Meal Prepping Post 3: Going to the store

Welcome back to the third post in a series on meal prepping and meal planning.  Today we’re going to focus on taking inventory, going to the store and meal prepping.

Check your inventory

First things first: go through your fridge and freezer and see what you have and what may need to be used up sooner.  Have some veggies that have been hanging out in your fridge for a week?  Find a recipe to use those first.

Step 2: Look to see what’s on sale.  I usually pick 1 type of meat and focus meal planning with that type of meat first.  Is ground turkey on sale?  Then we’re having turkey burgers, turkey tacos, turkey stir-fry bowls, etc.  Are whole chickens on sale?  Great, buy 2 and roast both of them.  Save the bones to make stock and use the chicken for chicken salad, soups, sandwiches, wraps, etc.

Step 3: Pick your recipes.  It seems odd that this is step 3 for going to the store, but once you see what’s on sale, you can better plan your meals.  Several of the couponing sites will post sale ads several days before the sale, giving you extra time to plan.  This is the point at which you want to evaluate your week and see what your schedule will allow you to do.  Do you have a particularly busy week coming up?  If so, select at least 1 slow cooker meal and 1 sheet pan dinner.  Are you trying to spend less money this week?  If so, google for budget dinners.  Pick at least 1 recipe to double so you have ample leftovers.

Step 4: Write a list.  Yes, really, make a list and stick to it.  Also, eat something before you go to the store.  You’ll have more patience and avoid impulse purchases because you won’t be hungry.  Include a back up plan on your list.  This will cover working late, someone getting sick, a last minute school project that must be completed, etc.  I usually grab a frozen pizza to keep in the freezer.

Step 5: Go shopping!  I prefer to go early in the day because I hate crowds.  Talk about setting off my anxiety…..

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