Meal Prepping: Save Your Money And Time

Meal preparation is something I’ve never been great at.  I’m a huge procrastinator and when the time comes for meal preparation every week, I always feel like I have more important things to do.  However, I always end up spending more time during the week making meals than I should, when I could have just made all my meals on Sunday.  My new plan is to stop procrastinating! Here’s how to get started on your healthy, weekly meal preps.

Take 2 hours out of your Sunday afternoon to meal prep all your meals through Thursday.  It’s not what you think! Two hours, one day a week is nothing compared to the amount of time you will take making the three meals a day, five days a week.  And, you won’t have to eat the same meals every day of the week. Your meal prep can involve multiple options.

Breakfast:

    1. Oatmeal: Steel-cut oats take about 20 minutes to make, so to save time you can make a big batch on Sunday and use them throughout the week.  Rinse, dry and cut the tops off a whole container of strawberries so they are ready to eat. Place them in a mason jar or plastic container in the fridge.  In the morning all you have to do is combine your steel cut oats, strawberries and almond milk in a bowl. A two-minute prep in the morning!

    2. Smoothie: Freeze several bananas, blueberries, or any other fruit you like in your smoothie.  These can be used throughout the entire week and much longer if you freeze a lot of them. Rinse and dry some spinach or kale then place in a mason jar or plastic container in the fridge.  In the morning just combine your greens, fruit (including the strawberries you’ve already prepared), almond milk and your favorite protein powder into a blender. This smoothie is only a five-minute prep in the morning!  These also work great for lunch if you’re in a hurry.

    3. Breakfast burrito: Make eggs, bacon and sausage.  Roll the three into a wrap with cheese and any other additions you like.  Roll the burrito in parchment paper and stick it in the freezer. The burritos will last in the freezer for a month!  In the morning just take the burrito out of the parchment paper, roll it in a wet paper towel and stick it in the microwave for three minutes.

Lunch/dinner:

    1. Rice bowl: Make brown rice, roasted peppers, corn and chicken.  When you’re done making your chicken, shred it and combine it with your roasted peppers.  Place your brown rice, chicken and peppers, corn, salsa, black beans and anything else you like into a glass container for storage.  Put the container in the fridge and eat it any time within the next four days. You can make four of these containers and eat one every day!

    2. Salad in a jar: Choose your favorite dressing or make your own and pour it into the bottom of a mason jar.  Add your favorite veggies over the dressing then your greens. Place the jar in the fridge and eat it any day of the week.  Just shake it and eat it!

    3. Pasta salad: Cook your favorite pasta and add whatever veggies you like.  Mix it up and put it in the fridge; yes, it’s that easy! You can eat your pasta salad any day of the week.

Desert:

    1. Banana ice cream: Take your frozen bananas that you’ve already prepared and put them through the Yonana machine along with any other fruit you want.  That’s all it takes to make your own ice cream out of fruit!  Just add cinnamon on top and enjoy!

Snacks:

    1. Trail mix: During the week you may want to grab a snack and go, so guess what, we can meal prep for that too.  Combine granola with dried fruits and dark chocolate chips into small plastic bags. Grab these any time you need a little snack throughout the day.

    2. Granola bars: Combine oats with almond butter (or peanut butter) and honey, place them flat in a pan and freeze them.  When they’re ready, take them out and cut them into bars. You can also put these in small plastic bags and take them on the go!

Other tips and tricks:

    1. Lemons: If you like flavor in your drinks, but don’t like the calories of many sodas, try lemon water.  You don’t have to cut a lemon every morning to add to your water. Quarter several lemons on Sunday and place them in a mason jar in the fridge.  If you quarter your lemons beforehand, you will actually get more juice from them! In the morning just add one-quarter lemon to your water.  

This may seem like a lot, but it will save you a lot of time throughout the week and it ensures that you eat healthy all week.  You don’t have to do the same meal preparation every week. You can always change what you prep and add some variety to your week.  Take the time to eat healthily and prepare your meals, it will be worth it in the long-run.