Welcome to Meal Prepping 101. I must add a disclaimer to this meal prep “crash course”. I am by no means a professional chef, couponer, or shopper. I simply do my absolute best for my family. What more could anyone ask for?
Let’s get started!
1.) Check your grocery store’s weekly ads, digital store coupons, and your favorite couponing websites.
– Checking the weekly ad allows you to know what is on sale for the week and you can plan your meals and snacks around them. Combine items you already have in your freezer or pantry with something that is on sale and some fresh produce. This often times cuts the cost per meal in half when you do out this way.
– Digital coupons: if you are not using them yet, download the app for your favorite grocery store now and start saving. Digital coupons are easy. They link to your loyalty card and they deduct what the e-coupon was good for at check out when you put your number in or use your loyalty card. It’s so easy!
– The site I use for printable coupons is Coupon.com. Brand name items and big savings, you can never go wrong there.
2. Plan meals for the week.
– Based on what I will save on between the ad and the coupon, I plan what we are having for the week. I plan what dinners we will have as a family, what my husband will take to work, what my baby will snack on for her many snacks through the day, what my baby and I will enjoy for light lunches, breakfasts, and snacks for us adults. Are you overwhelmed yet? I promise once you start you will be hooked and it gets easier and easier.
As I said above, combine what you have already and purchase what you need to complete the meal!
3. Make your grocery list.
Here is an example of what my list looks like every time. There is a method to my madness.
My tips for this list: section by produce, meats, dry and canned goods, dairy products, non-food items, snacks, and free items. I also add if I have a coupon in parenthesis beside the item as well.
4. Go shopping!
– We all know shopping alone is rare as moms, but if we get the chance, it is so peaceful! Otherwise, it might look something like our trip to Kroger with these three…
5. Portion out, cut, or cook everything you can for the upcoming week.
– Cut meats according to how they will be used. (for example: butterfly chicken breasts for chicken parmesan)
– Cut snacks. Cube cheese blocks. Take the grapes off the vine. Cut the tops off the strawberries.
– Pre-cook anything else you can. If you are having two dishes that have long grain rice, cook it ahead of time and put it in the fridge. It saves valuable time when preparing the actual meal.
6. Cut any vegetables that will do well in the fridge in containers.
– For example, onions. Pre-cut chunks for stir-fry, slivers for salads, minced for spaghetti and meat sauce.
Moms, I hope this crash course for meal prep is helpful to everyone! I will be posting more about this hot topic over time. Stay tuned!
Anyone have any tips to add? Easy meals to share?
Have a great week eveyone!
Love – Alison