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5 meal-prep tips to save you time and money

Make meal-prep magic in your own kitchen with advice from Catherine McCord.

Catherine McCord, food blogger behind "Weelicious" and author of "Meal Prep Magic: Time-Saving Tricks for Stress-Free Cooking," is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share her ultimate meal-prepping tips — including how to extend the life of your berries and tools to use to set yourself up for success while cooking — to save you time and money, along with recipes that will help you put your new skills to use immediately.

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1. How to keep berries fresher for longer

Line the bottom of an airtight container with a folded paper towel (preferably unbleached). Place unwashed berries in the container, cover with a piece of folded paper towel and then seal the lid, leaving a small opening so that excess moisture can be released, and refrigerate.

2. Lay out all your ingredients in advance.

Put everything you need for a recipe onto a sheet pan before you start cooking. If you find yourself lost and flustered, it allows you to focus and speed up the process so you won’t be searching for something.

Something almost spiritual happens when miso paste, olive oil, garlic and lemon come together. Really. The glaze for this tofu is so insanely yummy, I advise you to make a double batch because you’ll want to slather it on everything!

3. Use vegetable scraps to make stock.

When peeling and chopping vegetables, save the scraps in a designated zip-top bag in the freezer, and add to it over time. When the bag is full, place the scraps in a large pot of water, bring to a boil, add a bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered, for about one hour to create homemade vegetable stock for use in soups and stews.

Veggie Scrap Broth

4. If you don't have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle.

If you don’t own a rolling pin, use an empty wine bottle instead when you’re baking.

5. Use an ice cream scoop for more than just ice cream.

Your ice cream scoop is not just for ice cream. Use it to measure out meatballs, muffins, cookies and more.

My chocolate granola obsession has become a real problem. I don’t remember when or why it began, but what started as a handful (or two, sometimes three) every day has, recently, been known to turn into almost an entire bag — or batch or my homemade version. I prefer big clumps or granola, which means I usually end up with a cup or so of the smaller pieces, and this recipe is where I use them. Not only do these cookies make use of these finer pieces of granola and pack a ton of crunch, but I double down on the chocolate (I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much chocolate). The fact that a cookie can legitimately qualify as a healthy breakfast (and a quick grab-and-go one at that) always comes as welcome news to everyone in my house, especially the younger members.