Easy Meal Planning & Food Prep

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Meal planning makes my life so much easier.  Really.

It doesn’t have to be an entire day of make ahead freezer meals or racking my brain for every morsel I’m going to consume in the next few days.  Although those two things can help you save time and stay on track, it’s often overwhelming to accomplish… and because it seems so unmanageable, there’s a good chance it gets put off each weekend.

One of our goals for the new year was simply to eat out less.  When we get home late, it’s very convenient to just pick something up on the way home, but it’s not at all helping us reach our fitness goals and it’s a real strain on the wallet.  So, we decided we needed a way to plan a general outline of what we would have for dinner each week.

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It’s nothing fancy…  It’s just a dry erase board from Hobby Lobby and a few colorful markers.

By having a visual on what we are going have for dinner each week, I could easily make out a grocery list of what I needed to pick up.  I know what I need to set out to thaw the night before, and because I’ve planned our side dishes ahead of time, fresh vegetables are less likely to go bad sitting in our refrigerator.

And since we are still following the 21 Day Fix program, I went ahead and portioned our some of our veggies for the upcoming week.

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These colorful snack bags come from Target and are perfect for using with your 21 Day Fix containers.

One HUGE food prepping tip:  When you get home for the grocery store, don’t put something away if it needs to be washed, chopped, or prepped in any way.  If you put in away once, you’re less likely to take it back out to prep it and have to put it away again.

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I picked up carrots and celery for snacking this morning, and made sure to leave them out while I put away our other groceries.  Then I washed, cut and measured them with the green container and sorted them into the color coordinated snack bags.

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Now I’ve got easy grab-and-go snacks (that are healthy!)  I can easily keep these in my mini fridge at work and be less tempted to go to the vending machine when I start to get hungry.  Win-win!

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