Life can get very busy at times and that’s why most of us opt for the easier option and get take away – but we’ve found a much better and healthier way to do things.

With a little planning you can have your fridge stocked full of fresh and healthy meals in a jar, perfect for those days when you literally have to rush out the door.

Here is a collection of summer inspired meal-in-a-jar ideas that you can try yourself!

An oatty breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet most of us are so busy rushing around to get out the door in the morning we often miss out on it!

Oats-in-a-jar are great for an on-the-go breakfast and the best thing is they can be prepared up to a week in advance.

All you’ll need to start with is a few small mason jars with lids, some oats, almond milk, natural Greek yoghurt and whatever toppings you desire.

Place half a cup of rolled oats (you could also use muesli or granola) into the jar, then add half a cup of almond milk (or any milk you prefer) and a few tablespoons of natural Greek yoghurt. For the toppings try blueberries and strawberries or banana and honey with a hint of cinnamon. You could even add nuts if you like. Screw the lid on tightly and there you have it! Oats-in-a-jar can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

The possibilities are endless!

Sexy salads

Potato salad, chicken salad, coleslaw, tuna salad – yep, whatever type of salad you’re in to, you better believe it can be prepared in advance and stored in a jar!

Storing salads in a jar can keep them fresh for up to five days and when you prepare them in advance it takes the stress out of making lunches and dinners during the week. Here are a few salad in a jar ideas for you.

First you’ll need to boil some potatoes and hard boil some eggs (amount depends on how many jars you are making), then allow them to cool. Once cool, cut them up into bite size pieces.

Add a handful of cherry tomatoes, fresh corn kernels (don’t use canned), chopped green beans, as well as a handful of the potatoes and boiled eggs to a large mason jar. You could also add some cooked chicken, canned tuna or ham to this one. Screw the lid on tightly and it can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Greek salad

Greek salad in a jar is so simple to make and it tastes great! Add a handful of cherry tomatoes, cut cucumber, sliced red onion, kalamata olives and greek fetta to a large mason jar. You could also add some yellow capsicum for a bit more colour. Screw the lid on tightly and it’s done!

It can also be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Asian salad

Add diced capsicum, sliced snow peas, finely sliced ginger and carrot to a large mason jar and top with crispy fried noodles. You can add cooked chicken and a hint of chilli to this one if you’d like to spice things up a bit. Screw the lid on tightly and it be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

If you feel the need to jazz your salads up, you can add a vinaigrette or dressing to them. However, it’s probably best to do that upon eating, as the dressing will make the salad go soggy in the fridge.

Thirst quenchers

You can’t have a delicious meal-in-a-jar without a refreshing drink-in-a-jar to go with it!

Banana and berry smoothie

This smoothie is the perfect accompaniment to an oats-in-a-jar breakfast!

Place one large banana and a handful of berries into a blender. You can use whatever berries you prefer but strawberries and blueberries work great for this recipe! Before you start to blend, add half a cup of almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer) and a small amount of natural Greek yoghurt in with the fruit. Blend everything together and pour the mixture into your mason jars. Screw the lids on tightly and use within two days, otherwise the banana starts to go brown within the mixture.

Honey and lemon iced tea

For this one, you have to make sure your jar is heat proof! Pour one cup of hot water into a medium sized mason jar. To the water add a tea bag or two (depending on how strong you want it), you can use green tea if you prefer. Add a little lemon zest to the tea and let it steep for five minutes. Then, take the tea bag out and let the tea cool.

Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of honey to a heat proof container and pour a small amount of hot water over it, effectively melting the honey. Let it cool. Once it’s cool, add a lemon slice or two to the tea, then add the honey in and stir. Delicious! This will be good in the fridge for up to a week.

What are your favourite summer meals? Let us know in the comments below!