Id’ be lying if I said that cooking at home is easy.
Because the truth is, it’s not!
At least not for me.
The last thing I want to do when I return home from work is to rack my brain about what’s for dinner.
Can I hear an Amen?
But guess what, coming home to a home-cooked meal is not my reality so, over the years, I’ve had to make some tweaks to my approach to cooking.
Keep reading for the inside scoop on a major secret of my lifestyle – meal prep planning.
How I Used To Approach Cooking
At the beginning of my cooking journey, I allowed my self-diagnosed laziness to run the show.
The majority of the time I spent my money on eating out as if money grew on trees.
In my mind, I was supporting my local restaurant industry. However, my bank account begged to differ.
In reality, I was developing an expensive habit that over time could hinder me from actually doing other things I loved like traveling, attending a fashion show, etc.
Nevertheless, the reality of seeing how my weekly food bill put a limit on my activities didn’t phase me.
But a job loss did.
Not being able to work or pay my bills as I waited for my immigration application to be approved, forced me to look at how I spent money, especially on food.
And what I found was that my approach to cooking was unsustainable.
So it was time for a change.
Meal Prep Planning – My Cooking Paradigm Shift
It didn’t happen all at once, but over time I began to explore the concept of meal prep and meal prep planning.
I have to admit that in the beginning, I rejected the idea.
I mean, I didn’t want to rack my brain about food every evening after work but now the meal prep experts were asking me to think about what I was going to eat for an entire week, or month? Not to mention, I then needed to plan my grocery list too?
Nah that was too much!
But even though I was uncomfortable with the concept, I tried it out.
And now after 3 years of experimenting, I finally have a process that works for me and fits seamlessly into my life as a working mom, wife and digital creative.
How to Create a Menu for the Week
One of the first things I learned from my meal prep experimenting is that planning a menu is imperative!
However, from personal experience, I’ve found that meal prep planning for the week and then building my grocery list off of that is the best fit for my lifestyle.
So how do I do it?
(1) Print A Meal Prep Planning Sheet
Every Sunday, I print my weekly meal prep planning sheet (as seen below).
(2) Write Your Meal Plan for the Week
Then I take about 30 minutes that same day to plan the meals for my family that week.
What’s important to note is that I always plan an easy meal, or two, during the week!
And, I leave Saturday and Sunday open to leftovers or other creative options.
(3) Plan Your Grocery List
From there, all I need to do is create a grocery list based on the meals I have planned.
Voila! You’re done!
Now all you have to do is shop for your ingredients and then follow your menu throughout the week!
And if I may add a plug for those of us who need an easy way to grocery shop, I suggest Kroger Clicklist or Instacart. If you watch my Instagram stories weekly, you know I’m all about these methods to get my groceries.
FREE Meal Prep Planning Sheet
But wait, there’s more!
Just in case, you didn’t click on the photo earlier to download your FREE Meal Prep Planning Sheet.
And if you want to read this later, click on the image below to Pin It!
Have an awesome week!