This One Tiny Thing Will Speed Up Your Food Prep

Protein can be pricey but with this quick trick, you'll save time and money fast.

Meat aisle in a grocery storeShutterstock / hacohob

It seems that saving a lot of money at the grocery store usually means you have to shop in bulk. When you know the grocery store’s sale days, you can stock up on staples like ground beef to freeze and cook later. But it’s inconvenient to freeze an entire package of meat, especially when you’re cooking for one or two. You’ll end up defrosting the whole thing but only using half the package!

There’s got to be a better way…

Our Simple Solution

You’re likely buying enough fresh meat to feed a crowd—I know I am—even when you only plan to cook an easy weeknight dinner for two. Instead of tossing the whole thing in the freezer, portion out the meat before you freeze it. (It’s that simple.) Just cut the beef into 1/4-lb. sections, so you can use what you need instead of defrosting an entire package.

Doing this will make it so much easier to cook dinner!

Ground beef generally comes in a 1-lb. package, which is about four servings. When you’re meal-prepping for one, you don’t need the whole pound all at once. Just divide the beef into quarters, and double-wrap it to prevent freezer burn. I like to wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Make sure to press the plastic wrap up against the meat to create an airtight seal. (Psst: Now that you’re craving ground beef, here’s some terrific meal inspiration.)

Use the same technique when you’ve stocked up on chicken breasts or tenders, and even an expensive steak. Just slice the steak in two or put the individual chicken pieces in separate freezer bags. You can easily defrost one or more servings when you’re ready.

Last, don’t forget to label everything with the date. Here’s how long ground beef, uncooked chicken and other meats can be kept in the freezer.

Now congratulate yourself. Your new trick just saved a ton of time and cash.

Absolutely Delicious Dinners for Two
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Julia Mullaney
Julia Mullaney is a writer, blogger and self-proclaimed macaroni and cheese connoisseur based in New Jersey. She is currently a health & fitness writer for Cheat Sheet and previously worked as the editorial manager of Edible Jersey Magazine. Her work has been published in Rachael Ray Every Day, Art Quench, RMagazine and Edible Jersey. She is the author of Man, you can Cook!, a cookbook full of simple recipes for men who consider the kitchen to be uncharted land. In her spare time, she also runs a food blog full of original, easy recipes. Chow down at or on Instagram at @simplydeliciousblogger.