Create a menu for dinner. This will ensure you are at least prepping and planning one meal per day that will most likely give you left overs you can eat the next day. My prep of course always starts with shopping – but on a DIFFERENT day than prep. I do not like shopping and prepping in one day! I try to minimize my time prepping so it doesn’t become a long chore that I HAVE to do rather than one I WANT to do. We will generally shop on Fridays and prep on Sundays.
I never understood when I was a kid why my mom always dragged me to 3 different stores just to get groceries. I hated it! I definitely get it now though. My routine starts at Sterns for veggies, BJ’s for meat/bulk items and Hannfords for the remainder. Sterns has cheap veggies…NO they are not organic…and thats OK. Eating organic is a choice not a necessity. With 2 guys at home that eat a ridiculous amount of food buying all organic is too expensive. My rule is if you eat it everyday or multiple times a day it should be organic or at its best quality. I will say that we eat more organic veggies and fruit in the warmer months because it’s more cost effective. Ben likes to call it “seasonal eating”.
If shopping and prepping are too daunting to do a in a day – break them up! BJ’s generally has the best deal on meats. Between Ben and Me, we consume on average 300 grams of protein per day. That’s the equivalent of around 3-4 WHOLE chickens per day. That’s a lot of chicken, pork, hamburger, steak, seafood, dairy, etc. It’s cheaper and easier for us to buy it in bulk at BJ’s and freeze the stuff we won’t eat that week. You don’t have to shop at 3 different places to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It works for us, I don’t always find everything at 1 store so thats why we go to 3. We also generally only go to BJ’s once or twice a month.
Buy meat in bulk, freeze the stuff you won’t use. This will help cut down on the amount of time you spend getting your staples every week. Less time shopping means more time enjoying NOT shopping!
Our prep looks like this. This isn’t a complete list, but it’s definitely our go to list and will consist of 95% of our weekly meal prep. Note – this list is not what Ben and I only eat during the week. We aren’t 100% meal preppers, meaning, you don’t find tupperware containers in our fridge full of packed and organized meals. That’s not our style and we don’t have to do that to get the results we want. BUT! That may work of for you!
5-6 Peppers(all colors) sliced
3 bunches of Broccoli cut up into florets
1 head cauliflower(boys don’t like this as much) cut into florets
3-4 onions sliced
1lb of green beans – cut the ends off
4-5 sweet potatoes sliced
1 bag of small red potatoes cut in halves
I should also mention prep happens when I am already cooking a meal. I find that it saves a lot of time. On Sundays (our free day) we will eat a late breakfast/brunch and then dinner later in the day. Sometimes we will do our prep while breakfast cooks. We really like to do the least amount of stuff on possible on Sunday to recharge. So, that means maybe we only cook once on prep days.
If possible, prep and cook at meal at the same time. I take about half of the peppers, broccoli, onions and cook those up for prepped meal then I leave the rest raw to snack on or for other meals like Ben’s breakfasts. If you haven’t seen his veggie/egg breakfast combo head over to Instagram…it’s a serious spread!
Protein: I cook all of this THEN weigh it!
2 lbs of skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 lb of lean turkey sausage
1 lb of bison (I prefer bison over gr. beef but its more expensive so i mix them)
1 lbs of 90/10 ground beef
1/2 dozen eggs hard boiled (just for me, Ben is better about making breakfast.)
Each meal consists of 4-6 oz. of protein then I add some veggies. This will give us about 2 meals a day for 4 days.
Be consistent! Try something for a few weeks before you decide to change it. We will stick with that plan for 11 out of 12 weekends. Listen, we’re not perfect! Sometimes we don’t feel like prepping on a Sunday. That’s that one week out of 12, but we still get our prep done, we just do it during the week in smaller batches on those weeks.