Meal planning and prepping can help you improve your diet quality while saving you time and money along the way. Have you ever wanted to start, but just don’t know where to begin or can’t find the time? It’s easy and doable with the right playbook to get you going.

That’s why we enlisted chef and author Elizabeth Karmel for help — not only does she know her way around the kitchen, but she also offers up a few tips on meal prepping the right way. According to her, there are three things to keep in mind while you’re prepping. The first, “Serve light appetizers so your guests don’t get full before the main dish you prepared,” she says. 

For her other essential tips Karmel says, “When you’re thinking about your menu, make sure to present three solid dishes – a starter, a main dish that includes one vegetable and a “star” of the plate, and then a dessert. Don’t feel like you need to cook five side dishes – unless it’s Thanksgiving!”

Meal prep can be simpler and faster than you think. And because any good chef is only as good as his tools, these are some must-have tools to navigate the kitchen and rock your meal prep recipes like a boss.