I'm Mama Harris, the wife and mother to a large blended and multicultural family. In my lifetime I've been a single mom, a step-mom, a working mom and now a stay at home mom. My kids range in age from toddler to newly adult and I write about my kitchen adventures and the variety of foods and recipes I feed my family at From the Kitchen of Mama Harris. I've experienced all aspects of mommy-hood and look forward to sharing my kitchen tips, tricks, recipes and shortcuts!
Every Sunday when I browse through my Instagram I see all my fitness friends meal prepping for the upcoming week. They spend a few hours every Sunday afternoon or evening cooking their breakfast and lunches for that entire week. Some of the photos I see are amazing! While some create the exact same meals Monday through Friday, there’s others that create a variety of meals while sticking to the same nutritional plans.
I’m intrigued by this, and think it’s great for accountability. For those of us that travel to work and back, it’s a great way to insure we don’t sneak any extra calories in or burn the money in our pockets. Whether you’re in it for the nutritional value or to help bulk up your wallet, there’s definitely some added bonuses to planning your weekly meals. Even if you don’t necessarily cook all of your meals for the week on one given day, there’s certainly some great ideas to help plan your meals each week so mealtime isn’t as stressful. Here’s some tips I’ve learned along the way:
Freezer bags are your friend. I love to make smoothies, they’re quick and efficient for any busy mom. Sometimes, though, you can be stuck there forever slicing or peeling fruits and vegetables and packing just the right nutrition into your smoothie. This is where meal prepping can come in handy. You can peel, slice and cut any of your fruits and veggies that you utilize for smoothies, and just throw them in a freezer bag. I’ve done about five or six at a time, freeze them, and just dump them into my blender when I’m ready for my smoothie. All you need is a bit of yogurt, juice, milk or water and blend away! So easy!
Pre-cut. On the same premise as the smoothies, you can also pre-cut and slice your veggies for the week. Whether it’s a pot roast Monday or BLT’s Wednesday, if you measure and cut your add-ins ahead of time it can cut your cooking time in half and make your weeknights smoother and stress-free!
Browse the weekly ads. I always stay on top of the weekly grocery store ads and plan my grocery list accordingly. I’m aware of how much my favorite items are and if I find them on sale I’ll buy and plan my weeks around that. If there’s a fab meat sale, for instance, I’ll know that I’m going to purchase pork chops and can plan my meals around that. So get your marinades and sauces ready too!
Mix your seasonings. Another great shortcut you can utilize is to combine your seasonings that you’ll be using in each dish you create. Just as you cut up the potatoes and vegetables for your pot roast, pre-measure the spices and seasonings so those can be dropped in easily as well.
Do you have any additional shortcuts that make your life easier for weeknight cooking?
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