Having a meal prep day at the beginning of the week to make some lunches, get a jump start on some dinners for the week and make some healthy snack items can help you save time, save money and eat better!
If you follow along with my Instagram stories, you’ve probably caught some of my Meal Prep posts. Each week I take set aside time to meal plan, grocery shop and do some meal prepping.
Here are some examples of what I do on my meal prep day:
- Make lunches for my husband to take to work for the week.
- Make some snacks or meal items for my toddler.
- Wash and prep fruits and vegetables for snacks or to use in our meals.
- Cook and shred chicken to use for an easy dinner one night that week.
- Start a batch of bone broth in the slow cooker.
How Meal Prepping Saves You Time
Whether you are a parent or not, whether you go to work or work from home or are a stay at home mom, taking time to meal prep for the week can save you a lot of time during the rest of the week.
When I first started meal prepping, I did all of my meal planning, grocery shopping and meal prep on Mondays. Now that I have two small children, I have to break it up a little. I typically meal plan and grocery shop on Saturdays, prep my husband’s lunches for the week on Sunday afternoon and meal prep some snacks, breakfast or dinner items on Mondays.
Making my husband’s lunches, some snack items and prepping for our dinners at the beginning of the week helps me save time the rest of the week. It really helps my week go so much smoother!
How Meal Prepping Saves You Money
One of the biggest ways I save money through meal prepping is by making my husband’s lunches for him to bring to work. I started getting back to making his lunches a few months ago because he had been buying take out lunch everyday.
If he spent around $10 a day, that’s at least $50 a week! When I make his lunches, I only spend around $10 for the ingredients that will last for 4 or 5 days.
Meal prepping helps me save money on dinners, too! By having shredded chicken in the fridge, I know that I can make an easy meal with that on a busy day. It keeps me from going out for dinner or getting take out.
Meal Prep Lunch Ideas
My husband likes to have low carb lunches, so typically what I make for him is some form of chicken and vegetables. I mix things up with different marinades or spices.
Here are a few of his favorites that you can try for your lunches:
- Lemon Pepper Chicken and Vegetables from A Savory Feast
- One Pan Garlic Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken and Potatoes from Cafe Delites
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad from My Gluten Free Miami
- Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs from Eat Yourself Skinny
- Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls from A Savory Feast
- Italian Chicken Meal Prep Bowls from A Savory Feast
Meal Prep Snack Ideas
I typically try to prep at least one snack item for my toddler and/or me to eat during the week. I like to keep healthy, homemade snacks in the house to offer William or to eat when I’m needing a snack. Muffins are an easy one that double as a quick breakfast option, too.
Here are few easy snack items I often make on my meal prep day:
- Applesauce Muffins from A Savory Feast
- Parmesan Sweet Potato Chips from A Savory Feast
- Wash and freeze blueberries and strawberries for smoothies
- Banana and Cinnamon Biscuits (my toddler calls these “cookies”) from Hanky’s Happy Home
Meal Prep Dinner Ideas
Before I head to the store, I always meal plan my dinners for the week. I try to get a jump start on those dinners during my meal prep day if I can.
I usually buy my meat in bulk at Sam’s Club, so during my meal prep day I divide it and freeze it for later. I also like to cook and shred enough chicken for 1-2 meals. I use it in enchiladas, chicken pot pie or chicken soup.
Some other ideas are making pie crust to use for a pot pie, cooking a pot of rice, making bone broth, making enchilada sauce or pasta sauce, and browning ground beef. You could also make something like my Italian Sausage Alfredo Stuffed Shells to put in the fridge and reheat the next night for dinner.
I’ve loved getting into the routine of taking one day at the beginning of the week to get off to a good start and prepare food for the week. It makes a big difference for me!