1. What are you in the mood for? Since I’m prepping for my sister, I ask her if there are any meals she is really in the mood for or that she really doesn’t want that week. You could do the same. Is there anything you are craving? Any new recipes you want to try? Anything you absolutely don’t want to eat this week? This will give you a great place to start for the next few steps.
2. I take an inventory of my fridge, freezer and pantry. What I do is check for ingredients that need to be used up before they go bad. I look for ingredients that might fit a meal that was requested. And I try to think about using what I have before I start making a shopping list and checking the sales ads.
3. I check the ads for my local stores. Aldi, Save-a-Lot, Price Rite and Target. I look to see what’s on sale, what I should stock up on. Since I love a good deal, this an important and fun step for me!
4. Plan the meals. After taking inventory of what I have, what’s on sale and any special meal requests, I decide what to make. I do this by searching recipes, Instagram posts and my brain for ideas. I usually pick 3-5 recipes and plan to make a few of each meal making sure that I reach 10-12 meals. I suggest that you calculate the carbs or macros on the meals at this stage, so that you’re really well prepared. I’m terrible at that, so usually end up doing it mid-way through my preparation stage and everything takes longer. So, learn from me, calculate everything now and save time!
5. Make a list and grocery shop. Making a list is crucial, because even if I only need a few things, I always forget something if I don’t have a list and then I end up back at the store or having to go back and change my meal plan-again a time waster.
6. Cook! I prep and cook everything on the same day. This is a time saver, because I can cut and prepare for the next meal while other things are cooking. I store everything in meal prep containers from Amazon (like these ones). If you’re cooking for a family or wanting to store larger quantities, you can use large plastic container (like these) or even gallon size storage bags (like these). Keep the storage simple and easy to access.