I’ve been trying to figure out a way to save money + eat healthy this year + I finally have a system I think is worth sharing!
I always saw people’s meal prep posts on social media of these very bare-bone meals with rice + a few veggies. It looked like too much work to me. However, after a few minutes on Pinterest, I realized that I could meal prep something that would actually keep me full during the day.
Also, meal prepping means going grocery shopping once a week + less time during the week I have to spend time worrying about what I’ll eat the next day.
To preface, I am still learning what fruits + vegetables are in-season + exploring with other salad combinations. Below is just my easy go-to. My long-term goal is to be vegan + buy fresh fruits/vegetables from local farmer’s markets. However, it’ll be a slow transition because there’s so many foods I just love so much!
In my post here, you can read about my experience with growing my own cucumbers + zucchinis!
I try to meal prep my lunch for Monday – Thursdays + then give myself the option to go out for lunch, eat left overs from Thursday dinner, or bring a microwave lunch on Fridays.
The salads I make for the week vary a little bit based on whatever fruits or vegetables look the freshest.
For the salads pictured, I linked the ingredients below. Kroger is my favorite grocery store because I have the KrogerPlus card to get discounts + fuel points to save money on gas!
50/50 Blend ($3.49) | Mandarin Oranges ($1.49) | Salad Toppers ($2.59) | Mozzarella Pearls ($3.99) | Blueberries ($3.99) | Red Bell Pepper ($2.19) | Carrots ($1.69) | Cucumber ($0.50) | Salad Dressing ($3.69)
I’ve started going to Pure Barre on Sunday mornings so I can swing by the grocery store after to buy everything. I always buy some other groceries for the week but the salad ingredients alone costs roughly $25.
As soon as I get home, I wash the lettuce + let it dry. I know of a few people with salad spinners to dry the leaves quickly. I just haven’t brought myself to buying one yet – even though I make salads almost every week. I just leave the lettuce in a strainer while I go shower, do laundry, whatever else I need to do for a few hours.
Sometimes, I mix in rice – usually a this white rice. I follow the instructions exactly as they are on the box. Once the rice is done cooking, I let it cool while I get everything else ready.
I rinse + chop the carrots, cucumbers + peppers. I always watch Netflix, Hulu or Bravo while I’m meal prepping!
Once that’s done, I put about a cup of rice + a couple handfuls of lettuce into the containers.
I use these Pyrex glass containers for my salads. A couple times, Target has had packs of the 4cup size bowl in stores.
As you can see in the pictures, I like to put everything in sections. I put the salad dressing in these Rubbermaid containers.
The whole process takes about an hour but then I have lunches for the entire week. It’s less I have to worry about during the week + it’s a lot healthier than eating out everyday. Almost every time I go out for lunch/dinner, I also end up getting a soda, a side, + a dessert for later. So this keeps me on track!
Overall, this has been keeping me healthy + keeping my spending down. I definitely recommend giving meal prepping a shot!
Do you meal prep? What’s your favorite to make?