New Year, New Habits: Meal Prep + Planning
Welcome to my 2022 New Year, New Habits Series!
Next up is Meal Prep + Planning. One of my favorite weekly habits is meal prep and planning. It allows me to focus my planning energy and save time throughout the week.
Why meal plan? It saves time and money. That's the big reason. I've found that I spend less time throughout the week and far less money because I'm not throwing away food that I don't use. Taking out the guesswork allows me to focus more energy on the tasks that need to get done throughout the week and less energy deciding what to make for dinner.
How does meal planning work? Sit down with Pinterest and your cookbooks to plan out your meals for the next week. You can be as detailed or as basic as you need. I usually have the same breakfast and lunch everyday and plan out different dinners.
How does meal prep work? After our weekly grocery shopping trip, I pull out the veggies and anything that can be prepped. I separate chopped veggies into labeled bags for each meal. This allows me to save time throughout the week because most of the meals can then just be thrown into the pan or oven when I'm ready to cook. It also saves on cleaning time as I'm usually only using the cutting board and knifes on Sundays.
Where do you start? I like to start with my template, it provides a framework that I can then fill in with my planned meals. Once I have my meals outlined for the week, I create a shopping list based off of those meals and add in some snacks I feel we'll likely need. You can view my template below or click here to download it.
How do you maximize your food? Try to use the same food items for multiple meals. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 zucchini and 4 come in the pack, plan 2 meals that call for 2 zucchinis. That way you're not throwing away food at the end of the week. As you get in the habit and practice of doing this you will find it easier to maximize food.
My Meal Planning Template: