Meal planning and meal prep. Either you love them or you hate them. I used to be in the “hate them” camp, but have since converted. Having a meal plan and then doing meal prep for the week will set you up for stress-free dinner time! Can you imagine?
Meal prepping for the week sounds like this difficult and energy-intensive process, but it totally doesn’t have to be. All meal prep needs to be is literally preparing anything ahead of time that can be, and setting yourself up for success.
If you don’t want to put a lot of time, thought or energy into meal prep, you have come to the right place. I am probably the laziest person when it comes to meal planning and meal prep. Who has hours to dedicate to this kind of stuff?? Not me!
What do you need to meal prep super fast?
In order to be set up for fast meal prep, you need to have two things:
The groceries for the meal plan
Makes sense, right?
In order to meal prep, you need to make sure you know what you are going to make and that you have the ingredients for it. The last thing you want is to scramble to come up with meals on a Sunday, get the groceries and have to prep all on one day. That sounds not fun.
The best way to meal plan is one month at a time. I promise this is super easy to do.
If you are just getting started, you can meal plan for a month one of three ways:
Pick a theme for each night of the week and design a meal for that theme
Choose to have the same meal on the same day of the week for the month
Make a different meal every night
I have done all three options and I ended up sticking with option one the most. It just makes it close to brainless when you are trying to come up with all of your meals for the month. I dread meal planning as it is, so it is nice to know I have guidelines to follow. It just takes the guesswork out of it.
If you don’t run on creative juices, option two may be a good one for you. Then as you get more meals under your belt, you can move on to option one. I love brainless because I am tired and I have better things to do with my time!
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The Life Saving 12-Week Rotating Meal Plan
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Once you know what you are going to make for the month, get all the groceries for it! You may be thinking, “How does she expect me to do all my grocery shopping for the month at one time?” Simple! I do it, which means you definitely can too!
Grocery shopping once a month will free up so much of your time and energy. It also saves a TON of money. When you make a meal plan for the month and grocery shop for the whole month all at one time, you are totally set for 30 days! It’s amazing.
This will set you up for easy peasy meal prep once a week. You have already done the bulk of the work, by the time you hit meal prep, it is a totally stress-free process and you can really just follow the directions you have already written for yourself.
How Grocery Shopping Once a Month Saves You Time and Money
How to Grocery Shop Once a Month
Let’s Meal Prep for the Week!
Here is an example of one of my weeks of meals (written in my planner). On Sunday, look at the meals you have for the coming week.
For each meal the things you can do to prepare are:
- Cook meats
- Pull frozen foods out of the freezer so they are thawed and ready to go!
- Gather the recipe and ingredients you will need for each meal (if you are OCD, you can put everything together by meal so each day you just grab that group of items and start cooking!)
- Chop any veggies ahead of time that you can (put them in the freezer if they won’t keep until the day you are having the meal)
It is so simple. The meal prep isn’t really the hard part. What keeps most people from meal prepping is not knowing what meals they want to have and then not having the right ingredients for those meals.
When you prepare with a meal plan and grocery shopping, your meal prep is like a 30-minute process. Especially, if you have meals as we have in my family (enter in frozen pizza)!
If you are super fancy, your meal prep may involve a little more time, but even so, if you have a meal plan and ingredients, you will be set to prep that much faster.
Start meal planning, shopping and prepping today! I avoided this for YEARS. I wasted so much time and money by not meal planning. I used to be a meal prep hater, but the money savings alone makes it so worth it.
Always keep it super simple. This is not meant to complicate your life. The goal is to take back your time. You got this!
Do you have any additional meal prep tips??
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