7 simple tips to help you avoid take-out temptation

(NC) After a long day, the thought of putting in overtime in the kitchen can be quite unappealing.

“Ordering takeout can be a time-saver, but it's expensive and typically less healthy than homemade meals,” explains Tori Wesszer, registered dietitian. “Prepping meals ahead of time means I can save dining out for indulging at restaurants I love, without the guilt.”

Wesszer recommends the following tips for fool-proof meal planning:

Freeze Florida Orange Juice in ice cube trays. Add cubes to a smoothie for added vitamin C and a natural sweetener with no added sugar.

Layer those salads. Make salads a few days at a time in mason jars. Layer your ingredients with dressing on the bottom to eat better and save money.

Make leftovers. Cook some extra at dinner to pack for lunch the next day.

Batch cook. Make foods like grains in large amounts ahead of time so you can have lots on hand for later.

Pre-cut your veggies. Wash and dice veggies that you use often ahead of time and you'll have no excuse to skip your greens.

Freeze the rest. If you make a lasagna or chili, make double and freeze half to pull out on nights when you know time is limited.

Stock up on healthy kitchen staples. Keep items like canned beans and frozen veggies to pull a meal together in a pinch — a well-stocked pantry is essential to eating well.

Organize with apps. Use apps like Wunderlist to plan your groceries. You can even share it with someone to help keep you organized and avoid buying doubles.

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