How We Meal Plan and Prep

I like to THINK that we are pretty organised in our house.  But then I survey the bomb site that is our tiny kitchen and my eyes glaze over the washing all over the spare bed and I start to doubt my skills as an adult.  Whether or not we truly are organised, well … it doesn’t really matter as most things get done and the dogs are healthy and we both get to work each day.
I do get quite a lot of questions about how we do our prep so I’ll stop lamenting the things I really can’t change this second and instead I’ll throw the entire planning and prep process into a blog post!

During the week, our every morning starts with a 5:30 am workout after which we both charge home to get showered and dressed for work, to feed the dogs, drink a cup of coffee, pack them off to school (doggy daycare) and us off to work.  I take a packed breakfast and lunch and Ken comes home for his lunch each day.  We actually have a pretty good system and it is made so much easier by spending some time on Sundays getting our fridge ready.
Sunday’s are almost religiously our meal prep days.  We start with a planning session (or several planning sessions via email depending on how busy we are throughout the week) and this also means that our food waste has reduced significantly!

  1. Check our Calendar:
    We have a shared calendar for our holidays and appointments.  We put in our hair/beard/chiropractor appointments, work out the times we want to go to the gym (normally every morning but we might do some double days) and put in anything else that is happening that week.
    Date night is normally Thursday night.  It also goes in the calendar as it is important!
  2. Check the fridge and freezer:
    I’ll have a look in the fridge to see what needs to be used up or what leftovers we have that can be made into something else.  We’ve decreased what we have to throw out by doing this.  I send Ken in to do the freezer – listing what we have.  I hate that job.
  3. Needs and Wants:
    Some days, we need bigger meals than others.  Based on our workout schedule and our work schedules, I’ll plan some meals to be a little bigger than others (or higher in carbs) or the reverse.  There are a few things that always get added to the prep list as they can be used for every week day lunch and there are sometimes things like the Whole 30 to take into account.  And then after all that is done, we get to put in our votes on what we want to eat.

So the schedule now looks something like this:

Then I jump into the BEST tool for recipe management and meal planning and shopping lists … Real Plans.
I can choose from lots of different recipe services or I can import my own (so I am building up quite the collection for the next recipe book).

I add in the days/nights that we have blocked out for events and can then either leave it to the mercy of their algorithm, which takes my dietary choices, or I can click to select all my own meals.

 

The Extras field I use to pop in things like Baked Broccoli, Roasted Kumara, Cauliflower Rice .. and our new favourite – Mango Salsa.  These are the basis of our Sunday prep and then meals like Butter Chicken are made on a Sunday and can be used for breakfast and lunch throughout the week.
Real Plans also gives us a shopping list – and the ability to tick off what we already have – and then we head off to the gym, Farmers Market, butcher and supermarket.

That bomb site of a kitchen usually looks 100x worse after I’ve finished my Sunday prep but the fridge looks freaking ace and there are no “What to Have” dramas during the week.  If we are feeling snacky, we’ll open the fridge and be greeted with lots of goodness to choose from.

I just bought this cute planner from KMart … and yes, they are photos of us on our fridge.
Before we started getting serious about our nutrition (read, eating MORE) and upping our weight training game.

If you have any meal prep questions, drop me a note below.  I’d love to help if I can!

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