Meal Prep: Getting Organized
Last week we talked about the benefits of Meal Prepping and gave you a few different options, to help you get started. Today we will go over one of the most important components of meal prepping, which is getting organized. The first step is to write your menu. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the grocery store and realizing you forgot your list. Not only do you end up forgetting important items, but you also usually end up with unnecessary impulse buys.
When writing your menu, take into account the ingredients you already have on hand. It's also important to build meals around produce that's in season. If the idea of prepping for 2 to 3 weeks' worth of meals is overwhelming to you, try starting with just 1 week's worth of meals to begin. Another benefit of preparing your menu ahead of time is that you can get the whole family involved by asking what they would like to see on the menu. Having that extra input can take some of the stress out of coming up with so many options as well as preventing repeat meals.
Once you've come up with your menu, you can start writing out your grocery list. There are plenty of free printable options on the internet when it comes to preparing a grocery list. Sweet Peas and Saffron is a website that provides a menu as well as a grocery list with everything you need. Simply Delicious might be a better option if you want to come up with your own meals. This website offers a printable meal plan and grocery list that you can print off and fill in the blank. If you want to get organized, you can even write your grocery list so that it is organized by departments in your store, this can save you a lot of time. The internet is full of options, from printable menus and grocery lists to apps such as Plate Joy and MyFitnessPal.
Another important part of getting organized for your meal prep is selecting the right containers for your meals. One method is to prepare your meals and place them into freezer bags. This is very popular when cooking one meal for the whole family, as well as being able to store it in the freezer for a longer amount of time. Some people prefer plastic containers with multiple compartments. These containers can be great for grab-and-go options, as well as meeting the health needs of each individual, instead of one meal for the whole family. Lastly, you need to set aside time for meal prep. A very popular option is to pick one day out of the week to cook all of the meals. While this can take a large chunk of your day, it can save you a lot of time during a hectic work week. Sunday is a popular day to prep since a lot of people have this day off. However, you need to pick which day works best for you.
When it comes to meal prep, any tools you can use to simplify the process are going to make your meal prepping more successful and more likely to continue to do it. So, take advantage of all the resources on the internet and meet us back here the following Monday with our final blog post on Meal Prepping!