Meal Planning 101

If you're like me, the week days become one big blur of working, working out, blogging, running errands and doing housework. The last thing I need to think about during the week is what I'm going to do to stop the growling hunger coming from a starving stomach! When you let things get that far, bad decisions are made! 

1. Have A Plan

Saturday mornings as I sip my morning coffee and Pinterest, I make my plan. The first thing you need to figure out is how many lunches and snacks you need for the week. Ideally, you're making 5 lunches for everyone in the family- one for every day of work or school. Next, make sure you write down what snacks will be available at home whether it's fruit, nuts or something baked! Lastly, plan out all of your dinners. I Pinterest every breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack I'm making that week. I always make sure to write down what day I'm making what or I'll likely forget altogether why I bought that ground turkey ;).

  • Monday- Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Scramble
  • Tuesday- Tacos!
  • Wednesday- Salmon, Kale Salad, Sweet Potato Fries
  • Thursday- Lettuce Wrap Burgers Loaded + Roasted Potatoes & Peppers
  • Friday- Date Night out (Finally! A break from cooking!)
  • Saturday- Mock Chipotle Bowls
  • Sunday- White Bean Chili

2. Write It Down

Now that you know exactly what your making next week, write down every ingredient from the recipes. I separate it into 6 sections based on the layout of the grocery store: 

  • Produce (you should spend most of your time here)
  • Meats/Seafood (preferably wild caught/grass fed)
  • Dried Goods (isle foods- hopefully not too much from this section!)
  • Dairy
  • Frozen (focus on frozen fish, fruits or veggies and avoid the lean cuisines, etc)
  • Home Necessities (q-tips, shampoo, toilet paper, dog food, etc)

3. Stick to It

You spent all that time making the list, now stick to it! Leave the husband and kids at home as they have a tendency to throw a few "extras" in the cart that would not necessarily be Kraving Health approved! 

 

4. Dedicate Time

This part can seem daunting, but I've got it down to about an hours worth of painless work! I like to break it up, grocery shopping one day and meal prepping one day, so as not to feel like my entire weekend is revolving around food and planning for the week ahead! Try the tips below and see what works best for you. 

  • Combine your meal prep with other meals: If I'm taking muffins as a snack I'll make them upon waking and also have them for breakfast... I'm all about killing 2 birds with 1 stone!  I like to double dip again at dinner time as well... what ever lunches I'm meal prepping for the week I'll time it so we can have that for dinner on Sunday as well.  
  • Utilize the crock pot on busy weekends: The hubs' lunches are made in the crock pot more than not! It's easy, low maintenance and makes for great left overs!
  • Do it first thing: Make meal prep a priority. The easiest way to do this is to get it done before Sunday Funday gets in the way! I like to begin the day with baking and loading up the crockpot, then end the day enjoying my last few hours of free time before the chaos of the week is in full swing!

 

5. Containers

You're almost done! As soon as your meals are done, separate them in containers so they are ready for grabbing and going! Also, I suggest investing in a good lunch box... and as far as lunch bags go, I personally love my innovator mini lunch bag

 

 

For meal ideas check out some of my recipes below! 

 

If you follow these simple steps, how could you possibly fail? Always remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.