So, last time I shared a new strategy I’ve learned for meal planning. This time, I want to share more about the meal prepping side of things. Meal prepping is the actual preparation and cooking of ingredients and meals that you want to eat in advance of when you want to have them.
For example, we’ve found we can save ourselves time on weekday mornings if our breakfasts and lunches are packed ahead of time. This is where the majority of our meal prepping energy is put to use. We also like to cook meals that are large enough to produce leftovers for a day or two. I’ll walk you through a typical week for our household to paint a picture of our meal prepping.
Let’s start on Saturday. This is when we usually do our grocery shopping. After we’ve created our list, we’ll go to one of our local stores. When the weather is nice and we have some extra time, we like to visit farmers markets as well.
We like to experiment with cooking and seek out high-quality, whole foods. We also try to balance the cost of some of the expensive ingredients with buying in bulk some of the items we go through more frequently. We make a visit to Costco about once per month.
Our Sundays are typically for meal prepping. This usually includes making an egg casserole that we can cut up into squares for our breakfasts throughout the week and another large meal that produces leftovers for 2-3 days. Mondays we tend to cook dinner as well so that we can alternate Sunday and Monday night leftovers throughout the next couple of days. Sometimes we will prep salad makings and roasted vegetables ahead of time to use up as sides throughout the week. The middle of week is where we are the least consistent. Sometimes we eat leftovers, sometimes we eat out, and other times we cook one-off dinners. It all depends on our schedule and what sort of plans come up.
Meal prepping is definitely easier with two people. We usually split up tasks and one of us chops veggies while the other trims and seasons meat. We also try to clean as we go. So, if Josh is actively cooking for example, I might be putting away ingredients which were already used or wiping down a counter top. I find that we cook more elaborately more often now that we are living and cooking together. On my own, it was hard to find the energy and will power to cook a more elaborate meal for just myself.
Some nights, convenience wins out, but other nights it can be nice to indulge in a more decadent meal. It can be hard to balance cooking creatively and experimentally with cooking efficiently and affordably. I think these are the areas that we can still work on.
In the meantime, it’s a delicious journey!