Creating leftovers, on purpose, can be quite useful. I heard the phrase, “Sunday Set-up” in an interview in a magazine about the Kardashians. They have a personal chef, of course, but even that person sets up food in advance in order to allow for a busy week to still be a healthy week.

Here are some ways you can prep for your week ahead.

Salads! They can take a long time to prepare due to all the washing and chopping involved.

Wash and Chop the following items and place in sealed containers in fridge.

Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, mushrooms, olives, cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, corn, beans, (tomatoes and avocado are best freshly cut), carrot shreds, celery, zucchini, the list could go on. It will even save time to drain and rinse canned black beans, or garbanzo beans, so they are ready to go. Or if you like rice, noodles, or quinoa salads, those can be made on Sunday.

What do you like on a salad that you can prepare in advance? Perhaps you make your own toasted nuts or grains or dressings. Make double and triple batches and save the extra in small containers for easy use.

Main course!

In an effort to save money this season, try buying food in bulk, separately into smaller portions, and freezing, canning, or packaging for later use. Example, buy a huge pack of chicken breasts, separate into one meal’s serving size, add a marinade or sauce and freeze all together in a Ziploc bag. When you thaw it out, it’s ready for the grill or soup you have in mind. Another example is cheese. If you have the patience, buy a solid block of cheddar cheese and shred it at home. Then process into sandwich sized baggies and freeze for later. I have also done this with the huge Costco bags of shredded cheese and separated into 8 smaller bags and frozen several.

You can also do things like make a large batch of rice, noodles, or beans, and separate for several meals, even make the meals and freeze some in lunch box sized GlassLock containers. They will easily microwave or heat up in the oven for a lunch one day.

You can do this “Sunday Set-Up” on any day of the week, or throughout the week, as it works best for you. But if you are getting all the equipment out to do something tedious, why not make extras and save time later?

What ideas do you have for making busy nights go faster or packing healthy lunches easier?