Planning The Perfect Meal Prep Shopping List

By Stephanie Scott

oes mealtime stress you out? One simple tweak to your weekly routine can help eliminate meal planning stress, save you money, and improve your diet. It’s called meal prepping and it’s much easier than you think. Here are some tips to get started with food prep and make the most of each meal.

Focus on food groups. Meal prep doesn’t have to be difficult – and you don’t need to be a professional chef. Healthy meal prep can be simplified by focusing on whole foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, high-quality lean protein, and healthy fats. By keying in on elements of nutrition, you can create a template for a healthy prepped breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For example, a perfectly prepped dinner could be grilled salmon, broccoli, quinoa, and sliced avocado.

Good organization is a key. Like most areas in life, the better organized you are, the more successful you’ll be. Starting with a clean slate – and a pantry and fridge free of old or unhealthy food – gives you a complete mental reset and some extra motivation needed to prep your healthy meals. Take it a step further and organize your kitchen drawers and organize your kitchen tools and gadgets so they are easy to find and ready to use. 

Schedule your prep days. There isn’t one “system” or schedule you must follow – it’s about what works for you. The key is making consistent times in your schedule to meal prep. Some choose to do smaller prep sessions every other day, while others choose one day a week to chop, cook and prep for the week ahead. Also plan the days in which you shop and meal plan. By building time in your schedule to make meal prepping and planning a priority, it becomes like a second nature to be well-prepared and plan ahead.

Shop like the pros do. Megan Chavez, local chef and owner of healthy meal-prep company Prepped Up Meals, suggests shopping in the perimeter of the grocery store. Chavez shared a meal prep grocery list that can make breakfast and dinner for a family of four, for six days, for under $125.