Does the thought of a major grocery run stress you out? What about preparing and storing 5-10, maybe more, meals? If so, don’t worry. I’ve totally been there, and I’m here to help! Buying and planning your meals ahead will set you up for success. You will most likely save a substantial amount of money, and are more likely to make healthier food choices.
This Sunday I was determined to set myself up for a week of mostly healthy and always yummy eating. I can’t stand not having groceries. I relied way too much on the rice in the pantry last week out of the shear lack of desire to go grocery shopping.
I’ve discovered that I really prefer to do my shopping on Sunday afternoons for a few reasons. Firstly, I have more energy and am less crabby than if I were to go after work. Secondly, when buying vegetables I find I am way more likely to eat the food if I make it as easy as possible for myself. Basically, I only want to prepare food to bring to work once a week, and maybe leftovers from dinner once or twice. But even dinner, unless I am really in the cooking mood, i’d rather have something I can just heat up (read: I eat a lot of baked potatoes for dinner haha). I suppose I am lazy, or perhaps just practical :).
So without further ado, here are my 10 Steps to a $90 Grocery Haul & A Week’s Worth of Meal Prep!
Step 1: Have a solid idea of what you are going to purchase.
You may find it helpful to write out a grocery list. I do this maybe 20% of the time, but I pretty much know by heart all my staple items, so I don’t have to think about this step too much. I did have to make two stops on this Grocery Haul. I know which of my staple items I won’t find at the bargain outlet grocery store where I do most of my shopping, so I stopped at the regular ol’ grocery store on my way to grab my vegetarian refried beans, black beans and salad dressing. I saw an awesome deal on cans of quartered artichoke hearts, so I grabbed some of those too. Also 99 cent gravy mix packets, to make homemade bisquits and gravy with. I spent $20 at my first destination and $70 at my main destination. $90 for all of the food pictured above is pretty dang good, if I do say so myself!
Step 2: Unload everything and arrange in a pleasing fashion so you can admire your haul and view your “raw materials” (I think I’m funny). Pat yourself on the back! You’re doing great!
Step 3: Grab your best knife and largest cutting board.
My kitchen is tiny with minimalllll counter space, as is my whole house, so sometimes I do meal prep at the kitchen table when there are lots of ingredients involved. (P.S. how cute is my dog. He knows I am a messy chopper so he just plants himself and waits for the food to start flying around. He doesn’t even need to beg. lol)
Step 4: Rinse your lettuce.
I know, I know. It is SUCH a drag. But especially when you can’t really afford to buy the organic sh**, it’s super important. Try not to think too much about why it’s important, because that will lead to the pesticidal rabbit hole of doomed thoughts of what’s the point of even buying veggies if you can’t by organic, which is total bull IMO. Conventional fruits and vegetables are a helluva lot better than Twinkies and Ramen, I promise.
Step 5: Accumulate 5 containers (WITH matching lids!).
Bonus if you can complete step 5 in less than 3 minutes! You are besting me already!
Step 6: Take your salad ingredients and chop til you drop!
Look! You have beautiful salads for lunch all week! AWESOME JOB!! 🙂 You are tired by now, but there is more to do.
Step 7: Take your veggies and starches you intend to roast, and again, chop til you drop!
I made a mix of cauliflower florets, chickpeas, and potatoes for roasting. I marinaded them in beer, liquid aminos, and lime juice. Then I drained the marinade and doused them in hella spices. Roasted at 375 degrees for an hour. They turned out really tasty! I stored the veggie mix in 2 huge mason jars
Step 8: Don’t forget to eat dinner while you are busy prepping all these meals! I ate some leftover white rice with liquid Aminos and had an avocado. There Barley is again, looking longingly
Step 9: Store all your food!
Step 10: Clean up your mess and go to bed. You win at meal prep! Nicely done :). Enjoy only cooking if you feel like it for the rest of the week :).