Food Prepping – Back To School Edition

What does it mean to food prep?

 

For me food prepping (preparing food ahead of time) is a way to keep my sanity during the busy school weeks. When we have food prepped and ready to go for lunches, dinners, snacks and breakfasts, we not only save time, we save money!

 

I typically grocery shop on a Friday or Saturday and food prep on Sunday afternoons.  Sunday’s are slower days for us and it’s relaxing for me to be in the kitchen making good food for the week ahead. Get the whole family on board to help. Littles love to help in the kitchen, and big kids can help you cook!

 

What food items do I prep ahead?

 

Meat. Even though I eat vegan, I prep meat for my family. I will cook up all the chicken, beef, turkey burger, bacon, sausage etc. all on one day. Then I freeze it into portions for quick meal prep for spaghetti, tacos, chili, breakfasts, or whatever is on the menu for the week.

*Side note: our trash cans go out on Monday night, so when I cook up all the meat on Sunday, there’s no stinky wrappers sitting in the trash can all week!

 

Veggies. I wash, dry, cut up and prep all the veggies I can. We use these for salads, lunch boxes, snacks, fajitas, you name it!

 

Fruit. You’ve seen my vinegar wash for strawberries and blueberries. I buy in bulk, dump them into a large bowl. Cover with water and pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother), stir and let set for one hour. Drain, rinse and set out on a towel to air dry completely. Then I put into mini serving reusable baggies for lunches or snacks.

*Side note: fruit has to be completely dry before putting back in the fridge.

 

Snacks: I buy snacks in bulk and portion them into smaller reusable baggies This saves money and time each morning. When you have a grab and go section in your pantry it makes packing lunches a breeze!

 

Muffins: I like to make a double batch of muffins (any kind) to freeze. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or to have on hand for guests. They freeze so well.

 

Steel Cut Oats/Pancakes: I make a large batch of oatmeal and heat up a little each morning for breakfast. Add honey, walnuts and cinnamon for the yummiest breakfast ever. You can also do the same for pancakes; make a huge batch on Saturday or Sunday and freeze the rest…pop them in the toaster and you have a quick, hot, and home made breakfast!

 

Quinoa/Grains: I also will make up a batch of quinoa, lentils, rice, or couscous, etc. They make a great side dish when you add veggies, are good in salads, soups, tacos, etc. Having them made up ahead of time makes weeknight meal prep go quickly.

 

Chili/Soup: I love to make a big batch of chili or soup for dinner on Sunday. Freeze the rest and you’ve got a quick dinner all ready to go. Add a salad and bread and you’re done.

 

What do I use to freeze my food in?

 

I have slowing been phasing out plastic baggies and switching to reusable baggies whenever possible. Last week I showed you all the reusable lunch box inserts we have for the grandkids.  Today I’ll show you the reusable silicone baggies I love and use daily.

*Side note: they are dishwasher safe, but I prefer to hand wash and dry them.

 

IMG_6602.jpg

 

Half gallon reusable baggies made of silicone. Thick and durable! Perfect for freezing soups and chilis. I also use them to freeze cooked up meat of any kind. They hold a ton! So easy to have it already cooked up and ready to add to any recipe.

 

IMG_1187.jpg

 

Keep all your frozen bags in this clear bin for easy access, not to mention great freezer organization.

 

IMG_1188.jpg

 

 

Here are the reusable baggies I love and use. You can write a name in Sharpie for each member of your family. Wash and dry to use again and again.

 

IMG_1184.jpg

 

IMG_1185.jpg

 

 

These are my favorite reusable snack size bags. Portion out the perfect snack and reuse and reuse and reuse.

 

IMG_0947.JPG

 

IMG_0946.JPG

 

I love keeping other snack items in the fridge using this divided turn table. I keep one in my fridge and one in my pantry. Easy access to grab and go, or to help littles pack their own lunches.

Fridge:

IMG_5193 2.jpg

 

 

Pantry:

IMG_5215.jpg

 

Use these bins and labels to keep fresh foods contained and accessible as well. Be sure and measure your fridge first. These bins come in lots of different sizes to fit any space.

 

IMG_5200.jpg

 

 

Now what?

Well, you’ve spent one afternoon cooking and prepping. Sit back and enjoy the rest of the week. Trust me, food prepping works. I was a teacher when my kids were younger. Our weekdays were jam packed with school work, activities, sports, you name it. By having a plan for each week, it saved my sanity not to mention my time and money. It takes a little getting used to at first, but if you start simple and stay consistent with it, you’ll soon be a food prep pro!

 

Need help? I’m an email away.

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

 

 

Food Prepping

Do you food prep?

I started doing this years ago and I cannot tell you how much time and money it has saved us! Not to mention taking the stress away on those busy school nights. Menus planned and meals prepped help this busy, working mom run her home better!

 

IMG_6620.jpg

How do I do it?

I love to food prep on Sunday nights. I get lunches prepped and ready for the week as well as cook all the meat I will be using for dinners. Bulk cooking saves time, energy, and money since you aren’t tempted to run through the drive thru. We always plan on eating out once a week for our date night, so having meals ready during the week is key!

I love using these  Stasher brand reusable storage bags from The Container Store . They save so much space.

 

IMG_6617.jpg

 

For example, here are two leftover boxes that we had this week. Restaurant to go boxes stink up the fridge and don’t seal very well. They also take up a ton of space! So I transferred the leftovers into these stasher bags and wow, space saved and smells gone!

 

IMG_6618.jpg

 

Not to mention, three lunches for this week all ready to go!

 

IMG_6620.jpg

 

These reusable baggies are microwave, stovetop, and dishwasher safe! Here’s what the label says, I know you like to read labels too!

 

IMG_6452.jpg

 

The half gallon bags hold a pot of white chicken chili that I prepped and made ahead. Make a pan of fresh cornbread, and dinner is served in 20 minutes!

 

IMG_6602.jpg

 

Next I clean out my fridge and freezer.

I like to organize my fridge and freezer every week. Cleaning out the fridge weekly keeps it organized, and ensures we use everything we have. No waste. Plus it makes putting groceries away easier too!

 

IMG_6625.jpg

 

I love using these bins  in the fridge and freezer.  They are divided, which I love! The dividers are removable though, if you need the whole bin. Labels make it easy for my family to find what they want, and help everyone put away groceries!

 

IMG_6624.jpg

 

Perfect for snacks in the fridge, or frozen foods in the freezer .

 

IMG_6657.jpg

 

IMG_6610.jpg

 

If you have a freezer drawer, try these wire baskets. I love having all the frozen bread items in mine.

 

IMG_6595.jpg

 

One quick grab and I have all the bread in one spot. Freezer organization made easy!

 

IMG_6605.jpg

 

Here’s a tip to help keep your berries fresher, longer.

One last thing I want to show you. Save your berries and make them last longer using this apple cider vinegar soak.  Pour one half cup of vinegar (must be the kind that has “the mother”) into a bowl of water. Soak for one hour, rinse, and let air dry completely before putting back in the fridge. No vinegar after taste! Just fresh berries minus the spores that make them go bad.

 

IMG_6648.jpg

 

BUT, if you do have some soft berries, don’t toss them! Make frozen berry cubes. I made mine in this covered ice cube tray  . So yummy in fizzy water, lemonade, iced tea or champagne!

 

IMG_6651.jpg

 

So simple and easy. I have so many ideas for this tray. Freeze left over coffee to put in my iced coffees, cut up herbs and freeze in EVOO, make homemade baby food…so many ideas!

 

Did I help you today?

I hope so. Once you get the hang of food prepping, it will become easy and routine to do. Get your whole family involved. Put on some fun music and make Sunday nights family food prep night. Kids love to help, and everyone will love the benefit of a hot, ready to eat meal during the busy school week!

 

If you’re in the DFW area, I’d love to come help you. If not, I offer virtual organizing services. We FaceTime and I tell you what to do lol! It’s really fun.

 

I’m ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Disclaimer: This is a paid sponsorship with The Container Store. All products mentioned above were given to me in exchange for my honest review. You all know by now that I would not recommend any product that I don’t use or love myself! Thank you for your support – Lisa