I have already explained what you need and some of how to do meal prep in my Beginners Guide but I haven’t really explained when you should do the pre-planning for your meal prep or what my personal routine looks like each week. I thought it might be helpful to see what my typical week of meal prep looks like from start to finish. Here is a breakdown of what my weekly meal prep looks like based around cooking on Sunday/Monday.
I start out by spending about an hour searching for recipes using google. I use search terms like “300 calorie meals” or “low-calorie recipes” or search for something I’m craving plus the calorie amount I want to have per serving (eg. 400 calorie burrito bowls). I bookmark ALL the ones that look yummy (I get trigger happy with this because even if I don’t decide to cook it this week I might decide I want to cook it later on). I pick 2 or 3 dinner/lunch recipes from my bookmarks, read them carefully and decide if I need to make any ingredient substitutions for the calorie count to work or modifications to the cooking instructions. Usually, I scale up the recipe to suit the number of servings I need to feed both myself and Ryan.
I make my grocery list using the Listonic app in the evening and then I order groceries online from Super Store, and schedule them to be picked up on Saturday afternoon. This is a HUGE time saver. Depending on where you shop you can order your groceries online and either pick up or have them delivered instead of shopping in the store for a few bucks.
Pick up groceries and organize my ingredients. If I need to thaw or marinate meat I make sure to have enough time to do it before I need to cook. Then I wash all my produce and make sure I have enough clean containers so everything is all ready to go for the next day. This is a pretty light day, it usually takes no more than 30 minutes to complete as I’m putting away my groceries.
Sunday – Cooking Day 1
I work all day, then get home to help put my kids to bed at 7 pm. After the girls are down, I cook one of my meals for the week. This is determined by which one will be the quickest to prepare since I don’t want to be up all night! Once the recipe is finished cooking I portion the food into containers using my kitchen scale and then allow it to cool before putting on the lids. If I need snacks for the week I portion out crackers, cheese slices, cut up veggies and fruit and make individual servings in sandwich baggies since that is easy to do while I wait for the food to cook and cool.
Monday – Cooking Day 2
I prep everything else during the kid’s naptime at 1 pm and usually a bit more after the kids go to bed that night. I will cook the rest of the recipes I have planned for the week and portion them out into the containers to cool and then put on the lids.
If I want to make breakfasts easy, I will hard boil eggs or chop up fruit salad to have with toast. I also keep avocados and red onion on hand at all times because I like to have it piled on toast for breakfast or snack. It’s easy enough to make that I don’t prep it ahead of time. It helps to have my favorite healthy things always on hand so I don’t reach for junk when I’m feeling lazy. You can even make it into a quick guacamole to dip veggies into!
Tuesday and Wednesday
These are my down days, I don’t have to prep anything, and I don’t have to think about next week at all! Just enjoy the fruits of my labor before I start the process again on Thursday!
So that it! It seems like a lot of work to meal prep but it’s a lot easier than having to cook and clean your dishes for every meal, every day! I only have to do dishes twice a week and then the rest of the week it just tossing containers in the dishwasher! Do you have any time-saving tips or cooking routines you swear by to keep you on track?
Thanks for reading!