Prep Day – Preparing For The Week Ahead

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Do you have a certain day of the week where you prep? This can be prep for anything….work, school, meals, or just the week ahead. I’m a planner, organizer and prepper. I’m a sale shopper, coupon clipper and deal finder. I can’t stand to pay full price for anything and I really can’t stand to waste. My prep day helps keep me organized and stress free throughout the week.

My prep day is Monday, I’m off work and its the start of a new week. I use this day to clean, prep and spend some quality time with my son. My son’s nap time is prime time for me to complete as much as I can so the afternoon can be full of play. I try to prep my meals for the week so I don’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen after work. I enjoy cooking, but being in the kitchen for hours after work is not my idea of fun. I clean and chop veggies, pre-cook and shred meat, portion out ingredients and go through my fridge pulling out ingredients on their last leg and find ways to use them. Doing this saves me time during the week but it also helps eliminate waste. How many times have you got to the back of your meat drawer and found expired meat? Or your veggie drawer and had moldy vegetables? Food waste is like throwing cash in the trash can. Groceries are too expensive to let them go to waste. Prepping in advance not only saves you time during the week, but it also saves you money because you are more likely to use the ingredients that are chopped or cooked and ready to go than if you have to chop or cook them after a long day at work.

Here are my tips for meal prep and suggestions on how to prep for the week.

  1. Make a grocery list, plan out your meals and just make one trip to the store. Plan your meals around the store sale ad to save money. Use coupons or buy generic items, I have switched my family over to many generic products. You can’t tell any difference and they cost much less.
  2. Plan a “Prep Day” to prepare your meals. This will save you time each night for dinner and will help eliminate waste because you are more likely to use ingredients that are prepped and ready to go. I prep my meals to a certain point of their cooking process. I chop all veggies or herbs and pre-cook meat that needs to be shredded or can be pre-cooked. Then I store my prepped ingredients and use them to assemble the dish on the day I’m cooking it. Another option is prepping your dish all the way to the point where it would go in the oven and then refrigerating it or freezing it until you are ready to use it.
  3. Use what you have in the fridge. Think of creative ways to use veggies. There are no rules to cooking, you can put anything in a salad or make a stir fry with those leftover veggies.
  4. Check expiration dates on your meat, if you aren’t going to use the meat within a day or two after purchasing it, freeze it and defrost it when you need it.
  5. Use clear food storage containers and zipper baggies to store prepped ingredients so they are easy to see and so they stay fresh.
  6. Buy some prepped ingredients to save time. Yes, I do buy some prepped ingredients even though they cost more. Sometimes the time savings is worth the extra cost. Here are my suggestions on what to buy prepped. Most everything else I buy and prep myself.

Prepped Veggies

  • Chopped lettuce in the bag (I always rinse even though it says washed)
  • Baby Carrots – No peeling or chopping
  • Trimmed and ready fresh green beans – I can’t stand cutting the ends off of green beans
  • Butternut Squash (This is a new find in my store and they are cut in bite sized pieces perfect for steaming and mashing or eating whole. Baking butternut squash can be quite the ordeal, not to mention it’s hard to cut in half!)
  • Sliced mushrooms (unless I need them whole)
  • English Cucumbers have edible skin and have smaller seeds than traditional cucumbers, you buy the cucumber whole but it’s easy to wash and slice. No peeling unless you don’t care for the skin.

Once I have everything prepped to the point I want it, I know that dinner after work won’t be an ordeal. I know what meals I’m making and I know what ingredients I have prepped and ready to go. This helps me stay organized, less stressed and able to feed my family a healthy, home cooked meal each night. Try picking a day for your prep, it just might be what you need to get on track to eating healthy, saving money and eliminating waste.

Now off to cook dinner……more new recipes coming soon!

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About simple2something

I decided to start a blog because I am a natural “sharer”. I love to share ideas, recipes, thoughts and opinions with everyone I know. I am a working mother with two busy toddlers. I enjoy finding ways to save money and be thrifty. I’m a coupon clipper, sale shopper and DIY enthusiast. I love to cook, decorate, craft and try new things. I'm a Pinterest addict! I love to make homemade gifts and I make and sell Infinity Scarves in my Etsy Store. I recently started a new business, I partnered with two world renowned Doctor's to help people achieve the best skin of their life. I’m just a regular gal who enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, cooking, decorating, crafting, helping people and trying new things. I hope you enjoy my blog and maybe pick up a few tips or learn something new. You never know when “simple” can turn into “something”.

2 responses »

  1. I just love reading this stuff.  It is common sense but really is neat to read.  I am like you, do buy some stuff prepped and do so much of what I can before the meal.  I had people over a few weeks ago and had t-bones, (Jim raises cows) salad (that a friend brought),grilled sweet potato, baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms.  I marinated the meat early in the day, washed the sweet potato ( it was a huge 3-4lb one that Jim grew) and had it in the foil ready to place on the grill, I had the potatoes in the oven, wrapped even before I turned the oven on, and had the mushrooms cut up on the stove two hours before i turned them on.  Baked a lemon cheesecake the day before.  So I had almost nothing to do but turn on the grill and the oven and the stove top.  However, because I cooked the sweet potato on the grill for so long I used all of my propane.  Jim went to get a new container and my grill had actually just burned out!  From being old and over used I guess.  So I need a new grill.  The hardest part of the meal was having to broil the steaks because the smoke alarm always goes off.  It looked like I had been in the kitchen all day but had not.  Also had all of the bacon, cheese, sour cream and butter for the loaded baked potatoes in containers in the fridge covered with wrap and just pulled them out at the end.  Also had some cheese cut up and in the fridge on a cool platter and then popped a bottle of wine to go with it.  It really looked like I had spent so much time and really hadn’t.  Will continue to enjoy your blog.  I feel like I am getting to talk to you!  Hope Cade is doing better.   We have all been so sick.  Kaydan and Cole have had pneumonia.  Kaydan you know was in the hospital for it.  She has had the stomach bug since then.  Kyla has strep, I have bronchitis or pneumonia-doctor didn’t do x-ray, just treated with 10 days of antibiotic, Angela had the flu last week.  I do not remember a year when we were all so sick back to back.  Oh and I also had the stomach virus as well.  Hoping your mom continues to improve.    Happy cooking Do you have an electric oven?  I have a great recipe for the  blog if you want to list it.  Let me know.  It is for a roast.  Easiest and best I have ever had.  Called the Mrs. Scherer 500degree roast.  Need an iron pot for this though. Cindy

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    • Thanks Cindy, sounds like you like to prep ahead of time like me. It really does save you time in the long run and stress! Those meals that give the impression you’ve been cooking all day are great for guests, everyone is happy! I’m sorry to hear that everyone has been so sick! This has been a terrible year for sickness, hope everyone gets well really soon! Cade is back to normal, had a really rough week last week with a bad virus. We are heading to Florida soon for Jake’s 30th birthday….Fort Lauderdale. We all need to stay well until we are home from our trip! I would love a recipe for the roast. I do have an electric oven but no iron pot…..might be able to get one cheap at Goodwill or something though. You all take care and let me know how everyone is doing, call or text me anytime!

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