If there’s something I love during the week besides going to work (haha sarcasm), it’s already having dinner cooked and already having my lunch packed at the beginning of the week. Ugh. You don’t understand how much stress it takes off my shoulders to get home and not have to cook dinner. Meal prepping…. Is a life safer! So I’m going to teach you how to meal prep! Or maybe just give you some tips on how I do it. Well to the best of my ability. It’s easier, healthier, and saves you TONS of money! Need I go on for all the reasons meal prepping IS FOR EVERYBODY?! Remember, I am not a professional so I’ll show you what I’ve learned from research, friends, and practice!
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK
So first thing is first! Paper, pen or pencil, and some imagination. You don’t want to get tired of eating the same thing eeeeevery single day.
Write down vegetables, sides, starch foods, meats, etc.
Pick 3 vegetables, 2 starch foods, and 2-3 meats.
These are the variety of foods you are going to use for your meal prepping!
So for example: I bought asparagus, carrots, green beans, potatoes, rice, and chicken (I wanted chicken for the whole week).
Sunday afternoon, set aside about 2-3 hours to give time to do this. You will need this time.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE TO DO
Don’t forget to buy the Tupperware to put all of the food in it! Are you going to be eating for dinner and lunch? Or just dinner? So if it’s for dinner and lunch, buy 10 of them. You can also always plan for a simple salad for lunch, or a sandwich if you don’t want to always do both on every day of the week which is what I do. Lemme tell you, cheese, egg and avocado sandwiches are BOMB! Invest in GOOD Tupperware. You’re going to be using them often and reheating them. So make sure they are good. It’ll be worth it. BPA free ones are the best.
MAKE YOUR MENU BEFORE YOU START COOKING AND BEFORE YOU GO SHOPPING
After you pick the foods you are going to buy, make your menu. Making your menu is critical because it’ll help keep everything organized. So on Monday I wanted to eat asparagus, rice, and chicken for lunch with a side of yogurt and berries for snacking.
So make your menu, that way you know how much you need to cook! How many days do you want to eat asparagus? So make enough to eat it that many days.
HOW TO GO ABOUT COOKING IT
First you are going to start off by cooking all of your vegetables, I made my green beans, my asparagus with my favorite recipe, and the carrots. The green beans and the carrots went in the oven which was super easy and quick to make, and the asparagus took 7 minutes to cook on the stove.
While that was cooking I started making my rice, my rice takes about 25 minutes, and my homemade mashed potatoes.
Save the meat for last. I cook the meat last because I don’t want to risk cross contamination. I’m really picky about that because it’s a big deal to me. I bought one bag of chicken. Not only is chicken healthy, but you can make it a variety of ways and it’s inexpensive.
I fried half of it on the stove, and the other half was covered in bread crumbs and cooked to crispness in the oven! Mmm.
Tip: you don’t always have to cook it all then and there. You can just marinate it on Sunday and stick it in the fridge and it’s quick and ready to be cooked the night of.
Tip- roast different vegetables with the same cooking time! It’s quick, easy, and tasty!
So fill all of your Tupperware with two vegetables and a meat, or a vegetable, starch, and meat.
You can do like I do, and just fill up tupperware as you go like a crazy woman and decide what you want as you go without much planning! That can be fun. And then there was a bit of leftover food for the weekend which was great!
When you are done it is time for you to make a choice.
Is my food going to make it til Friday? Or is it going to go bad by then? If it won’t, you have to seal the food properly to preserve it and put it in the freezer. If it will (which mine usually does), then you can put it in the fridge.
Tip- making salad? Use a mason jar. Put your dressing at the bottom of the jar and the salad on top so that it won’t get all mushy. If you’re storing it for a few days, put a square napkin at the top of the jar to avoid too much moisture getting to it! Works wonders!
Meal prepping is so big because without meal prepping you are more inclined to spend your money during the week on junk. At the end of the day, it should save you as much time as possible in the kitchen, and allow you to eat sooooo much healthier.