If you are anything like me, you struggle with dinner; by the end of a long day — dealing with kids arguing, saying “no” over and over, and trying to get some semblance of housework done — the last thing you want to do is cook a meal, let alone one considered healthy. Throw in a cranky toddler and to it’s to make me grab the phone to order pizza.
I don’t often have time to meal prep unless it is on the weekends, but today, I found myself furiously chopping, bagging, and prepping – and enjoying it – while C took a morning nap.
So I’ve assembled a few tips to help you meal plan and prep like a boss.
- Leverage digital coupons and weekly ads to guide your meal planning. We love Kroger because their digital coupons are usually really good and are for things we actually buy. Plus with their mobile app, I can sit down on the couch while the boys play and plan out our meals.
- Write. It. Down. Seriously. Write down your meals on a board or in your planner. It makes grocery shopping much easier.
- Plan for a mid-week “fun” meal. By Wednesday, I’m typically super exhausted, so I plan for something easy that doesn’t really need to be cooked. (Pizza still counts because I only need to put it on a pan and throw it in the oven). Sandwiches are also a great option here.
- Grocery pickup, anyone? Kroger’s Grocery Pickup (formerly Clicklist) is amazing. No, this isn’t sponsored; I just love this service. I can add all of my groceries to my cart, select my pickup window, and all I have to do when I pull up is call them to let them know I’m there. Guys – for $4.95, they will shop, bag, and load my groceries for me. Bonus? You can use paper coupons and digital coupons in addition to their sales. Some even have special offers just for using grocery pickup! If you don’t have a Kroger, check to see if your local supermarket offers this service.
- When unloading your groceries, keep out any items you need to chop or prep for meals. After picking up our groceries this morning, I came home and chopped up strawberries for snacks; peppers, onions, and mushrooms for fajitas, and got my soup ingredients into the Crockpot for dinner tonight. It’s much easier to stick to your meal planning if you have everything pretty much ready to go.
Bonus tip – if you are making something that is easy to freeze, double your batch and freeze half of it.
There you have it! What are some meal planning and prep tips that you want to share? Let me know in the comments!