Real Life Meal Planning
Meal Planning is something we got into when we found ourselves eating out often because we were always in a rush and out the door early on in the day. I say real life meal planning because we aren't hard core into it and we typically only spend about two hours if that prepping for the week ahead. It has saved us a lot of time, a lot of money, and honestly a lot of mindlessly staring in the fridge of what to eat for dinner.
It makes mornings a whole lot easier, especially with a newborn, my husband commuting, and when Jordan heads to school. It makes evenings easier because we're still able to get dinner on the table as early as we'd like rather than eating late. We typically don't eat out as much either. However, we do schedule in at least one night a week for take out. It's called balance.
So this meal planning isn't a diet thing. It's a convenience thing. It allows for us to control what goes in our bodies without sacrificing health because there just isn't enough time.
We do our meal preps on Sundays after church. The kids go down for a nap and my husband and I get to work. We start by listing 4-5 meals we want for the week. We enjoy leftovers, so at least one day will be meant for leftovers and of course we have our takeout day.
Once we know what we want to eat for dinner, we write it out and hang it on the fridge for whoever is cooking that night. We'll cook any rice or quinoa in advance. That's it! Dinner prep is done. You can totally take this one step further by cutting up any veggies but I'm very cautious when it comes to prepping fresh veggies as they can go bad fast. We always make sure to go through fresh produce first then our frozen produce. We also only eat meat about twice a week because of health and time. Meat usually requires a lot more time to cook.
Some of our favorite dinner options:
Stuffed peppers, veggie taco bowls, salmon cakes with salad, spaghetti and meatless meatballs, and veggie stir fry!
Now for breakfast, of course cereal. Saturdays we are a bit fancier and will do pancakes but during the week, we keep it quick!
Some of our favorite breakfast options:
Cereal, oatmeal with fruit, hard boiled eggs, and biscuits with fruit and Jam.
We prep the oatmeal, which we use steel cut oats, the hard boiled eggs, and the biscuits on Sunday, so that we can grab and go.
As far as lunch goes, my daughter typically gets a sunflower butter (no nuts in school) and jelly sandwich, fruit, (usually strawberries, orange, or banana) and a veggie such as sliced cucumbers. Sometimes we'll throw in string cheese. Sometimes we'll have those baked veggie nuggets or fish sticks with fruit on the side for lunch too. I recently bought a cookbook for bento box lunch ideas and am very excited to try them!
For us, we'll do chicken salad, or some time of rice/quinoa bowl with lots of veggies. This is all prepped on Sunday. We'll eat this every day for lunch during the week.
For snacks, it's typically fruit, raw veggies with hummus, or some type of granola or date bar. If we're being honest it's usually some type of bar that we can throw in a bag. I'll even pop some popcorn and throw it in baggies for snacks throughout the week. But mostly it's bananas. We go through a lot of bananas.
So that's basically it. This is our meal prep. I would say the most prepping goes into our lunches.
We’ve recently been doing Blue Apron twice a week every other week and we love it. I’ll do a blog post on that soon!
We have grown to love meal prepping so much that we look forward to it on Sundays.
BTW, you will need to go grocery shopping, the morning of, or the day before. Write a grocery list before you go so you're not throwing a whole bunch of Junk in your cart.
Love & Light,