Meal Prepping Made Easy
The summer is a beautiful time packed full of fun and adventure. It’s during these busy times, I am so happy that I plan and meal prep every week. Meal planning and prepping doesn’t have to take a lot of time if you have an organized system that you utilize every week. I spend about 1 hour creating my menu and grocery list, then shop and come home to prep. My total time spent, from planning to prepping is usually about 4 hours. Now these 4 hours I spend, usually on Sunday or Monday, saves me so much time, energy and frustration throughout the week. No more wondering what’s for dinner only to come up with something and then not have the ingredients I need, which turns into a trip (or several trips throughout the week), then the time to make it and finish all my evening responsibilities.
Now, I only go to the store once a week, which saves me time and money. What’s for dinner is often the hardest part and now there is a plan of which most of it is prepped and ready to put together so creating dinner takes so much less time. My favorite part … my family knows what’s for dinner! I no longer get that nagging question, that I never had an answer for, “what’s for dinner?”. Also, if I am running late or just need help getting dinner started my family knows the plan and with most of it prepped, they can step in and get started for me. So, do you think those few hours a week are worth it? I sure do!
Here’s my meal prepping process:
1. Create the menu
Look through your favorite cookbooks for recipes. High Vibe Eating, a Cookbook for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit is my cookbook that has over 80 delicious recipes, you can use coupon code: HVE30 to receive it for 30% off.
Find recipes online, Pinterest is always a great site to find all kinds of inspiration.
I look around my kitchen to see what needs to be used up before it goes bad and will be sure to incorporate that into my menu.
Check out stores sale ads. You many want to create your menu based on the weekly sales or sometimes just by looking at them I become inspired with dinner ideas.
I have a large magnetized weekly menu that is on the side of the fridge that I purchased from Amazon. I created one that everyone can download for free. It’s great to print it and laminate it, using wipe off markers lets you use it over and over again. Subscribe to my mailing list and you will receive yours via email. This is wonderful, I and my family knows the plan every day. It also has a space so when I use up the last of something, I can write it on the list, so I don’t forget to grab it the next time I go to the store.
2. Create your grocery list based on the recipe’s ingredients
Now, I do like to keep a stocked pantry. As soon as I run out of something, I make sure to restock it on my next grocery trip. In my cookbook, High Vibe Eating, you will find a pantry check list that helps you stock your pantry for easy meal planning. A stocked pantry means less to buy each week. If your pantry isn’t fully stocked and you do not have the means to go buy everything at once, just add a few items to your grocery list each week and soon it will be stocked.
Use grocery list apps. There are a ton of free apps available. According to my husband, I use it backwards, but it works for me. I create several lists based on where I shop. For example; I have a grocery list, Costco list, and Walmart list. I add all the things I buy on a regular basis at these stores to the list. When I need to buy something, I check it off, once purchased I uncheck it. Before I am head to that store, I double check my list and make sure I didn’t miss anything I might need.
Using your weekly menu, check what you have stocked and what you need to purchase and create your list. I create my list by segments; produce, dairy, meat, toiletries, etc. This helps save me time in the store so I can grab everything I need in each section without going back and forth throughout the store. Because my pantry is usually pretty stocked, and personally, I don’t eat much processed or packaged food, most of my shopping is done on the outside isles of the store. My old process used to be, to walk up and down every isle to see if I would become inspired as to what to make for dinner and to see if maybe I would remember what I needed if I saw it. That process takes way more time. I would always spend way more money and buy a bunch of junk I didn’t need.
When you come home from the store, as you put things away, clean and cut up any produce you can so it’s prepared for the week. I usually cook more than what we need every night for dinner, so we have leftovers to take for lunch. This also saves me time because I am not meal prepping all my lunches in one day. If I cook something and have tons of leftovers, I often freeze them so I can thaw them later for a quick easy meal. I eat a lot of salad all week long, therefore, I am sure to clean and cut up everything I need for my salads so it’s quick and easy throughout the week. I find if I don’t prep it, I do not create the time during the week when I am busy and will reach for something quicker and usually not good for me.
Meal prepping doesn’t have to be overly difficult and time consuming. Having a plan is half the battle. I do not plan extravagant meals when I know I will be too busy to prepare them. Often, we may just have grilled chicken and some kind of salad as a side.
I do hope you feel inspired to create a little organization in your kitchen and meal planning. Meal planning has been my key to success to losing and keeping the weight off. It also saves a ton of time and money. We hardly eat out anymore even for lunches because we have delicious, healthy leftovers! Eating out cost a ton and we often don’t make the best choices when ordering out. Food, how it’s prepared/processed is a very important matter for me. I want to be in control of what I consume for as much as I can. I know I feel better when I eat healthy, organic meals and eating out, those options are often limited.
Want to order my cookbook, High Vibe Eating, a Cookbook for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit? Use coupon code: HVE30 to receive 30% off.
I would love to her from you! Give it a go, let me know how meal planning/prepping is changing your life, leave me a comment.