Smart meal planning solutions and meal prep ideas for a small household gas estimator

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As you know, I think meal prep is one of the most important weight loss habits you can take on. And you really can’t meal prep without planning first so learning to meal plan is equally important. So, I don’t want you to give up, or become overwhelmed, because you’re not sure how to plan and prep with a small family. I have meal prep ideas that’ll help you easily fit both of these habits into your lifestyle.

There’s no right or wrong way to meal plan or meal prep. The purpose of putting together a meal plan is so you know what you’re eating during the week. This is your food road map which essentially makes you intentional with food. Basically, a meal plan is the first step in helping you think before you eat – this habit alone will help you choose healthier foods and lose weight.

Now, the purpose of meal prep is to have all the delicious meals and snacks you planned out prepared ahead of time, so you’ll actually eat it. We all know we’re more like to eat healthy foods if the food is ready, right? If I need to cook every time I want to eat then, most likely, I’m grabbing something quick, processed, and not exactly “healthy”.

Meal planning and prep doesn’t need to be complicated – and it shouldn’t be. Not only will both help you eat healthier it should also make your life less stressful. So, if you start to become overwhelmed with meal planning or prep then stop and take step back. Make sure you’re not overcomplicating the process and then make adjustments to fit both into your lifestyle. Remember there’s no right or wrong way. Do what works for you. With that said here are some planning solutions and meal prep ideas to help you feed 1-2 people healthy delicious meals week after week.

I think a common mistake MANY people make when changing their lifestyle is they think their meal plan needs to be filled with Pinterest-perfect recipes. This isn’t just people planning for 1-2 people – it’s everyone. I can see how this would be overwhelming, especially if you’re not used to cooking. Good news, I’m here to tell you that losing weight doesn’t require special recipes. However, if you want to use recipes then hold tight cause I’ll offer some meal prep ideas for that in a second.

You can double dip basic recipes. For example, you can prepare 1lb of taco meat to use in nachos earlier in the week and then mixed into a salad later in the week. Or freeze half the taco meat for a meal later in the month. Another example, is Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken. Use some for wraps on Monday and then save ½ cup to make a naan pizza on Friday. Again, freeze the rest into portions for meals later on.

Also, you can prepare basics to whip together simple healthy meals for 1-2 people with no problem. For example, if you make a batch of rice on Sunday you can freeze some of it into portions and then keep the rest in the refrigerator for easy stir-frys during the week. Grab a bag of frozen vegetables, a bag of portioned out shredded chicken you made the other week, and some jarred stir-fry sauce and you’re good to go. By the way, I’m totally not above convenience items. See my favorite convenience items to use on meal prep day in this post.

Well I have a couple solutions. Let’s start with working with a friend. If you know someone who has the same meal planning and prep struggles as you then ask them to do a recipe swap of sorts. Meaning you both cook, or prepare ahead of time, 2-3 recipes (or whatever amount), divide the recipe in half or portions, and then swap half the recipes with each other. This will give you more variety with recipes.

All you need to do is put the entire recipe together, then divide into two pans, and freeze. For example, if you’re making a 9 x 13 casserole you would divide that recipe into 2 (8 x 8) pans. Personally, I use aluminum foil pans for this. They freeze great and can go right into the oven. Not to mention, they’re inexpensive. Make sure to label the pans with the recipe and cooking instructions. Keep in mind, cooking instructions, most likely, will stay the same but you might need to adjust the cooking time.

Another meal prep idea I use all the time with recipes is to prepare portion-controlled freezer meals. In this case I would make the entire recipe ahead of time and then portion into single serving meals. Think of these as homemade lean cuisines. You can make as many recipes as you want ahead of time.

Keep in mind if you don’t want to purchase large packages of meat, or other ingredients, you can get small quantities by going to the meat counter or the bulk section in your grocery store. There’s no need to get a 3lb bag of almonds if you don’t need it.

When I first talked about this topic with my Organize Yourself Skinny Ecourse students I realized that while I do have a family I tend to plan and prep for myself a lot. My weekly meal plans often include mason jar salads, snack kits, smoothie kits, and single-portion breakfast meal prep ideas. The only time I plan for everyone is at dinner time. However, even with dinner, I still have basics, and portion-controlled meals, in the refrigerator and freezer in case we need it.

Emeals offers weekly dinner meal plans in a variety of eating styles. Their most popular healthy lifestyle meal plans are the Clean Eating, Paleo, Low-carb, and 500 or less calories. You can also get a budget meal plan or a slow cooker meal plan. They have many more – you can view them all here. Anyway, if you don’t know where to start with eating healthier then using one of these meal plans could be a solution.

Each week Emeals sends a meal plan directly to your inbox or you can access the meal plans on their app or website. To make eating healthy even easier Emeals works along side Instacart so you can get all your ingredients delivered to your door.

Those are my planning solutions and meal prep ideas for 1-2 person households. The last piece of advice I’ll give you is any little bit of planning and prep helps. Focus on the meal you struggle the most with and go from their. Before you know it, you’ll have routines in place that make weekly meal planning and prep seamless.