Think meal prep is hard? Think again! Here’s how our family does meal prep using all clean, healthy foods.
I’ve been asked quite often about what the hubs and I eat, how much we eat and how we prepare our meals. So I thought it was time that I devote a post to our weekly meal prep. K and I both eat pretty similarly throughout the week; he just eats a lot more than I do. We started our clean eating journey a few years ago, but fell off a bit when I got pregnant and so many foods were not appealing to me. We restarted our focused clean eating about 2 months ago and have really hit it hard over the last few weeks, with some new recipes and ways we prepare our food.
Meal prep seems like a lot of work when you first think about it. And making healthy food choices can seem daunting to some. But if you take the time to write out a plan it’s not as hard as it seems.
With the new fitness programs Kellen and I are on (he’s doing MP45 and I’m doing the bikini body guide), we purchase all our food for the week over the weekend and prepare our lunches for the entire week on Sunday. It makes lunch time a breeze for myself, especially since taking care of 2 little ones leaves me little time to cook these days. And Kellen can just grab his pre-made lunch before he heads out the door in morning. Diet is key to a healthy lifestyle and I’ve already seen some amazing changes post-pregnancy just by focusing on what I’m putting into my body. Remember y’all, it’s 80-90% diet, 10-20% exercise. If you want to lose weight and get in shape, focus more on what you’re eating.
Not only has preparing our meals for the week on Sunday saved us a lot of time, it has saved us a ton of money! I thought buying all fresh, organic food would be expensive, but we’ve come in under our food budget the last few months since we started meal prepping. We still purchase different foods for Little A to have for lunch, but for the most part she eats what we eat for dinner.
In this post I’ll be sharing our grocery list for all of our meals and I’ll show how we meal prep our lunches.
Here’s what we do:
We usually grocery shop on Saturday then meal prep on Sunday. It’s nice to break it out. But do what works for you. Each meal gets protein, veggies and carbs. We purchase most of our food in bulk and I’ll try to share how much of each item we purchase so you have an idea of how much we eat each week.
For our protein, we usually switch between chicken and ground turkey, but this week we’ve added in flank steak, and next week we’ll switch out the steak for fish. It’s nice to change things up a bit instead of just eating only chicken week after week (which we’ve done….it gets old).
Here’s what we purchase on a weekly, or bi-weekly, basis:
16 chicken breasts (about 7 pounds)
5 pounds ground turkey
4 pounds flank steak
Fish and shellfish
6 Bell peppers
Normandy veggie blend (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)
Fresh green beans
2 pounds of tomatoes
3 sweet potatoes or yams
Brown rice (we purchase a Costco size bag and it lasts us a while)
Add ons: These are the foods we have for snacks and breakfast.
Berries (2 pounds of blueberries and 12oz of raspberries)
Eggs: we purchase 5 dozen eggs every 2 weeks. I eat 2 eggs for breakfast and Kellen eats 3 plus 2 egg whites. Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy cholesterol!
Sprouted grain bread (only Little A and I eat the bread for breakfast, or I will make her sandwiches. If you must have bread, go for sprouted grain).
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How we prep:
First, we get 2 cups (uncooked) of rice cooking. While the rice is cooking, we season and cook all the protein and set it aside. Spices are a great way to add flavor to the meat, especially since plain chicken and turkey can be really boring and bland. We will use part of the meat for lunches and save the rest for dinners. This time of year we like to BBQ the steak and chicken breasts, but in the winter we’ll cook it in a skillet or the oven.
While the meat is cooking, I’ll cut up the veggies if need be (peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) and divide them into bowls. When the meat is done we’ll put it into a bowl to cool a bit.
Finally, we’ll cut and cook the sweet potatoes. We also save some of these for dinners.
When all the food is individually prepped, we measure out our meals. We use this scale to measure our protein. We also use these bento boxes to store our meals. They are easy for the hubs to grab and microwave at work. He also purchased a lunch box with an ice pack from Costco that fits 3 of the bento boxes perfectly.
When it’s time to portion out the food, each box gets:
4 1/2 oz meat
2 cups of veggies
1 cup of carbs
And that’s it! Kellen takes 2 prepared boxes to work with him each day and I eat one for my lunch.
For dinners, we’ll use the leftover meat to make fajitas, taco bowls and scrambles. It makes dinner preparation super easy.
For snacks, I eat berries with nuts, cottage cheese, energy bites, apples with PB fit and hummus with peppers and carrots.
For some meal prep can seem impossible, but really once you start the process it can be really enjoyable. I actually look forward to it each weekend. Plus, knowing what we’re eating each week makes grocery shopping a breeze. There’s no questions about what to have for lunch or dinner, and if we want to switch things up a bit (which we often do) it’s simple to look up some clean eating recipes.
Do you meal prep? I’d love to hear what works for your family!
I love how much you broke this down! One of the biggest flops for me is when I think i’m meal planning for a few days and then realize I actually only have enough food for like two meals for two people!
I used to do the same thing! We’d think we had all this food for meals and then have nothing to eat! Laying it out like this really helps us.
Awesome! This is totally manageable. I love the containers too – super cute and practical. I’ll have to see if my Costco carries something similar. Do you freeze your meals for the week? (Sorry, that was unclear to me).
Thanks for sharing! I loved this!
The containers are on Amazon! The cooler was from Costco so the hubs can take his lunch to work and keep it cold. We don’t freeze them; we just divide the food into the bento boxes and store in the fridge.
The containers are available on Amazon! We got the cooler at Costco for the hubs to take all his meals to work to keep them cold. We don’t freeze them. Just cook, divide into the containers and put in the fridge.
You guys are so good! We meal plan throughout the week in a spreadsheet that we share and then place our order on Friday to have our food delivered on Saturday (we use peapod delivery – so amazing)…I might just take everything on your list and throw it on mine for this week lol!
That is awesome that you do delivery for everything! We have Amazon Fresh out here, but we haven’t tried it yet. We should!
Do you cook your veggies or just leave them raw? I should look into ordering those bento boxes. I bet Dan would like them.
We leave most of them raw, but we blanch the green beans. The bento boxes are a life saver and make it so easy to prep!
Tiffany, I love how approachable you make meal prepping! We have never officially done it in our family; we buy the same types of staples and go off of whatever we’re feeling that night, but I really like the sound of this.
Thank you Lindsay! I was hoping this post would be easy for everyone to follow. We do that for dinner for the most part, but having our lunches prepped makes the day a breeze.
You are awesome! Can I get in on one of these meals?? I’m actually cutting down on my meat intake, so this might be a good method to use to make sure my vegetarian meals get more protein.
Definitely a good method. And if I’m not feeling like as much meat certain days, I eat more beans or eggs usually.
This is EVERYTHING. Seriously trying to rev up my clean eating plan and I love this method. Thanks so much for sharing!
I’m so glad you liked it Kenzie!
You are a meal prep BOSS! I have tried many, many times but it just hasn’t worked for me. I’ll try your method once I have a fridge big enough to hold all of the meals. Haha! Our tiny kitchen came with a tiny fridge/freezer and we have NO room.
HAHA thanks lady! It definitely takes up a good amount of space in the fridge, but then again we don’t need a lot of room because this is most of what we eat!
Great post and I love the bento boxes. We eat a lot of fresh food, but we seem to get to the end of the week and throw away a lot. I can see how this saves money for sure. Thanks for sharing!
So glad you enjoyed it Kim! We have yet to toss out any food since we started doing food prep this way. Saves us so much!
I love this, Tiffany. It inspires me to try again. I’ll be pinning it to refer to again and again. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad this inspired you Carlie! Food prep has helped us to save money and eat better!
Love the containers! I want to find some a little cheaper. I’ve also been bring my breakfast with me to work so I want a smaller version. All great ideas!
Yeah those are only $13 for 10 of them so not bad at all. We have glass ones we got at Costco that K takes his breakfast in.