This blog post has been a long time coming. I’ve been promising a tutorial on how we meal prep for over a year, but my systems were so convoluted, that I didn’t know how to share them and have it all make sense. Then we went ahead and had a baby and everything got lost in the mix.
But finally, something magical happened… We started meal prepping again about a month ago, and I got a new label maker and new matching food containers. Everything else just clicked into place.
As of now we have our meal prep situation on lock, and I hope that this post inspires some of you to join me in my most time-saving activity of every week!
Why meal prep?
Meal prepping is game changing, money saving, and helps you to eat a healthier diet. When it’s done right, it makes a huge difference for me during the week when things can easily get overwhelming and stressful with work and the baby.
For example, after a long Wednesday (I have no child care on Wednesdays!), I’m often so tired that I give up and end up ordering in our dinner. The food usually doesn’t make me feel as good as if I had eaten something home-cooked, and the costs can seriously add up.
If I spend the time preparing the basics on a Sunday night, the task of cooking dinner after an exhausting Wednesday doesn’t seem so daunting after all. After I get the baby to bed, I can simply heat up brown rice with veggies and a protein and bam, dinner is ready in 10 minutes or less.
How long does it take?
On the day you’re prepping, it takes about two hours total. That might seem like a lot on a Sunday but on a weeknight when you come home from a tough day at work or finish up a long day with your kids, you’ll be so happy that you did it. If you split the work with a partner or roommate, it takes about an hour.
Of course, if you make bigger batches and less variety, this could be even shorter.
What do I do?
Make a list of what you’re feeling that week that consists of grain or veggie bases, vegetables, proteins, snacks and sauces. Figure out what you need to make all of them and create your grocery shopping list based on that. Then on Sunday afternoons, Monday nights, or whatever time works for you, block off 1.5-2 hours in your day and just make it happen.
What do I need?
Because I’m extremely organized and like to know where everything is with one quick glance, I like to keep all of the prepared food in the fridge super organized. Obviously you don’t have to go this crazy, but something about the uniformity of it all, makes me smile every time I open the fridge, so #worthit.
All you actually need is some sort of food containers (we do glass only) and some labels.
I just got a P-touch Cube, a brand new wireless label maker that syncs up to your phone with Bluetooth and it’s so awesome. Full disclosure, this is actually a sponsored post by P-touch Cube, but when they reached out to me about creating posts with this product, I freaked.
Anel and I both agreed that it was my dream collaboration. And if you liked this post, just wait for my next one on re-organizing our pantry… Can you tell I’m excited?!
Literally everything is done over Bluetooth so you can type everything out on the P-touch Design&Print app on your phone and pick from tons of fonts, symbols, and designs. The labels are water-resistant too, so I just pop the dirty containers into the dishwasher and don’t have to worry about the labels washing off.
I digress. Onto the food!
What do I cook?
Here are some examples of what you can make. I rotate what I cook every week so we don’t get sick of the same things over and over. These foods are some of our personal favorites but the sky is really the limit here.
Sweet potato noodles/Zucchini noodles (uncooked)
Chopped romaine lettuce (uncooked)
Carrots (uncooked for snacking)
Sautéed broccoli rabe
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Roasted root vegetables
Sautéed grass-fed ground beef
Grilled/ sautéed chicken sausage
Sautéed white beans
Hummus (for snacking)- usually store-bought TBH
For the Baby:
I make her food day-by-day but often use components found in this prep. She loves mashed up sweet potatoes and other root veggies, so I’ll pop whatever I make for us into her baby food processor or just chop it up really finely. I’ll do the same for meat and other veggies too! She’s obsessed with hummus and pesto so I’ll mix those in for some variety.
Ok that’s it! Any questions? Comments? What do you like to cook when you meal prep?