MEAL PREP PARTY: Quick and Cheap Meal Prep!

Happy Sunday, Folks!

Raise your hand if you meal prep! (I wish I had a hand raising up emoji to insert).

If you don’t, why not? Is it because it takes forever? You’d rather spend your weekend sleeping? Are meat and vegetables too expensive? OR is it because, in your mind, 4-day-old grilled chicken tastes like the rubber sole of your shoe after a long run in the middle of July?

Regardless, meal prepping is YOUR key to success.  Having your healthy food already prepared at the beginning of the week will save you lots of time, money, and calories (everyone’s 3 favorite things to save!).  So let’s get started, shall we?

TIP 1- Look at the weekly ad ahead of time

Sometimes, I’ll go shopping on both Saturday and Sunday (at my supermarket, the weekly deals change from Saturday to Sunday).  If chicken is $1.99 on Saturday, I’ll go then before it jumps to $2.99 the following week.  By mapping out what I am going to buy on certain days, I can get in and out of the supermarket in less than 20 minutes a pop. (Depending on the lines)

TIP 2- Buy your snacks in bulk

I’ll go to Costco and buy a big 3-lb bag of almonds.  It lasts for a while and I’ll portion out about 20 ziplock bags at a time (15 almonds = ~100cals).  I’ll grab 2 for the day that way I have a healthy snack whenever I get hungry.  I also buy the big canisters of oatmeal and the big packs of egg white cartons for 2 weeks.

TIP 3- Frozen steamable veggies and brown rice are your lifesaver

Can’t stand frozen broccoli? Try frozen green beans. I am obsessed. One bag usually only costs $1 and it’s good for 2-3 servings.  Same thing with your brown rice. You can steam the veggies in the bag while you’re prepping your other food. ( DISCLAIMER: Please make sure you get steam-in-bag vegetables, otherwise it’s a complete disaster and you’ll taste the plastic in the back of your throat for a good month)   You will become the expert multi-tasker.

OKAY, enough tips.  Ready to spend just $60 for a week of food for 2 people and prep it in less than an hour? LET’S GOOOOOO

MEAL PREP PARTY SHOPPING:

PROTEINS:

1 package of chicken cutlets $1.99/lb- (~$6.00)

2 packages 93% lean ground turkey ($7.00 total)

1 2-lb bag frozen tilapia ($8.00)

Egg white cartons ($4.00)

VEGETABLES:

5 bags frozen green beans ($5.00)

5lbs broccoli crowns .99/lb ($5.00)

Extra large bag spinach or kale ($5.00)

STARCHES:

10 bags frozen brown rice ($10.00)

Large canister of quick oats ($3.00)

OTHER:

1 jar of salsa ($3.00)

_______

TOTAL- $56.00

It’s normally cheaper than that ^ AND I’ll usually have the big bag of almonds already, so I didn’t add it in.

MEALS:

MEAL 1: SALSA CHICKEN

-In a crockpot (best investment you’ll ever make) throw your package of chicken (trim off the fat before) and jar of salsa in it.  Add a little water to the salsa jar to rinse out all the leftover salsa and throw that in the crockpot so no part of the chicken isn’t covered.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours. DONE. *I recommend doing this overnight or first thing in the AM

MEAL 2: GROUND TURKEY

-In a dutch oven or big skillet, throw both packs of turkey with a little bit of olive oil.  Mix around and cook til its brown and ready.  After it’s all cooked, remove it from the flame and throw seasonings on.  I recommend Flavor God or Mrs. Dash.  Mix it all up. DONE.

MEAL 3: TILAPIA

-While you’re prepping your other 2 proteins, start defrosting the frozen tilapia in a big bowl and preheat the oven to 425.  It should be thawed in about 15 min. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Put the fish on the tray and spray again with cooking spray and put whatever spices you want on top.  Throw in the oven for 10 minutes, flip the fish, add more seasonings, cook for another 10 minutes.  DONE.

  • For the rest of the prep, I steam everything.  I’ll start off throwing a steam rice bag in microwave.  Every 4 minutes, I take one out and put another one in.  At the end, I’ll empty all the bags of rice in a big bowl and add salt.  Then i measure and put it with a protein.
  • I will steam or cook veggies for 1-2 days.  I don’t like having steamed vegetables cooked and sitting around in the fridge all week so I’ll take 5 minutes in the morning to steam them and portion them out accordingly.
  • For snacks I’ll have almonds, bars, and protein shakes (Almonds will already be pre-portioned).

meal prep

So there you have it.  My meal prep.  Like I said, it really only takes me an hour, aside from the slow cooked chicken.  But this has been my go-to prep, especially during the winter and I can’t/don’t want to go outside to grill chicken.  If you have any questions, or any mind-blowingly awesome tips I WANT TO HEAR THEM.  If you’ve never tried salsa chicken, stop what you’re doing right now and make it. If you don’t meal prep, try it.  Even if it’s just for one meal.  You’ll be thankful once you realize you saved $50 from not going to the salad bar all week.

Have a great weekend!

Michelle

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