Sunday Meal Prep – September 15, 2019

This upcoming two weeks are going to be extremely busy for us. We have a ton of articles that we will be writing, videos or edit and trips to take. We will not have time to do our usual cooking in small batches. 

So we decided to plan our meals out a little differently with a pantry clean out. Or at least a partial clean out. 

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We spent a total of $39.92 this week. 

Our grocery budget this week was $60. We were a little under budget. 

What meals are good for meal prep? 

Buddha bowls

Salads

Tacos

Casseroles 

Soups / stews 

These are just some of our favorites. But the sky is the limit. 

This week we are focusing on using our Instant Pot since we have a ton of projects to do this week. 

We are making:

Egg salad with bacon

Tofu – braised 

Tofu – ginger soy sweet sauce (testing the recipe) 

Mushrooms with honey soy 

Cabbage with mushrooms and tomatoes 

Garlic Naan pizza 

Garlic bread pizza

Veggie lentil chili 

Burritos/tacos

Gumbo 

All of these meals are easily used for lunch or dinner and can be made pretty quickly. All except the gumbo. The gumbo will take me almost a full day to make. 

How much do you spend on your meal prep? 

Our total for this list was $39.92, but please remember that we did have items already at home. We are making our way through our pantry and freezer to clean items out before the items go bad. 

We are essentially doing a pantry challenge. But we’ve made it a little friendly for our family and our schedule. After all, that is what a good meal prep is about. 

What is a pantry challenge? 

We took inventory of our freezers, fridge and pantry. Then we said, what can we make with items that have been in the freezer longer. We use the FIFO 

method in our house so we can have less food waste. 

Once we make the list we then go through the process of finding and/or creating meals for the week. 

Don’t worry if you don’t feel like turning it into a meal with leftovers for dinner. Make it and put it in lunch size portions in the freezer. We do this so that we can have quick and convenient meals for busy weeks. 

What is FIFO?

First in, First out. It’s a standard accounting term. But it just means whatever inventory comes in first must be used/sold first. 

How do you plan groceries for a week?

Have a budget

I know that many people talk about how much you should spend. We won’t cover this here. It’s a very personal subject. My budget is not the same as yours and neither one of us have the budget of a movie star. So set what you are comfortable with and stick to it. Adjust accordingly. 

Make a list of items

So how do you know what to buy when you’re headed to the store? The best way is to be prepared. 

Plan on shopping only once or twice a week

Don’t make it a habit to go too often. The more you go the more you spend. The more food may get wasted. 

Keep things stocked for quick and easy meals

We do a lot of salads with amazing toppings, rice and noodle bowls as well. But we go through phases. One week our standard stock up may be pizza. Another week may be pasta, another salads. Choose your adventure. 

Make a pantry checklist

Nothing worse than planning on making Greek chicken and salad to find out you have no oregano or no lemon. I give this example form personal experience. 

Plan your weekly menu

Now if you’ve watched our live cooking shows, you know that we will make three to five meals and eat them in no particular order over the first few days of the week. Sometimes I’ll make food to put in the freezer for later in the week. Point is don’t get hung up saying that you made a meal for Tuesday and we have to eat it. You may decide taco Tuesday is not pizza Tuesday, and that is ok. 

Does meal planning save you money? 

Get organized. Have your plan before you go to the store. If you get to the point you can’t trust yourself in the store. Do a Walmart pickup. That way, someone shops for you and you don’t even have to worry about sneaking down the candy isle. 

If you want more tips and tricks for meal planning, we have a class that we’ve been teaching that helps you set a plan to help you. It’s not rigid, it helps you plan what’s good for your family. 

You can check that out here

Are you interested in more meal planning/meal prepping articles?  Please comment below and let us know what you would like to see. 

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