After several DM’s and emails asking me a few tips on how I meal prep for my family with a busy week I finally a putting this together for you! The biggest thing I can offer you as far as advice is know that you CAN do this!
I get it, meal prep can be so overwhelming, daunting and just plain not what you want to do on a Sunday afternoon. Here’s a secret though. You don’t need to meal prep everything for the week. No really! Starting off simple will help you to get everything done in a timely fashion.
Why Meal Prepping?
Saves Us Money –
One of the biggest reasons why I meal prep is to save us money. I’m all about trying to save a few dollars when we can and knowing the ingredients I need ahead of time is key. Also- if you are able to do an in store pick up rather then roam the aisles, this helps you grab things you don’t necessarily need or spend money on it.
Eat Healthier –
Another reason why meal prepping is essential is to help you eat healthier. I mean, can you argue with having things already prepped and connivance ready to go?!
Saving Time –
Of course, meal prepping allows you to save the precious time that we all crave during a busy work week. My eliminating any prep work you can do ahead of time, it then gives you time to enjoy it as you want; with your family, watching a show or taking a long bubble bath.
How To Meal Prep:
This is usually the biggest question I get asked when it comes to meal prepping food. So really, the first thing you need to do is get started. Think of a meal you want to make that really gives you anxiety. Focus on that meal and how this can assist you.
For me, breakfast is always something I try to prep first for the week because my kids complain of being ‘starving’ the second they get it. I also enjoy the morning to get a jump start on some work so if breakfast is ready to go, they can help themselves and I can continue to get work done.
Keep It Simple-
Think of one meal that really bothers you and focus on what can help prevent you from feeling this way. This will help solve your frustration with meal prepping.
Schedule it –
This is where my handy little planner comes into play. I block about an hour or two to meal prep which helps me focus on the task at hand.
Think About Your Recipe –
This might not be the best time to think about trying a new recipe when your first learning to meal prep but focus on ones you love, your family loves and enjoys.
Not only is it essential to think about your ingredients but how your going to store or use them if you need too. We went from plastic to glass and it’s made all the difference.
Make A Meal Plan:
Write It Out
I always make a meal plan for the week on what I’m going to cook on what day. Once that’s written out on my whiteboard, I plan breakfasts and then a few snacks in between. We usually eat a few of the same breakfasts per week so that’s easy to do ( these breakfast sandwiches are a big hit for Zach to bring to work )
I find it easier to do an in store pick up so I’m not tempted to go to the grocery store and add other unnecessary ingredients to my list. Plus, if you have small kids like myself, it’s so much easier to just keep them in the car! If you find grocery shopping calming, by all minds grab your list and hit the store!
Begin Meal Preping
Don’t stress about this part! You don’t need to plan prep the entire meal. Start with small steps like cooking some rice, cutting your vegetables for snacks or for your food or putting chicken in your Instant Pot is a great start.
Buffet Style –
This is one of my favorite ways to meal prep because I like using batches of my ingredients throughout the week instead of just for a dish. I’ll use shred up chicken for tacos and then to put on top of salads for lunch. I also cut and slice my veggies for my daughters lunch to take with to school or to snack on throughout the week. Sometimes I’ll cook quinoa and store it to add to various dishes as well. Having this step already done really saves me time.
Portion Meals Out –
This is a huge help when looking through the fridge. Some things I portion out for the week are my favorite breakfast or quick snacks such as overnight oats for the kids or quick lunches my husband grabs for work.
Freezer Meals –
This can be done by assembling all your ingredients for the week and putting them in a freezer bag until you need them. By assembling these ‘dump bags’ as I call them, all your ingredients are ready to go and you just dump them into a crock pot to cook.
I wanted to end the post on a few meals that are easy to meal prep for a busy week and one’s I tend to do a few times to help us out! Be sure to check out my Pinterest page as well or share some you’ve been excited to try!