Meal planning and prepping is a daily thing (kind of like cleaning) and it can feel overwhelming and consuming but with a few tricks, anyone can master meal planning and prepping. Over the years I’ve developed a handful of tips and methods that I use to streamline the process.
My favorite tips all include one component – thinking ahead – that concept is key to ensuring that menu planning is smooth, seamless, and best of all time-saving.
Cook once, eat twice. This is probably my most-used tactic. I do a lot of protein this way (ground turkey, chicken, pork, and beef) and I will do this for full meals like soup or lasagna. If I do a shortcut like rotisserie chicken, I grab extra and portion it out for leftovers or lunches.
Have protein at the ready. I will boil 6-12 eggs once a week – we use these on salads, with lunches, and for snacks. This is great for kids and adults 🙂
Portion out snacks to make it easy to grab and go. This makes it easy for the kids to pack lunches and to grab snacks.
Utilize your slow cooker or instant pot. Plan out your meals ahead of time and you can have dinner in the slow cooker waiting for you on those busy nights.
Prep ahead veggies and fruits. I find that the most time consuming thing in the kitchen (besides the clean up) is the cutting and prepping. Cut up veggies and fruit for 2-3 days so you have them ready. If you have extras that can be frozen, cut those up and freeze them for your future meals.
Keep a well-stocked pantry – by keeping your pantry stocked you’ll find that you are going to the grocery store less and saving time in the kitchen.
Looking for some more meal planning resources? I have some great ones in Clean Mama Home – The Clean Mama Menu Planner is my favorite way to organize meal times 🙂