Cooking dinner every night can seem a bit daunting. Plus, getting the hubby’s lunch ready each night and the kid’s lunch… Enter meal prepping. I’m going to take you through this meal prepping guide to give you some relief in the food preparation department.
I’ll tell ya… Things have been so crazy around here lately that the last thing I want to do is cook dinner every night and I truly don’t mind cooking and I’m 99% sure you feel the same way!
Enter this meal prepping guide to make your life easier. Do I sound like a commercial yet? I mean really. That’s ridiculous. Oh well, let’s move ahead.
There are three things that you will need to get started:
- A cheap planner
- A food scale
- And something to put your meals in
You can grab all of these on Amazon!
Why a food scale you ask? Well, to be honest, it’s really a good idea to know how much food you are taking in. Especially for my mamas that are wanting to lose some postpartum baby weight.
Because to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit… But let’s not get derailed here. We’re talking about meal prepping.
The scale helps you know how much you’re eating. Believe me. You will want to get one.
Okay! Let’s get started.
Meal Prepping Guide Step #1 – Plan Out What You’re Going To Eat
Trying to prepare a meal for a family is hard. Believe me. I get it. The biggest thing here is making healthy meals that your entire family will love and then portioning them up into their respected containers.
For our family, we will meal prep several dinners for the week (because we still like to cook some evenings) and then 5 lunches.
Our breakfast consists of protein bars and/or protein shakes. Joshua has his own little breakfast routine as well. He loves Kodiak Cakes which are protein pancakes. He’ll eat them with natural peanut butter on them and voila. Done.
See where I’m going with this? Plan out what you’re going to eat and how it works with your schedule
If you need ideas for healthy recipes, you can head over here.
Meal Prepping Guide Step #2 – Clean Out The Fridge
The next thing you’ll do isn’t necessarily all that pleasant. Have you ever opened the fridge and a stench hits you in the face that is this horrendous fog of nastiness?
Yeah, here we’re trying avoid that.
If you’re anything like me, you make this awesome dinner, and then life happens and it gets shoved to the back of the fridge and you forget about it for leftovers. I truly don’t know how I forget about it. It must be a gift.
Clean out your fridge so that you know exactly how much room you have to deal with and if you have any food already made that can be used for leftovers.
This may sound a bit dumb, but believe me, it’s not. When you’re meal prepping for, heck 2 people, let alone a family – those meal boxes are going to take up some space.
Which means that you need to know exactly how much space you have.
Meal Prepping Guide Step #3 – Carve Out a Time to Prep
One of the biggest push backs I get in regards to meal prepping is “I don’t have time to meal prep”. When, in actuality, if you’re a working mama, you don’t have time NOT to meal prep.
After the first 2-3 times, the meal prep session will take you no time at all. Around two hours is what you can expect to make dinners and lunches for the week.
If you don’t have time on that calendar of yours – then you need to make time.
Because here’s the deal, your family needs healthy and balanced meals and let’s face it; there’s no way that between you and your hubs you can cook a full healthy and balanced meal every night.
So! MAKE time to meal prep.
Even if it’s just a few meals prepped ahead for the week. Having that food already ready will become addicting. Believe me.
One last thing on carving out time, recruit the family to help you. There is absolutely no reason for mama to be the only one cooking. David helps me cook and J is just now coming into an age where we can start teaching him how.
Your children need to know how to cook and take care of themselves and this can actually be a very fun family affair.
Meal Prepping Guide Step # 4- Make your Grocery list
Now that you know the what, when, and how you’re going to meal prep, it’s time to make your grocery list.
I love hopping on Pinterest and searching for healthy recipes to try. Make it a fun thing that you try one new recipe a week.
Some new recipes will become a staple in your household. Where others? You’ll be glad when you’ve eaten it all so you won’t have to make it again.
Before you start writing things down that you need, take each recipe and go to your refrigerator and cabinet and see if you have any of those ingredients in there before you go and get it again at the store.
Trust me, you’ll save some money doing this.
Hey, if you want, I can send you my complete list of grocery staples for my household that we alternate to keep things interesting.
Don’t worry, I won’t spam you and I keep your email safe. ?
Meal Prepping Guide Step #5 – Go to Grocery Store
I’m preeeetttyyyy sure this one is self explanatory.
Go to the store and get your food.
Put it in the cart, pay for it, then go back home. Okay, good job.
Meal Prepping Guide Step #6 – Prepare 1 Week at a Time
Being new at meal prepping, I would recommend preparing only one week at a time.
While it may seem a little bit daunting to only prepare one week of meals at a time, you will be surprised at how freeing it is. Because, I’ve prepped more than a week at a time, and by the time I got done eating all the extra, I was sick of what I made.
So! Switch it up each week and keep it interesting.
I am legit hungry now.
I’m writing this blog at 2:28 in the afternoon and I am wanting my dinner already. So, that means I will be heading into the kitchen once I get this posted and will be eating a snack.
See? Meal prepping doesn’t have to be scary. Like most things, creating a plan and working the plan will get you to your end goal in no time.
Which means to start with getting your three necessities:
- A cheap planner
- A food scale
- Something to put your meals in
Then follow the steps right down the list and voila! You’ll have a fridge full of prepped food in no time at all.
Hey, don’t let this scare you. You can totally do this. Once you get the hang of it- it will be SO freeing!