Author: Nelly Alba
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How To Create The Best Meal Prep Plan For The Week
Here is the best meal prep plan for the week. Do you find yourself spending too much (or too little) time in the kitchen? You may fall under one of the two situations below:
- Constantly in the kitchen preparing meals for the family (alone, with a partner, with your kids).
- Constantly buying out food since you can’t seem to find enough time to make meals
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The first point may leave you overwhelmed and disliking cooking because you feel like you are in the kitchen ALL the time (or you are like me who honestly LOVES to cook). On the other side, you are someone eating out a lot and you know it is not a sustainable habit to maintain. You want your kids eating healthier meals and you wish to keep more money in your pocket and not spent on food.
No matter what bucket you are in: your kids need to eat, you need to eat and everyone else in the family needs to eat – that is not going to change.
So, how can you make sure you’re ready to tackle the ongoing eating in your household (while also working!)?
2 Easy Steps:
- Meal Prep
- Keep your kitchen tidy / cleaned
Both these steps require a ROUTINE. I know I say this in about every blog post, but routine really is the key to happiness as a working mama.
For this blog post, I will break down creating a routine for meal prepping. This includes a routine at the beginning of the week (so that you know what you are cooking) and a routine for the actual meal cooking.
Meal Prep Routine (at the beginning of the week):
- Set aside a day of the week to discuss meal ideas (think of it like a meal idea brain dump). Grab my free mom planner which includes a meal prepping organizer!
- Use that list of ideas to narrow down on the meals you wish to make during the week. Write this down in your notes.
- Make a list of all the items needed to make each meal along with what you already have and will need to buy. Here is my personal grocery list with a blank template that you can use!
- Decide which day(s) you are able to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour in the kitchen to cook. For example, I do 3 days of meal prep on Sunday (dinner for: Sunday, Monday & Tuesday). Then I wake up earlier on Wednesday so I can prepare meals for Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. Saturday is our leftover and takeout day. Add this into your schedule (however you keep organized).
Meal Prep Routine (on the day you are cooking):
- Print and/or write down everything you are making.
- The night before, take out all the ingredients and put it on the counter.
Note: you may need to run to the local grocery store if you are missing something. Food service apps now allow you to place orders and do curbside pick-up which is especially helpful for busy moms. Some stores that allow curb-side pick-up: BJs, Walmart, Target. Or, you can have it delivered to your doorstep using the following apps: instacart, doordash or grubhub.
- Take out all the equipment you will be using including mixing bowls, pans, slow cooker, rice cooker etc.
- Start one dish at a time. I would start with dishes that require little of me like anything I am using a rice cooker, slow cooker for. Then I work my way to those complex recipes.
Tip: clean as you go! While you wait for the rice to cook, wash the mixing bowl.
I know meal prepping can seem like a lot. Especially if you are not used to cooking all the time OR feel like you do not have enough time to do everything. Trust me, once you start setting a routine to prepare yourself for the meal making – life will be easier. All you need to do is some planning beforehand so that you do not spend a great amount of time getting everything together or stressing about what it is that you will cook.
Are you already someone who loves to cook?
Have you prepared meals before? What is easy? What has been hard?
Please share below!!