Thursday, June 19, 2014

Food Prep Sundays

For the past few weeks I've been spending a little time getting my family ready for the week ahead. It's been such a life saver on busy days where we are going a million different directions. I thought I would walk you through how easy it can be to prepare food for your family for the week.

I do the bulk of my shopping on Friday. I usually do two runs a month with a few small pick ups about once a week. The small pick ups are usually milk, produce, and bread. These Friday trips are more than likely a most of the day excursion that covers at least three stores. I love to shop at Aldi. It's great for so many reasons. The first is that the food is very inexpensive, but absolutely delicious. Many times I buy certified organic for half of the regular store. At my last trip to Aldi, they had certified organic grass fed beef for 5.40 a pound. At the regular store it's closer to 7 a pound! That's a nice sized savings. What I can't get at aldi I get from a local grocery chain or Walmart. I am usually getting the bulk of my household and cleaning stuff at Walmart anyway. I do all my shopping, and then come home and get to work.

I break down family packs of meats into smaller meal portions, stock the pantry and then get to work with my fruits and veggies.

I set my toddler up with something to do, get out the cutting boards and get chopping. I like to cut carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, watermelon, and celery. I wash my apples and bag them for lunches, and clean and dry grapes and place them in a large container. Sometimes I even separate yogurt containers, string cheese, raisins, and pretzels for quick and easy grab and go snacks. It makes packing lunch a breeze! This is when I also cold brew some coffee for iced coffee, make up some iced tea and lemonade. We always have a huge jug of cold water in the fridge.

It takes me less than an hour to do all this stuff but doing it all in one shot saves me so much time through the week. I'm not doing it every night after dinner so we are ready for lunch the next day and my snacky little boy can get a bite to eat before the meltdown occurs. We are eating so much healthier too! I am more likely to take out the fresh fruits and veggies and make a nice platter up for dinner when everything is ready to go. I save money by doing the work myself and everyone is happy.

Other things I sometimes do outside of the fruit and veggie prep is to make up a big batch of oatmeal,  boil up eggs, make chicken salad for a few days or grill up a flat of chicken. Having chicken on hand to toss into salads, make sandwiches out of or toss into a dish is a great time saver. About two weeks ago I picked up a club pack of chicken and had intended to freeze it. I got busy and forgot. It needed used up so I cooked it for dinner, made some chicken salad, and diced some up for a dinner later in the week. It was so nice to know I had something to fall back on during the week. We had chicken wraps, a risotto with chicken and some sandwiches to use it up. I loved it.

I'm all about limiting my stress, saving time, and money. Next time you are stressed out and running around like a chicken with your head cut off in the morning save yourself some stress and do a little weekly planning next time. I promise you will have smoother mornings ( or evenings if you pack lunches at night) and might even have time to finish that cup of coffee!

Happy cooking!

Joy

P.s. I'm planning to start blogging more. It's been way too long!

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