I am a list/shopping/deal fanatic! I truly love making shopping lists, searching circulars, and planning meals for my husband and me.
Breakfasts for me include green smoothies, oats (overnight and cooked), yogurt bowls, and the occasional waffle or bowl of cereal. Lunches are leftovers from dinners, salads, and wraps. As far as dinners go, I try to plan 5 meals for the week and allow one night for pizza/take out or a date night out and one night for a family favorite (aka, not always healthy, lol).
I find meals in cookbooks, from favorite blogs, and a meal plan service called eMeals. I discovered it through Groupon and have been in love ever since. Through eMeals, you can select your diet, store, and size of the family you’re feeding.
Some favorite plans of mine include Paleo, Clean Eating, and Quick and Healthy. They also have diets for low carb, low calorie, gluten free, and even geared toward children. Certain plans allow for members to pick what store they want to shop and the meals will reflect what’s on sale or abailable on that given week. Stores include Whole Foods, Walmart, Publix, and more. Lastly, you are able to decide if you want the meals to feed 1-3 people or 4-6 people. What’s even better, you can swap the plans as often as you like. Say this week there is only one dinner that sounds appealing, you can go on the site or app and select a new one!
In addition to dinner plans, eMeals offers breakfast, lunch, dessert, and special occasion ones that you can add on to further plan your meals. The breakfast and lunch plans tend to reflect the type of dinner plan you have (paleo, gluten-free, etc.). The sizes of the add-on plans is typically for 4+ people.
Unsure if you want to commit to a 3 or 12 month plan? eMeals offers a 14 day free trial!
Once I figure out what meals I want to prepare, I start looking at my coupons and the ads for the week. Three stores in my area offer online pickup/delivery, and while I prefer to shop myself, I am able to see the exact prices for the products on my list so I can make sure I am getting the best price, After I write down the prices, I go to a different store where I purchase anything that is cheaper than my list price before i head to the next two stores. While that seems like a lot to go through, luckily, the stores are within a mile or two of each other so it doesn’t take too much time. I also don’t always go to all the stores on the same day, provided I have the ingredients for whole recipes from one store.
Once home from the store, I will divide the meat and vegetables to sort into dinner groupings to make my life easier come mealtime. If I bought in bulk, I label the extra portions and place them in the freezer. Then, depending on the vegetables etc., I will prep them for quick cooking. If I need grilled chicken or other basic staples for meals, I will then fire up the grill (or oven/stove) and get cooking. Last, I will make up smoothie packs for quick blending, prep overnight oats and lunches.
My whole process takes a couple hours, but it makes the rest of the week SO much easier. I am lucky enough to only be working part time so I do have the time to do all of this.
Do you meal prep?
How do you find recipes? Deals?
Any recommendations for me?
The links for eMeals and Groupon are referral links. I will be given credit for these sites for anyone who signs up and makes a purchase. I was not compensated in anyway for this post. I believe in these services and paid for them out of my own pocket.