I wake up bright and early on Saturday, put on an apron and a smile on my face and get to cooking (just kidding..I don’t really cook unless my husband leaves me to keep myself and the children alive due to work or football, and even then the extent is scrambled eggs and toast). I also loathe people that enjoy spending their whole Saturday cooking 30 freezer crock pot meals (happy for you with your food prep game being that strong, but that is definitely NOT my idea of fun or easy).
I will be honest..wintertime is the lamest season ever, and I’m too tired and unmotivated to food prep. But apparently our bodies still require food. So..I continue to do it. I also do it for the sake of my moneys, and I guess our health is also up there as a major reason why I food prep.
I usually try to avoid prepackaged and processed items because of health and motha earth, but sometimes I just have to do what gets us by. It’s busy for us right now, with both of us working and both kids in activities that consume all of our waking hours. This will NOT work for us if there’s too much involved, and we will end up in line at Chipotle ready to shove our faces with 1,000 calorie bowls of goodness that cost us $9 a pop.
So stay with me from the beginning. I have been prepping for years now and just know now how much we go through, what makes my children literally throw up at the dinner table (RIP crab cakes), and what is going to die a slow, moldy death before even being consumed. I’ve also gotten pretty quick with weekend prepping now and usually even get a little help from the family. I do have to plan for meat eaters, a pescatarian and a vegetarian, which can get complicated at times, but we always figure it out.
As you may already know, I get my groceries online and spend about 30 minutes per week writing my list, filling in the dinner calendar, and sitting on the couch ordering. HyVee is great about saving all of my past purchases so I can quickly shop my frequent items. I spend $100ish dollars a week for my family of four, and have groceries delivered every Friday. I also spend roughly $40-$60 a month at Costco for our eggs, milk, almonds, etc. So a total of around $450 a month, and on good months, we will eat out maybe once and get ice cream another time, so that’s around $50ish additional. Remember my post about budgeting, where we used to spend around $400 a month just on eating out? We’ve come a LONG way from those days.
Here’s a glimpse into what we will be eating this week (this doesn’t include the dinner stuff). There will be more on the topic, but just wanted to share how much total I spend a month and a few of my winter busy prep ingredients. This may be a good way to ease yourself into food prep if you’ve been wanting to try it but not sure where to start. A lot of these items are just grab and go. I try not to waste my time with food that doesn’t have a lot to offer in the nutrition department, because these items usually don’t even fill you up, and have a higher price tag (I will ALWAYS love you Doritos and Oreos and such, we just can’t be together any longer).
Have you been keeping track of your receipts and how much you’re spending and on what? Curious how much others spend and any tips you have to share? I think the biggest tip I can give to get started..is literally that…JUST GET STARTED. Grab a paper and pen and come up with one meal a day, or one day a week or whatever you want, and come up with your plan. Don’t over complicate things by planning elaborate meals with a bazillion minutes needed to prep a ton of ingredients.
A sample day for me looks like this:
7 a.m. vegan protein shake mixed with almond milk
9 a.m. banana or apple
11 a.m. string cheese
1 p.m. cup of brown rice, 1/2 a smoked salmon packet and 1/2 a steamers bag of broccoli (I don’t even really like broccoli, but I eat it anyway 🥦)
3 p.m. quinoa crackers
6 p.m. tilapia, couscous and Caesar salad
8 p.m. wine or ice cream..or both
Your scale, overall health, and your wallet will thank you for getting started I promise!
(see below a sample super fancy grocery list and even fancier menu of dinners for the month)