Alright, I love getting to see the behind the scenes, inside the mindsets, of how people plan out certain things in their lives. Especially mundane “adult” tasks. So, today I’m going to try and do my best to share how I go about planning out my meal prep for the week.
Basically what happens before I even go to the grocery store. Because going in with a plan is crucial. Not only does it help keep my sane, save me time but I also save so much money.
So, first I ask myself a few questions:
What do I have going on that week?
Is there an event where I will be eating a meal? Have I made plans to get Indian food with friends? Basically, anything that means I won’t be eating at home.
What ingredients do I have already?
Seriously, walk over to your kitchen open up your fridge, your cupboards, pantry, etc. and look at what you have. Rice, beans, veggies that need to be eaten asap? Write them down on a piece of paper.
What meals can I make from what I already have, or maybe just need a few more ingredients for?
It isn’t always fancy, exciting and new. But it’s important for me to use up stuff that will go bad like fruits and veggies. Things like rice and beans can always wait, but then again you already have them so why not use them? You can still make new recipes with what you have.
What are a few meals I’m excited to make?
There’s always at least one meal (if not several) that I really want to make or try out that week. Currently, there’s a few things on my mind: Pad Thai, Onion and Potato Pierogi and Vegan Biscuits and Gravy (I’m still in search of the perfect recipe).
While it’s important to use up what you have, it also keeps it exciting to make things you’re really excited to eat/try.
What do I want for breakfast?
I can the same types of meals for lunch and dinner, but breakfast is a different category (although I have been known to eat leftover Pad Thai for breakfast).
I’ve been enjoying everything bagels with hummus, oatmeal as well smoothies for breakfast. These are all super simple things to make in the morning. While I do enjoy things like tofu scramble sometimes for breakfast I really don’t need to be that fancy, and I try to keep my meal prep for lunch and dinner.
What about snacks?
Snacks are very important, and shouldn’t be forgotten about. In the summer I love fruit as an in-between meals sort of thing. I also just go these yummy fig bars, as well as some roasted and salted pumpkin seeds.
Ok so now that I’ve thought through all that, I’ll look at my list of meals and see if I have too many or not enough for the week. Depending on the week I like to make big batches of two to four meals. (I also have Michael to take into consideration for dinner meals and sometimes lunch as well.) You'll want to make sure you have enough portions for everyone.
Once I have the meals I’m making I’ll write out my grocery list. I like to separate the items by which store I’ll buy them from, as well as what order I’ll pick them up in the store. This might sound like a bit much but I buy very similar things and go to the same stores every week so I know that I’m going to go through the produce first, then the bakery, cans, teas/coffee, milk, and then anything like tofu or veggie dogs.
I find that organizing my shopping list (which takes 30 seconds) helps me when I get to the store, so I don’t forget to buy something or have to zig-zag across the store to get things. But you can just write it all down on a list, whatever works for you.
Then I grab my reusable shopping bags, any bags I need for bulk items and I head out the door to the grocery store.
Doing all the planning beforehand makes going shopping so much easier (and enjoyable) because you’re not wandering around wondering, am I out of this, should I make that? You just know what you need to buy and that’s that.
How do you plan for grocery shopping? Any cool tricks to share?