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In this weekly series, “Meal Prep Friday,” I want to show you how do-able it is to eat healthfully throughout the week with wholesome meals if you put a little effort into planning and prepping in advance. I will share with you my weekly “game plan,” my purchases at the store, and any helpful tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way. Let’s get cookin’! 

Hey guys! TGIF!!

I’m so glad you’re back for more Meal Prep Friday! From the comments and feedback I received last week, I feel even more encouraged and motivated to keep this series alive and active ;). So let’s get to what I prepped (last weekend) and the meals we enjoyed this week.

But first, because I really do want this to be an interactive series where we swap ideas, share recipes, etc., I want to ask you – how much do you spend on your groceries a month? Do you have a set budget or are you more lenient with your spending?

I ask because ever since the Hungryman and I started Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey with our church small group, we’ve become a lot more aware of our spending. To help keep track of where our $$ is going, I’ve been using an app called “Good Budget,” and I’ve absolutely been loving it so far (any fans out there?). It uses an “envelope” system, that Dave Ramsey also talks about, in which you create various envelopes (e.g. groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.) and allot a certain dollar amount to each. What’s also really neat is that you can sync between mobile devices and the web so that you, your spouse, or whoever else, can monitor activity and thus keep each other in check.

Dave Ramsey also emphasizes the importance of “feeling” our money as it will help us be more connected to it, minimizing frivolous spending. Therefore, we’ve slowly started paying with cash instead of mindlessly swiping our credit cards on every occasion. Such excellent students we are 😉 (nerd alert!). Our next step – getting rid of all our credit cards (except one). We are definitely learning a lot through this program and are really looking forward to being on top of our finances this year.

I say all this because each week I want to share not only about what I purchased at the grocery store, but also how much I spent total. After our budget meeting, we agreed that when it comes to grocery bills, we’ll take a more generous approach, even if it means cutting back on other things, like online shopping (NOO!! Tell me it isn’t so!). That’s because we really see purchasing high quality foods as an investment. Eat better now –> less medical bills to pay down the road.

Moving right along, here’s what I got this week. I normally go to Trader Joe’s for produce and HEB for pantry staples. But I can’t wait to start up my biweekly CSA box (<– click to see my previous boxes) again come summer.

Meal Prep Friday

 Trader Joe’s

Meal Prep Friday

 HEB

Total $$ spent: $35.24. This is actually pretty low for us, but that’s because I didn’t purchase any protein sources (usually eggs, chicken breast, beef, fish, beans), which are what really spike up the bill. When making my grocery list on Friday, I knew I had plenty stocked in my fridge and freezer this time around. So if you aren’t doing so already…check your pantry before going shopping! Although I, too, am guilty of buying things I already have on hand.

Meal Prep Friday

I decided not to cook too much this week as the wonderful folks at Snap Kitchen sent us some meals to sample. We really enjoyed the variety of selections, and they were the perfect meals for the Hungryman to take to work.

Meal Prep Friday

As usual, I roasted my veggies. I’m still in love with rainbow carrots, and of course, my ultimate favorite – sweet potatoes. #iheartrootvegetables

I washed and prepped all my veggies the moment I brought them home from the store. Then some went into Mason jars while the rest were either stored separately in individual containers or, as in the case with greens, placed in a ziplock bag with paper towels (after they were washed and spun vigorously in a salad spinner to dry).

Meal Prep Friday

This week’s Mason jars (tutorial coming!!) included zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, chickpeas for him, adzuki beans for her, and greens. I leave some room at the top so I can add the protein source(s) the day of. I know there are many ways to build a Mason jar salad, but I’ve found that the protein sources retain their integrity best when added on the day of consumption.

As for the chickpeas, I ALWAYS have them on hand. As I mentioned here, I cook a huge batch of beans once a month, store in individual containers, and freeze them. Thus, all I had to do this time around was take a container out of the freezer the night before. Easy peasy! I’m getting pretty low on my supply so I’ll be cooking up a batch real soon.

Meal Prep Friday

Normally, I like to cook at least 2 actual meals during the week that are not salads (or more if I’m doing recipe development). Since we had the Snap Kitchen meals, I only made one dish this week – Curried Chicken and Carrot Couscous. I will be sharing the recipe this coming Monday on Healthy Aperture, where I contribute monthly to the “Make Ahead Meals” column. So hope you check it out because it’s so so delicious.

To avoid eating couscous everyday, I froze some (separated into individual portions) to be enjoyed in upcoming weeks. I’m sure you can tell by now that the freezer is my best friend. I’ll commonly do this with leftovers. I date each bag and try to eat the servings within a month or so. However, I’m a bit uncertain on this particular occasion as I don’t know if this dish will freeze well. My main concern is that the couscous will no longer be fluffy and instead turn into mush. Whoops… I guess we shall find out. #trialanderror

In any case, taking advantage of your freezer  is another way you can save time in the kitchen. My fellow RD friend, Lindsay, wrote a great post on 10 foods that freeze well so hope you’ll pay her a visit.

Now here are some pictures of meals enjoyed during the week (can be seen on my Instagram as well)

Meal Prep Friday

I didn’t cook the asparagus until the day I served it. I simply tossed it with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it alongside a beautiful piece of salmon (thank you, Sizzlefish!) in my toaster oven.

That wraps up this week’s Weekly Meal Prep. Come back next Friday to see a tutorial on how I make my Mason jar salads! Hope you have a blessed weekend!

 

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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10 Comments

  1. Ohhh I know…! You must love root vegetables, Unnie! Harhar 😉 I’m the same way. It must be the Korean in us that forces us to gravitate toward sweet potatoes/yams so naturally. And I am so delighted you mentioned that financial part! Greg and I have been trying really hard at recording every cent we spend and have all the categories broken down and written on our phones. We really want to be good stewards of money while also having some leeway for the future. As you know, people say “choose anything but ministry if you can” when it comes to absolutely knowing your calling for when times of discouragement come, but also financially. We are blessed for even having the material blessings we have now, like our cars! But it’s not easy. Hence, I’m trying to be very “good” with my groceries and spending money on food (and pastries, oops), but it’s actually quite a challenge. I look forward to seeing your insights and tips+tricks on this topic unnie 😀 I think I’m slowwwwly getting a litttle bit of inspiration to do meal prep. The hard part is–I don’t like knowing what to expect or being tied down to one thing (like knowing that I’ll have to eat this dish one day or another) because I tend to do things on the spot or as I go, lol. so I think meal prepping won’t come naturally but I think it’s worth a shot? Welp, have a beautiful day and take care!

    1. Yes yes I mean with endless 고구마 and 단호박 available, we clearly had no chance ;). Have y’all done the FPU? At first we were skeptical of it, but it’s turning out to be quite an eye opener. Ellie, I truly love your loving and serving heart. It is truly an encouragement to me as well as everyone around you, I’m sure. But yes, it is def not easy to try to scale back or say no when your eyes say Yes Yes!Immediate gratification, come on! Buy it!

      I know what you mean about not wanting to know what you’re going to eat all the time. However, meal prep is something that began out of necessity. Now that I’m home a lot more, I can cook on a whim, but back when I was at school, that was just not possible. One can only eat cereal so many days, ya know? 😉 I used to prep A LOT more than this, and I’m thankful that I get to spend some time in the kitchen during the week.

  2. Hi Min, I really enjoyed reading this post. I thought your line about investing in quality foods now to prevent medical bills later was wonderful. And I’m really loving those mason jar 🙂

    1. Thank you, Sonali! Yes, I truly believe in that and something tells me you do too ;). I shall def have the tutorial up next week so hope you swing by then! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

  3. These meals look amazing, Min! You make it look so easy and gorgeous. I’ve tried prepping a week of meals on Sunday – it’s tiring but so worth it later in the week!

  4. Your meals look delicious! I love seeing what you prep, and especially what you freeze. New ideas to simplify work in the kitchen are always helpful!