Meal Planning Tips for Busy Families

How I Meal Plan and Prep for the Week

Meal prepping was a Greek term to me before having kids. I honestly didn’t even know what it was, really. As goofy as it sounds, I didn’t start doing it until after I decided to stay home with our kids.

Seems kind of backwards, doesn’t it? You’d think I would have more time for that stuff now that I was home. 

What I can say for sure is that we would have saved ourselves tons of time if I would have started meal prepping while I was still working. You can spend as little as 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon getting everything ready, and save tons of time during the week.

There are a few different ways to do this, depending on your lifestyle and schedule. I am home during the week with our kids, so I have my own system for getting things ready for the week that works for us.


The most important step: Plan out all of your meals for the week!

We used to aimlessly wander through the grocery store, buying food with no idea what we were going to make with it. Can you imagine how much time – and food - we wasted because we didn’t have a plan? Yikes!

Now, we write out our meals for the week, grocery shop, and then either the same day or the next, prep the major ingredients so we can make the meals more quickly throughout the week. One thing that has made this easier is planning a few meals with overlapping ingredients. This means:

-       Cook large batches of quinoa, rice and/or oatmeal. These things can easily be stored in the fridge for a few days and used in different ways.

-       Cook or grill meat in large batches. Again, these can be easily stored in the fridge for a few days to use in meals.

-       Make ahead soups and/or casseroles for the week.

-       Hard-boil eggs

-       Make muffins for breakfast

(Note – I don’t cut veggies or fruit ahead of time because they lose nutrients when they are cut. But, if you are really short on time, I would do it so that they don’t go to waste.)

I suggest experimenting with a few different ways of prepping and find what works best for your life and schedule. Good luck! 

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Meal Planning and Meal Prepping Tips for Busy Families
Meal prep tips for busy families