weekly meal prep

Planning my meals is probably one of the best habits I’ve picked up. It has saved me money, time and so many headaches. When I do my food shopping, I already have an idea of what and how many ingredients to buy. That means when I come home from a day at the office, I already know what I’m making, how I’m making it and how much time it will take.

To cut down that time, the ingredients have been prepped ahead of time:
The mushrooms have been sliced and put in the fridge for Wednesday’s stir-fry. 
A few cloves of fresh garlic have been minced and stored for Monday’s baked chicken legs.
The eggs have been hard-boiled for salads and quick breakfasts throughout the week. 

It’s small steps like these that have dramatically decreased cooking time, allowing more time for reading, blogging and being lazy (mostly, that last one). I cherish my me time, so as much of it as I can get is perfectly okay with me.

Do you plan ahead or are you more of the spontaneous type? If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the convenience of preparing part of the week’s meals in advance. Again, small steps, but they make a world of difference.
Here are some suggestions:
  • grate or shave ½ cup to 1 cup (or more, if you’re feeling particularly strong) of fresh Parmesan and store in refrigerator until ready to sprinkle on dishes.
  • peel/slice/chop/julienne the veggies for a weeknight stew and store in airtight bags or containers in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • season a soup broth, refrigerate or freeze and reheat when ready to use.
  • ready a pesto for quick and healthy pasta. Refrigerate or freeze.
  • cook chicken and freeze until ready to use (cooked chicken will stay in the freezer for up to 3 months).
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17 responses to “weekly meal prep”

  1. colleen says:

    this is so important when trying to correctly budget and buy food that you use and won't go bad. I also find it helpful to buy portions. I pass a market or two on the way home and will stop to buy a singular piece of salmon or serving of string beans. helps my budget and again, no produce goes bad that way.

  2. fashion meets art says:

    wow it looks so yummy. love it! what a wonderful picture selection <3
    lovely greets
    maren anita

    Can I invite you to my GIVEAWAY ???:

    YSL lipstick & Nelly leather bracelet

    FASHION-MEETS-ART by Maren Anita

  3. jillian m. says:

    Absolutely. I like your tip about buying in portions. No food goes to waste that way. Although I personally like making bigger portions, so I can have leftovers for lunch the next day.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love this post. I plan my meals as well. I create the menus and do my grocery shopping. It helps me stay fit and healthy, save time and money. I make pesto and a couple of panini sandwiches and all I have to do is place them on the presser. I buy lean ground turkey in bulk and make tacos, meatballs, meatloaf, piononos, manicotti among others.

  5. rooth says:

    You are so organized. I'm so bad at planning ahead but I really should. I hate making more than one grocery run during the week

  6. Monica says:

    i'm way too spontaneous/erratic with food to meal-plan, but i am also always after quicker cooking etc.
    one thing i do regularly is batch cook. like stews, soups, curries, casseroles…. i make 2-3 servings in one go and freeze. pasta sauces is something i almost always have in the freezer. ready for a quick pasta dish.

  7. yours truly, melissa says:

    This is something I always wish I did, but haven't found a system that works for me! Do you do all your meal planning and prepping in one day?

  8. jillian m. says:

    Ditto on the batch cooking! The only thing I'm not terribly crazy about is making tomato sauce ahead of time. It tends to lose it's tomato-y flavor after it's been in the fridge or freezer. But the good thing is that the tomato sauce I use is such a quick and easy recipe, so I always have time to make it the day of.

  9. jillian m. says:

    Ha! Me too! Last time I bought ground turkey, we made turkey burgers out of them and just froze the extras. So convenient. And yes, planning also allows you to be healthier. I find that I'm snacking less because I try to choose foods that will keep me full, without being too heavy, you know?

  10. jillian m. says:

    I usually meal plan before I go to the grocery store, so that I have an idea of what I'm going to buy. This saves me from buying things I don't need. Sometimes, I base it on the store's circular – I'll see what's on sale that week and kind of plan around that if I'm feeling extra frugal. It takes practice but you get the hang of it!

  11. Marissa says:

    I always have the best intentions of planning meals, but something always seems to go wrong. A last minute invite to a friend's, a craving for pizza… Haha – I'm hopeless. :)

  12. Maneet Jassal Gupta says:

    I have tried doing this and invariably always failed because me and husband are more of spontaneous types when it comes to food, so there will be times when we will go out even if dinner is cooked and save it for next day. Also, I have my lazy days more than I would like to comment! 😉 But I am going to try this again! Thanks for bringing it to surface!

    -Maneet
    http://www.maneetgupta.blogspot.com

  13. Lena at A Crimson Kiss says:

    You're so responsible! I try to sketch out a general idea of our week's meals, but I'm always picking up a loaf of bread or more fruit, rather than limiting myself to just one trip to the market!

  14. sherri lynn says:

    Planning out my meals ahead of time saves me SO much time! I've been planning our weekly menu out since we were first married, and I would be a disaster in the grocery store and the kitchen without it! I love cooking my meat ahead of time and putting it in the freezer portioned out for each dish – such a timesaver! I need to do a better job of thinking of other ways to prep stuff ahead of time.

  15. Giovanna says:

    Very smart! Loving this idea! I need to try to incorporate it into my life!

    xx
    Giovanna
    http://www.oliveandanarrow.com

  16. Squared says:

    very cool! Awesome blog! Will keep coming for more. Come by and let's follow each other! Stay in touch hun 😉 xx

  17. Pink Ronnie says:

    We try to plan our meals in advance, though sometimes it gets a bit sporadic. Mostly, Rick just wings it (he's our cook). But when we do plan, I always feel better about the week in advance. We're getting increasingly better at cooking more appropriate portions, and not having leftover that goes to waste.
    Now, getting our boys to eat what we make… that's a whole other story!
    Ronnie xo

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