Meal Prep – it sounds daunting, and like it would take up way too much time, but with a little organization and planning, it can go very smoothly!
First step – decide what you are going to make! I actually start an email to myself, with ideas for what I want to make, divided into lunches and dinners, it’s pretty simple:
Links to recipes I have saved on Pinterest, or the names of recipes I have at home, any side dishes I need to make like brown rice or mason jar side salads – it’s all in one place now, which helps with making a shopping list as well as cooking on Sunday. Personally, as I am watching my calorie intake, I also put each recipe into the recipe feature on My Fitness Pal to see what the calorie content is, some recipes I keep, some I don’t bother after seeing the calories per serving.
I do try to make my list organized, for instance, if I am going to go make one salmon dish for lunches, I am going to make 2 – as I cut the prepackaged filets in half, AND I can cook two lunches together.
Another thing I try to do, as I am only cooking for two, is to pick recipes that will make two meals, and put one in the freezer.
Second step – make your grocery list. My husband I use a great app called Wunderlist– it’s shareable lists! We have a grocery store, Costco, Target & Trader Joe’s list and we can both add items to any of the lists. It makes life so easy, if he is going to Costco, he can grab what I need, and if I am going to Trader Joe’s I can get what he needs. I look at each recipe, check my pantry, freezer and fridge to see
Step 3 – go shopping. I usually go after my Saturday morning Sweatmood Boot Camp and Fitnessworkout – workout and go straight to the store. I am not hungry, it’s usually around 10:30 am, so the store isn’t too crowded, and I get in and out. Key to grocery shopping – STICK TO YOUR LIST! Don’t let yourself be distracted by sales and displays, it will not only save you money, but will also help insure that you don’t come home with those chips and cookies that you know you really don’t need.
The last step, cook! As my husband and I usually try to keep Sunday’s free for doing things around the house, like laundry, cleaning and all that other fun stuff, I set aside Sunday afternoons for cooking. I go in my kitchen, crank up some music, and just do it! It usually doesn’t take more than a couple of hours from start to finish, and I have 5 lunches, 5 or more dinners and have no guilt about spending the rest of the weekend in my recliner clearing off the DVR.