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Whether you've made a New Year resolution to be healthier, more organized in your daily life, or more focused on your budget, there's one thing that can address all three: meal prep! Planning and making your meals for the week ahead saves time, money―and let's be honest―stress in the long run. And if you're planning a week's worth of family meals, you absolutely need to invest in some good meal prep containers to set yourself up for success.
Much like food storage containers, they make sure all of those expensive groceries are well organized and easy to find when you go to grab them. The difference is that meal prep containers are often smaller to hold individual or smaller portions, which also means they are portable to bring to school, the office, or activities like picnics and camping. The most versatile sets should also be fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher friendly to make everything from storage to clean up a snap. After all, you put in all that work up front so you can have convenience later on!
Ahead, we've recapped the best options for every budget and household size. Most options are glass or plastic (including reusable zip top bags for healthy snacks), since they are most friendly to the wear and tear of large kitchen appliances. But there are also stainless steel if you need something extra sturdy and disposable options if you would rather not worry about making sure they always return home. (Hey, we know losing containers and lids is a fact of life!) Regardless which is best for you, know that your meal prep goals will absolutely be achieved now that you've selected a set.
What's not to love about this set? It's air tight and leakproof thanks to the secure side latches and splatter-proof in the microwave thanks to built in air vents. All the pieces are stackable for easy storage in the fridge, and we love the separate compartments to keep meal components separated.
If you want the most flexible set for food and meal prep storage, it's hard to beat this 42-piece set. It ranges from a giant seven-cup to several small half-cups, and everything in between. The lids also snap together for easy storage, so there's less chance that you'll lose them!
Sometimes the easiest and less bulky way to store is in plastic zip top bags, especially when it's for snacks. Well, you can avoid waste and save money in the long run by getting a set that's washable and reusable. Gallon, sandwich, and snack sizes are all included.
Leave it to The Pioneer Woman to offer something as cute as it is functional. The range of this plastic set starts at a five-cup capacity and goes down to small half-cups for versatility. Plus, that pretty floral print will be easy to spot in the office fridge!
A bento style lunch box is perfect if you like to make complete meals for one. Included are two separate containers and a full set of flatware, so you can truly take this anywhere. It also comes in eight fun colors!
Did you read that right? Yes, it's 92 pieces for $10! There are five different sizes included with stackable lids. They are made from polypropylene, a plastic that may not last super long but is certainly dishwasher and microwave friendly.
The great thing about glass is that it is super sturdy, even though it is a bit heavier to carry than plastic. If you worry about it chipping or don't like that clinking sound in your bag, grab a set with silicone sleeves like this. Plus the colors are easier to spot!
If you want to save room in your cabinets or in your bag once you're done eating, try a set of collapsible containers. These four different sizes condense to only 1/3 of their original size!
A communal fridge is at risk for someone taking your stuff. That is unless you label it! This set comes with an erasable pen to mark what's inside or who it belongs to. It also has convenient measurement markers on the side, so you can mix right in the containers.
If you meal prep consistently or don't want to worry about losing lids, these takeout-style containers are a great bulk buy. You get 20 plastic containers with lids that have three compartments to keep everything separate. They also have over 17,000 five-star reviews!
Stainless steel isn't friendly in the microwave, but it sure is sturdier than anything else you can buy. This set will nest for easy storage and can be popped in the dishwasher for easy care. Pick from six different colored plastic lids.
If you'd rather go plastic free, go for a set with bamboo lids and glass bodies. The bamboo should be hand washed, but the glass can certainly go in the dishwasher. You get four different sizes in this set ranging from seven cups down to one cup.
Fruit and veggie lovers, grab a set designed to seal in the freshness. The have vents to keep proper air flow and humidity, and the partitions double as strainers to rinse what's inside. Smart!
Do you lack storage? This plastic nesting set is the way to go. All the colorful leak-proof lids nest, too! The sizes range from 12.5 cups down to one, and everything is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Mason jars may be the most versatile vessel in the kitchen. Great for canning, rustic drinks, and more, they also make excellent meal prep containers. Salads and parfaits layer and stay put in transport. Grab wide mouth jars to make it easier to prep and eat!
Blue Metallic Tissue Paper If you like to have your protein powder, healthy snacks, and vitamins for your trip to the gym, this GoStak will be perfect for you. It's narrow like a water bottle, so it won't take up too much space and will fit into most cup holders.