Meal Prepping for the First Time!

Look, Look!  A blog that isn’t about running!  It’s about cooking!  Something I am not very good at… I can make a mean spaghetti or lasagna, but I am not very creative when it comes to dinner time!

In the past few years, we have not been intentional about out dinners as a family!  With open enrollment just around the corner, I thought I would give a go at the ‘frozen crockpot meal’ thing!  So here’s how I went about it… perhaps you’ve got your own system that works, but this is my first go at it.  I am sure there will be a follow up blog about how all of the meals tasted!

First, find your recipes – I did a generic “Easy Crock Pot Freezer Meal” search and found this website: Mommy’s Fabulous FindsI selected several recipes and printed them out.  Some of the recipes are new and others sound like things I have attempted to make in the past.  I picked 8 recipes that I thought my family would like and a few that might make them try new things!

Second, create your shopping list!  I utilized excel and made five categories, see picture below.Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.55.31 AMI didn’t include things like water, salt, pepper, olive oil, etc – the items I know I have at home.  If I wasn’t sure about a spice, I added it to the list.  I did a sweep of the spice cabinet before my shopping visit and marked off anything that we had!  This took me about 20-30 minutes.  I added items together as I went along, example, I already had 4 chicken breast listed and had another recipe that called for 4 more chicken breast, I just changed the existing item to 8 chicken breasts!
Here’s the excel of my shopping list – feel free to delete my stuff out and add your own! Shopping List

Third – Go shopping!  I went to Sams for the meat and large quantity items, like onions or bell peppers, and left the rest of the list for my local Publix!  I like shopping with a list, so this was a pleasant trip. While the amount of money spent seemed high, I had to remind myself that I was making 8 dinners for my family and that total cost seemed to not seem so overwhelming.  I was saving my family lots of money on quick and easy food!  When we don’t plan our meals out, we end up eating out more than we should.  This process should save us some money in the upcoming weeks!

Fourth – Chop, mix and bag!

Fifth – Freeze!

Sixth – Cook and eat!  I don’t intend on using one of these a night.
I’ve not cooked any of these recipes yet, so I will leave this to another time!  Happy cooking!

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