How to Successfully Meal Prep on a Busy Schedule
Would you like to know how to prepare your breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinners? I can tell you how to successfully meal prep on a busy schedule. It’s actually pretty easy. All you need to do is just plan. That means MAKE time for this!
I am a planner. I like to plan as many things as I can. There are not too many things I don’t plan. If it isn’t planned, then I kinda get stressed. It’s not pretty and it causes a lot of anxiety. So, just think about all of that stress and anxiety you cause yourself daily because of that busy schedule with no time to eat a healthy snack or meal.
What to do first
This is very important to do. You must think about what it is you want to do for the week ahead. What kind of breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner you want to eat. Do you want to eat healthier? Or, do you want to just eat? And then what is your budget. This is what will dictate your prepping.
Oh and don’t forget about containers! That needs to be included in your initial budget. If you are looking at snacks and lunch, then you can use snack and lunch containers. If you are looking at making smoothies, then you can use mason jars and I will explain how.
Let’s say you want to be healthier. So, you want to do a green smoothie for breakfast. What do you do first? You do your research on what you would like to try or what has worked for you in the past. Find something that you can stick with the entire week, whether it’s your 5 day work week or 7 day week. This is very important to know because it affects quantity of the ingredients you will buy and your budget.
The Meal Prep Process
Now, we’re in the meal prep process. These are the questions you need to have answers to before you get to the grocery store: What is your budget? How much time do you have to prep? Then before you go out and buy your ingredients for your green smoothie, you must figure out how you will store those ingredients all week. I like to use majon jars and I will tell you why. Mason jars, if closed tight and not opened again, will keep your fruits and veggies fresh. Also, it’s much easier to open the jar, pour the ingredients into your Nutribullet, blend it and put it back in the jar to drink. Ziploc bags are not as dependable and do not keep your fruits and veggies as long.
So, you’re in the grocery store buying your green smoothie ingredients. You must think about your budget. This is important and I will tell you why. In most grocery stores, you will find many fruits and veggies are already cut up and in a container ready to be used at a higher cost. Then you have fruits and veggies that are layed out for you to buy, cut up and put in a container for a cheaper cost.
There are a few scenarios here that can help you make decisions on which fruits and veggies to buy:
- Unlimited budget and no time: you would buy the prepped fruits and veggies
- Unlimited budget and time: you would buy the freshest ingredients first and if none are available, then you would go for the prepped fruits and veggies
- Limited budget and no time: you would buy the most affordable prepped fruits and veggies, then buy the freshest affordable ingredients
- Limited budget and time: you would buy the freshest affordable ingredients
*Whether you have an unlimited or a limited budget, you can always get mason jars from a dollar store.
You must have your mason jars out and ready for your ingredients. You need to figure out how much of each ingredient will go in each jar. Remember, each mason jar will have ALL ingredients for ONE green smoothie! This is so you can get up in the morning, take the jar out of the fridge, pour the ingredients into the Nutribullet, blend it and then put it back into the jar to drink on the go. Quick and simple process for a busy person with little time.
Once you have all of your ingredients, you must wash the ones that didn’t come in a container. Then you prep those ingredients to fit your mason jars. You need to figure out how much of your ingredients will go into each jar. Make sure all of your jars are out and cleaned well. Put all of your ingredients into each one, put the lids on tight and put them in the fridge. All the ingredients will keep for the entire week.
You can do this process for your snacks, lunch and dinner using containers. It’s your preference if you want to use Ziploc bags. I just prefer containers because it keeps your food better for longer.
So, remember this. You must make time to do the prep work and cooking. The best time to do it is on the weekends, possibly on Sunday. I have always found that Saturdays are for fun and whatever you couldn’t get to during the week. Sundays for me are the days that I do the housework and meal prep for the week. Good luck with your meal prep endeavors!