Learn how meal planning could be your ticket to a healthier lifestyle!
The #1 mistake beginners make is overcomplicating the meal planning process.
Remember the whole point of meal planning is to simplify your life.
Below is a simple step by step process to walk you through an incredibly simple way to think about preparing your very first meal plan:
A great place to start is by brainstorming just 2-3 simple meals that your family enjoys. Try to think of meals that can be froze and easily reheated later. Think soups, stews, stir-fry, burritos, low carb pastas and even pizzas!
Pick just one meal and decide how many of that particular meal you want to make in advance.
Tip! Be sure to start with a simple recipe for your first meal prep session. This will give you the confidence and motivation to repeat this process for additional meals.
Next write down a grocery list for the ingredients you will need for the quantity of meals you want to make.
Make the most of your time:
When deciding how many meals to make, keep in mind that most of the time in meal planning is wrapped up in shopping, preparation and cleanup. You can make the most of your upfront time invested by making as many meals as possible during a single meal prep session. For example if your family enjoys stir-fry for 2-3 meals per week, then consider making enough meal portions to last your family at least 1-2 months.
Shop in bulk:
Once you're confident in the amount of ingredients needed this is now the time to shop around for bulk deals and discounts.
Now that you've procured all your ingredients the next step is to set aside a few hours to prepare 20-30 meals during a single session in your kitchen. (Just be sure you have enough freezer space available to store all your meals!)
Get setup to win:
In preparation for an efficient meal prep session take a few minutes to clear as much counter and table space as possible. Even consider investing in a fold-up table that can be setup during your meal prep sessions.
Don't hesitate to invest in time saving kitchen utensils and larger pots and mixing bowls. The right tools can make all the difference!
Enroll the help you need:
Try to plan a day when other family members can be involved in the fun! For the kiddos who are too young to help you may consider arranging a sitter if needed so that you're meal preparation time can be as focused and productive as possible.
Celebrate your success:
At the end of your first meal prep session you will find that you saved yourself a lot of money! You will also have far less ingredient waste and the time you spend in the kitchen will be dramatically reduced.
Repeat your success:
Once you've bulk prepared your first set of meals, repeat this process for additional meals. Just having 2-3 different meals on hand can make a world of difference to keep your family eating healthy consistently even when life gets busy!
Imagine if the next time you opened your freezer you had a month's worth of healthy home prepared meals that you can heat-up at a moments notice!
Formulated for 20 pizzas (adjust as needed)
20 Pizza Crust Kits (12" each)
(This recipe uses Molinaro's Organic Pizza Kits available at Costco)
6 Jars Local Folks Pizza Sauce (96 oz)
(Organic sauce included with Molinaro's Pizza Kits above)
7 lb Pastured Ground Meat
(This recipe used our Pastured Italian Bulk Sausage)
1 Dozen Pastured Eggs
(Feel free to add an extra dozen for additional nutrients and value)
7-8 lb Grassfed Cheese
(We used Aged Kerrygold Grassfed Cheese available at Costco)
Pan large enough to fry 7lb of ground meat
1-2 Large mixing bowls (for grated cheese)
Mix & Chop utensil for frying sausage (optional)
If you have a Mix & Chop utensil you can easily fry all 7 lb in a single batch.
Allow eggs to cook and then turn burner off so that sausage will be cool to work with when topping pizzas.
Consider purchasing one of the cheese graters listed above or simply use grated cheese.
Here's where extra counter and table space is critical
Approx. 4 - 5 oz sauce for each pizza
Add approx. 2 cups grated cheese to each pizza
Add approx. 1.5 cups of fried sausage and egg toppings
(4) 12" Pizzas will fit into a large 15" tall by 15' wide bag. Available at WebStaurant.com
Be sure to separate each pizza using wax or parchment paper.
(Tip: Molinaro's Pizza Kits will include the proper size bags)
Your total time to prepare and cleanup for this meal prep session should not exceed 60 minutes.
(Allow for extra time if you are preparing your own crust.)