It's that time of year again...back to school! For some of you that might not change anything, but for us busy moms, it's the season of packing lunches and planning meals around sports, gymnastics, or other extracurricular activities that have us running around like crazy!
Meal planning and prepping is something that will encourage healthy eating, curb impulse spending at the grocery store, and save you time during those hectic schedules. I have included some tips to help you get started.
Meal Planning/Prepping Tips:
Make a list of all meals, including snacks. This helps you only buy what is on the list and not impulse shop at the store. This can make a big difference in how much you spend a month on groceries. Who knows, you might even start to notice extra $$ in your pocket each month!
Choose a day that you can devote a few hours to cleaning fruits and veggies and pre-cooking or assembling food. I wash all my fruits and veggies in white distilled vinegar and water. You would be amazed what you see left in the sink after letting them soak for about 10 minutes. Gross!
Prep your proteins. I grill all my chicken before hand and put them in baggies ready to grab for a recipe or salad. Some weeks I will shred the chicken to use in a chicken salad or taco salad. Sometimes I like to make turkey or beef meatballs ahead of time and either eat them alone or throw them in a sauce for spaghetti. You can freeze bags of already cooked ground beef or turkey, ready to thaw and use for tacos, chilis, or whatever you prefer.
Pre-cook a big batch of vegetables for the week. I love to roast a large sheet pan of veggies tossed in a little Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil or some extra virgin olive oil, a little salt and pepper. You can also make your complex carb ahead of time. I love to make either quinoa or brown rice in my Instant Pot!
We eat with our eyes first! Keep all your fruits in clear containers in the refrigerator, as well as any veggies, such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, sliced bell peppers, cucumbers, etc. Keep your fruits which do not require any refrigeration in plain sight. I keep mine either in bowls on the counter or in baskets in the pantry with the other snacks, where the kids can easily reach for them. If we see it, we are more likely to reach for it!
I hope these tips help make your week a little easier and maybe even free up some time for you to hang with the family or get some "me" time! Now get to preppin'!!