Meal Planning 101: Part 5

You organized, planned and shopped.  Now, it’s time for food prep!   I have learned that failing to prepare is preparing to fail; a skill that I mastered while participating in and running my challenge groups.  In order to maximize on time, money (and your waistline!), this is the final, essential piece.  Here are my biggest tips for getting organized and making the most of what you’ve brought home.

DAY :5 FOOD PREP

When you get home from the grocery, keep everything on the counter that needs washed/prepped.  DO NOT PUT IT AWAY until you have completed this task.  This sometimes means that it will sit there for an hour before you get to it.  We have a 2 year old, so things often happen in shifts around here:

-Wash berries and other small fruits like cherries and store in a bowl.  Cut tops off of strawberries.

-Slice melons/other large fruits so they are easy to reach for throughout the week.  TIP TO MAXIMIZE FRESHNESS:  Cut a melon in half, place one half face down on a plate and store for later in the week.  Cube the other half and store in a tupperware.

-Cut base off of greens (lettuce, kale, bok choy, etc) and store in a large ziplock bag with a paper towel at the bottom to absorb extra water.

-Cut base off of celery and treat it like a bouquet of flowers in the fridge--store in the with 2-4 inches water.  I do the same with broccoli and asparagus!

-Make yogurt bowls.  I purchase quarts of yogurt and dish it into 5 servings in tupperware.  Top with rolled oats or some raw nuts for an easy grab and go snack during the day.  A quart of organic plain yogurt will run you just under $4--that breaks down to just 80 cents per serving!

-Cook grains for the week.  I will look at my menu and cook enough rice/quinoa/whatever grain I’m working on Sundays so that it is easy to incorporate into our weeknight meals.

-Hard boil a half dozen eggs for easy grab and go snacks or to throw on salads throughout the week.

-Each evening, take a look at your dinner menu for the following night and pull out all of the ingredients you will need for that meal.  (Pulling anything from the freezer, or maybe even chopping veggies for that dish.)  Also consider packing/prepping a healthy lunch for yourself each evening so that there are no excuses the following day.

That’s it!  Easy peasy.  Taking the time to do this will save SO much time during the week when life gets busy.  

What tips do you have?