

I've been using these durable glass containers from Pyrex for as long as I can remember. It's so easy to quickly grab a meal from the fridge and pop it in the microwave at home (or throw it in my bag when I'm going to work). Even though I've purchased additional pieces over the years, my collection started with a variety pack like this 18-piece starter set. The 2-cup containers are the perfect size for overnight oats and side dishes, while the 4-cup version—which I reach for most often—is ideal for complete meals with lots of veggies. The set also comes with a large 7-cup option as well as rectangular-shaped containers, which are just as versatile.

Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker and Blender

Ninja SS101 Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker & Nutrient Extractor
amazon.com

When I tested personal blenders last year for work, Ninja's models clearly outperformed the rest. Even though this exact model wasn't part of our official tests, it's the one I actually use myself. The Ninja Smoothie Bowl Maker—which can also be used to make nut butters and dips—is a major upgrade from the $40 blender I used to rely on.

I could go on and on about my favorite features, but I'll just name a few: It has a powerful 1,200-watt motor, so I never have to worry about it struggling to blend my post-workout smoothies. The 24-ounce cups are portable yet big enough to fit lots of frozen fruit and leafy greens, while the smaller 14-ounce cup has a built-in tamper to prevent thick mixtures from getting stuck to the sides. Plus, the programmed settings mean I can simply press a button and walk away while it blends—the suction on the bottom of the base prevents it from moving around my counter.

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