If you have been looking for some tips on how to meal prep for the week, look no further. Learn how long food stays good for, tips for keeping vegetables fresh, and how to not fall in a meal preparation rut!
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I’m sure every Sunday you see all those #mealprepsunday Instagram posts with elaborate meals that seem to take hours and costs hundreds to make. Well meal prep doesn’t have to be that way. I’ll walk you through how to meal prep for the week. I’ll also show you how I navigate the store ads and save money on the products I need, and how to put together a variety of foods to make different meals that will keep your family going all week long!
Meal Preparation Ideas
I find it easy to plan out all of my meals throughout the week first. This helps not only with meal prep, but also helping you to keep healthy meals on track. When you don’t know what to eat, you’ll fall into the dreded “what’s for dinner?” which if your anything like my household will end up with fast food. This also helps you stick to a budget as well.
As you’re thinking about how to meal prep for the week, think about multiple instances where you could use the same veggie. Maybe you can have roasted brussels, eggs and sweet potato for breakfast, and also incorporate the brussel sprouts into a steak dinner two nights later. When you add the same veggies to multiple meals, it will help you save time and money in the long run.
Now to the shopping part. I recommend the first stop be your local farmers market. If you go within the last hour, farmers are usually looking to get rid of their food so they don’t have to haul it back to the farm. You might be able to negotiate a lower price than you would have when the farmers market opened.
Grocery Store Deals
If you don’t have a local farmers market, many of the organic grocery stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts have apps with coupons. I mean the main purpose is to track your life, but hey your getting a discount so it’s all good. The positive about tracking your every move? the coupons will be more closely in line with your purchasing habits. Also make sure to check out the ads when they come out on Tuesdays (most ads begin running on Wednesdays) to help you plan for the week ahead. For nuts, seeds and flours, it’s always better to buy in the bulk bins. You can get a cute glass container from Worlds Market or the grocery store to keep your stuff fresh for awhile.
How to Meal Prep Proteins and Vegetables?
Once you have all of your goodies, it’s time to get cooking. I start with all of the veggies and any grains I plan on including for the week (I toss in quinoa here and there, I know not paleo but I can tolerate it occasionally). I use Chosen Foods avocado spray to spray all of the veggies, because olive oil tends to make them soggy a few days later. Toss on the seasonings and cook at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Once vegetables are done cooking, let them sit until completely cooled. This helps avoid them going soggy.
For proteins, you can cook as desired but make sure your eating within their time frame. I’ll usually eat a tuna salad for the first couple of days during the week, so Tuesday evening I will cook my chicken for the rest of the week. Here’s how long you should give most cooked meat in the fridge:
poultry: 3 to 4 days refrigerated
beef: 3 to 4 days refrigerated
ground turkey: 3 to 4 days refrigerated
You can learn more about eat by dates on this website.
I will usually assemble my meals the night before, and place in a meal prep container in the fridge for lunch the next day. A great protein meal prep idea that tastes great both hot and cold are these paleo sweet potato salmon patties.
If you are looking for a great veggie meal prep idea, try these roasted rainbow carrots!
These are my favorite meal prep containers from Amazon. I recommend using glass containers as they won’t leech BPA during storage or microwaving that plastic containers would.
Make sure to include #losingitwithmelissamealprep in your pictures on Instagram, I want to see what awesome stuff you come up with!