When it comes to getting dinner on the table, I’ll do just about anything to make it go by faster.
With little ones running around the house and complaining they’re hungry, you need to get dinner on the table quick!
Doing some meal prep ahead of time will not only make cooking easier, but you’ll get dinner on the table in less time!
Meal prep can be a bit intimidating and maybe even a little bit scary.
With a bit of organization, a well-made list, and a trip to the grocery store, you will be meal prepping in less time!
Step 1: Map Out Your Week
The first thing I do to prepare for my meal prep is by looking at my calendar for the week.
If there are days when you know you will be busy, look for a meal that will require only a few minutes to put together.
If you have plans during the evening, it might not make sense to eat at home, so make a note that you’ll be eating out that night.
Your meal plan should be based on what your family’s schedule is like for that week.
Step 2: Do Inventory
After you know what kind of meals you need to be putting together, it’s time to do a little inventory.
Look in your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see if you have anything that you can use to put together a meal for the week.
This will help you cut down on food waste and spend less at the store!
Once you’ve exhausted these areas entirely, it’s time to hit the store!
Download this handy Kitchen Inventory sheet for easy planning!
Step 3: Order Groceries
These days, almost every grocery store offers a grocery pickup or delivery service.
If you are a busy mom who is short on time, then this could save you a ton of time!
You will be less tempted by impulse buys (and no kids screaming for candy too!), and you can order them in advance!
Some stores will even offer same day pickup or delivery.
Step 4: Start Prepping!
If you have completely free days on your schedule, by all means, please use those days to meal prep!
If you are like me and have small pockets of time throughout the day, then those are going to become your meal prep time.
Instead of spending hours at a time preparing your meals for the week, you can use these small pockets of time to get your meal prep done.
When I get home and unload the groceries, I will go ahead and start washing my produce.
If I have time, I’ll even chop and store it.
Then, later in the afternoon, I will brown all of my meat.
Throughout the weekend, I will use those extra minutes of my day to finish my meal prep.
Step 5: Storage
Storage can make or break your meal prep!
The worst thing you can do is spend hours planning and preparing your food just to have it go bad before you’re able to eat it.
Before you hit the kitchen and start making things left and right, consider expiration date.
Some produce items won’t last the entire week after they’ve been cut, so you’ll want to do this as close to the day you’re using them.
You’ll also want to make sure you are properly storing your items.
When storing food you’ve prepped, you want to make sure you are using airtight containers.
Moisture and air can ruin your meal after it’s been prepared, so take the necessary precautions ahead of time to save your food from going bad.
Meal prep doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and it doesn’t have to be done all in one day.
Use those pockets of extra time to your advantage, and make your meal plan work for you!
If you’re looking for more tips on meal planning, don’t miss these:
- Why Meal Planning Doesn’t Stink
- How To Plan Your Weekly Meals, Stress-Free Guaranteed
- New And Innovative Ways To Take Meal Planning To The Next Level
- The No Plan Meal Planning Method
- How To Make A Meal Plan That Works For Your Family
- Tips For Healthy Eating Meal Planning
- How To Not Get Stuck In A Dinner Rut
YOUR TURN: When your week is too busy to cook, do you plan to eat out, use the slow cooker or make sandwiches? Let me know in the comments below!
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