How to Meal Plan to Save You Time and Money

What is Meal Prep?

  • Meal prep refers to preparing your meals in advance. Some people will prep for 2-3 days and others will prep for the entire week.
  • Meal prep can help prevent you from making hasty decisions when you’re hungry – like going to the drive thru of a fast food chain.
  • If you are new to meal prepping, try to start by prepping just your lunches for the week.
  • Meal prep is also a great way to plan your grocery runs and save you money. If you grocery shop with a list in hand, you are less likely to add unplanned items to your cart.

How Should You Store Your Meals?

How to Prepare for a Successful Meal Prep?

  • Get organized. Having an organized kitchen, refrigerator and pantry will help keep you on track and allow for a smooth planning process. Knowing exactly where all your cooking tools and ingredients are will help you plan out your meals and plan out your grocery list without over/underbuying.
  • Write things down. Whether you are a pen and paper type person or a digital person, plan out your week’s meal plan in a designated calendar. Decide on what you plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks in between.
  • Keep a well stocked pantry.
    • Grains: rice, quinoa, oats, pasta
    • Legumes: canned or dried beans
    • Canned Goods: tomato sauce, tomatoes, corn, olives, tuna, chicken, broth
    • Oils: olive, avocado, coconut
    • Baking essentials: baking powder, baking soda, flour (all purpose, tapioca, almond), cornstarch
    • Other: almond butter, peanut butter, mixed nuts, dried fruit, protein bars, beef jerky, protein shakes/powder
  • Keep a variety of spices available. Make sure that the meals you prep are actually tasty and you would enjoy eating. Herbs and spices can make a huge difference during planning.
  • Always shop your home first. Before you meal plan, go through your kitchen and gather a list of what you have available in your fridge, freezer and pantry. By doing so, you can reduce waste and keep you from buying unnecessary items.
  • MAKE TIME. Integrate meal planning into your schedule. Set a time block aside during the week to sit down and write out your plan. Create a list of ingredients you need for the week and write that down before you head to the grocery store.
  • Save the recipes your use in a designated place. If you are getting recipes off the internet, create a bookmarked folder of “meal prep recipes”. If you print out your recipes, designate a folder in your kitchen for those recipes. By doing so, this will save you more time during your next round of meal prepping.