Meal Prep Tips

Hi to All of my new Friends!

I hope you’re all having a great week! Thanks Kate for letting me be a guest contributor, and share some tips that make healthy meals easier at our house.

We all understand that we need to make nutritious meals for our family, but who has the time? Micah and I don’t have children yet, but we have a hectic schedule and four furbabies….so someone always needs to be fed or walked or attended to. The way our work schedules fall, the last thing I want to think about is cooking dinner….so you would think I have an excuse to throw healthy choice and homemade dinners to the winds….wrong. Granted, some days are still much easier than others, but for the most part, we stick to a pretty clean diet. And yes, we are actually both finicky eaters, so we had to find what works for us. The following are meal prep and planning tips I use with clients and others who ask me for meal planning advice.

I hope this makes healthy meal time a stress less meal time for you and your family.

Meal Prep Tips

1.Write out the week of meals/snacks in advance.

I designed a special weekly planner for this. I use this to create my shopping list and keep the “what’s for dinner?” question at bay. When you have a plan for what you’re eating, you’ll be less likely to spend money on meals out.

2. Keep a shopping list.

This hearkens back to the first guideline. You can’t go out and buys tools and 2x4’s and create a bookcase without some idea/plan of what you had in mind to begin with. The same goes for meal prep, but that doesn’t mean it has to be rocket science either.

I have a shopping list that separates according to food group. (Yes, I designed this one too.) if you’ve already written out your meal-planner, then this step should be easy. I suggest starting out with recipes that only have a few ingredients, that way, the shopping part doesn’t overwhelm you.

3. Buy pre-cut/frozen veggies on sale to add to recipes.

This saves so much time! I’m not kidding! If you’re busy like me, you don’t have time to prep everything. Broccoli, matchstick carrots, and cauliflower are all relatively inexpensive in pre-washed, pre-cut bags.

4. Choose 1 day each week to prep food.

This doesn’t have to be a daunting task either. Get your whole family involved, if possible. If they have to take ownership of the healthy meal prep, chances are, they’ll be more likely to eat what they’ve had a hand in cooking, and they’ll appreciate your hard work more too.

5. Make a list of healthy snacks.

Don’t forget snack time! This is the downfall of many….LOL. Some suggestions are veggies and hummus, almonds or cashews, homemade trail mix, roasted chickpeas (They only cost $.68 to make 5 servings!), roasted kale chips, a banana with a tbsp of nut butter. None of these options break the bank, and they will give you more energy to get through your day.

6. Buy in season.

I cycle out some recipes, especially those involving certain fruits and veggies, such as pomegranates (a personal favorite) or eggplant. In season produce is easier to find, and is far cheaper.

7. If you haven’t already, invest in a couple of crockpots, in different sizes.

I don’t know what I’d do without my crockpots. There are all kinds of healthy crock pot recipes out there from soups to cakes, yes you heard right. I have a few on my website, and I also love the crockpot recipes I find on SkinnyMs.Com. This is a great tool if you don’t have a lot of time, or energy to put into cook a delicious meal.

8. Keep a list of healthy staples for tossing quick meals together.

We eat gluten-free, so some of our staples are chicken thighs (trimmed), eggs, greek yogurt, large flake oats, almond flour, quinoa, coconut oil, olive oil, broccoli, cucumbers, veggie stir fry mix, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, nut butter, and almonds, to name a few. Make sure you have your cabinet stocked at all times with your list of healthy staples.

9. Pack meals the night before, not the morning of.

Pack meals for work or school the next day right after dinner the night before. This will save you time and excuses while getting ready in the morning. Procrastination is a thief of time.

10. Keep a list of about 10 healthy throw-and-go meal ideas, for a reminder in a pinch.

We all get brain freeze when we’re short on time. This will save you frustration, big time. We take our prepped and cooked chicken and put it on wraps with veggies and hummus for lunch, for one. But you’ll get the hang of meal prep in no time, I promise.

I hope these tips will demystify healthy meal prep for you, even if only a little. Anyone, no matter how packed their schedule, or how tight their budget can benefit from these suggestions. The choice is yours. You can choose a solution or an excuse. If you commit to simply spending a minute amount of time each week. Healthier eating can happen for you and your family. Just stick with it. We all have to start somewhere!

Until next time!


Wow Julie! Great tips! I think my family only does about 2/3 of these things and I'm going to start working on the others right away! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us next!

Want to see what else Julie has to say? Don't forget to check out her blog, Grace, Lace and Iron.

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