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Meal Planning: Weekly Meal Prep (& a FREE Planning Page)

Posted By Jessica Fisher On August 21, 2011 @ 12:20 pm In Meal Planning,Printables | 18 Comments

You know that I love my freezer [4]. Soooo much so that I wrote a cookbook [5] chock full of freezer-friendly recipes. Make ahead makes me happy.

But “make ahead” does not have to be limited to the freezer. In fact, there’s a wealth of things that can be prepped in advance and stored in the pantry or the refrigerator for use later in the week. Think about the things that you use every week that you prepare regularly. I bet you “go through the motions” several times a week to make cheese slices, veggie dippers, or baked goods.

I know I do. In fact, for months I’ve been whispering to myself, “You really should just set aside time every week to do all this stuff, so you have it.”

Last Sunday I finally put feet to my good intentions. I made a list of things [6] that needed to be prepped for the week, and then I set aside tim during my toddler’s nap to knock out some of those meal items.

weekly meal prep

Holy cow! What a blessing it was all week to have on hand all sorts of healthy snacks to hand the kids or to use to pull together a quick lunch.

Some of the things that I made included:

  • grated cheese – went into quesadillas, salads, and tostadas
  • cheese slices – for sandwiches and snacky lunches
  • vegetable dippers – for snacks, side dishes, and to chop for dinner recipes
  • Chocolate Zucchini Cake [7] – for desserts and snacks
  • Oatmeal Cookies [8] – for desserts and snacks
  • Maple Granola [9] – for breakfasts and snacks

It was like a dream come true. I had convenience, but without the high price or questionable ingredients list. I’m sold. So much so that I put together a checklist for myself — and for you.

[10]

This Weekly Kitchen Prep List [10] starts with some of the basic food items that are nice to have on hand. I left plenty of blank spaces to fill in with items that might change on a weekly basis. This would be the ideal sheet to laminate [11] and keep on the fridge.  Here’s a completely blank sheet [12] if your action items look nothing like mine.

I plan a repeat performance for this week — and the weeks to come. This was, by far, a major sanity saver in my week. Grocery shopping and meal planning are essential. Putting together a meal prep list and following it is the next natural step.

As for the meal plan, here’s what we got cooking:

Breakfasts

served with fruit

Smoothies [13] and Muffins
Scrambled Eggs and Toast
Yogurt and Toppings [14] (like honey, maple syrup, granola, nuts, or fruit)
Rice or Oatmeal with Toppings [15]
Cinnamon Zucchini Waffles [16]
Maple Granola [9]
Pancakes [17]

Lunches

served with fruit and veggies

Sunbutter or Turkey Sandwiches
Cheese and Crackers [18]
DIY Pasta Salad [19]
Beans and Rice [20]
Leftovers
Salads for me

[21]

Dinners

served with green salad and seasonal vegetables from our new produce co-op  [22]

Poblano Enchiladas [23] – didn’t happen last week
White Chili
Hamburgers and Brats on homemade buns [24], Sweet Corn
Pasta with Red Sauce [25]
Roast Chicken [26] and Potatoes
Birthday Dinner – FishBaby’s FishChick3’s choice
take-out (let’s be real)

[27]

Snacks

White Chocolate Cookies [27] (no nuts)
Veggies and Trader Joe’s Hummus (yes, I know I could make homemade)
Crackers and Cheese
Sunbutter and Celery
Zuccchini Bread [28]
whatever else comes in our produce box this week

How do you prep for your week?


Article printed from Life As Mom: http://lifeasmom.com

URL to article: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/meal-planning-weekly-meal-prep-a-free-planning-page.html

URLs in this post:

[1] RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/lifeasmom/oGdA

[2] free updates via email: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=lifeasmom/oGdA

[3] my free seasonal newsletter: http://eepurl.com/q47Vb

[4] love my freezer: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/freezer-cooking-where-to-start.html

[5] wrote a cookbook: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/12/were-having-a-baby.html

[6] made a list of things: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/meal-planning-reconciling-convenience-and-good-eating-habits.html

[7] Chocolate Zucchini Cake: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/04/ruths-chocolate-zucchini-cake.html

[8] Oatmeal Cookies: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/farm-style-oatmeal-cookies/

[9] Maple Granola: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/03/maple-granola-with-oats-nuts-and-seeds/

[10] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/?attachment_id=19414

[11] the ideal sheet to laminate: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/how-to-make-a-personal-planner-that-rocks.html

[12] Here’s a completely blank sheet: http://lifeasmom.com/?attachment_id=19666

[13] Smoothies: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/05/diy-smoothie-bar.html

[14] Yogurt and Toppings: http://goodcheapeats.com/2011/03/maple-yogurt-parfait/

[15] Oatmeal with Toppings: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/03/ultimate-recipe-swap-whole-grains.html

[16] Cinnamon Zucchini Waffles: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/cinnamon-zucchini-waffles-urs-zucchini.html

[17] Pancakes: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/01/pancakes-easy-pantry-staple/

[18] Cheese and Crackers: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/06/snacky-lunch-its-whats-on-menu.html

[19] DIY Pasta Salad: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/diy-pasta-salad/

[20] Beans and Rice: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-beans-and-rice/

[21] Image: http://goodcheapeats.com/2011/07/tarragon-turkey-burgers-with-bleu-cheese-and-chipotle-mayonnaise-whats-on-your-plate/

[22] seasonal vegetables from our new produce co-op : http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/recipes-from-the-garden-ultimate-recipe-swap.html

[23] Poblano Enchiladas: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/05/poblano-chile-enchiladas-and-an-ultimate-recipe-swap.html

[24] homemade buns: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/homemade-hot-dog-buns/

[25] Red Sauce: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/homemade-croutons-shredded-chicken-and-red-sauce.html

[26] Roast Chicken: http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/good-cheap-eat-roast-chicken/

[27] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/03/recipes-that-use-flour-an-ultimate-recipe-swap.html

[28] Zuccchini Bread: http://goodcheapeats.com/2010/07/bulk-baking-zucchini-bread/

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