MPME Part Four: The Finale, Putting it all Together

The finale is here.

Part four of our series will cover the entire process of meal planning. Are you ready?

We’ve got our ingredient list generated from Meal Garden and completed our trip to the grocery store, hopefully, we have purchased everything we needed for each recipe for the coming week (isn’t the portion size option handy to make adjustments?).

Now, the hard easy part, preparing the actual food and meals. Here comes the barrage of pro tips coming at you.

If you currently have all plastic food containers, don’t be afraid.

Slowly, one by one, switch them out.

Don’t stress if you have predominately plastics, but if you even have a few pieces of glass containers keep them.

Evaluate your food containers.

If you own a glass equivalent of a plastic piece, chuck the plastic one.

There is no need to hoard a million and one food containers. You are not preparing to pack food for a famine (unless you actually are).

Evaluate which containers you have never or rarely ever used, chuck them out.

Once you have cleaned and cleared out the useless or unused plastic containers, take an inventory of your glass and even metal containers (if you have any).

Based off a two to three people household there should be at least one extra-large containers, at least one to two large containers, two medium sized containers and a number small containers and extra-small containers for various food storage uses.

Mason jars are also incredible useful and versatile for sorts of storage needs.

If space is limited, it is not necessary to have enough containers for each person and every week of the week.

One good quality sealed glass container is perfect for each person, for each meal packed is perfect. It’s all about putting it together.

Cobb Salad in a Jar (umm… amazing use for mason jars!)

Cobb Salad in a Jar (umm… amazing use for mason jars!)

For all raw vegetables that you will be consumed raw.

Take them out of the plastic bags and wash them gently, dry thoroughly and store them all in an extra-large sealed glass container.

If you are chopping the vegetables, store those in a separate glass container. If making salads for the week, a pro tip is to prepare the dry salad ahead of time and toss in a large glass container.

This way, in the morning or the night before, you can simply pack the salad as needed. For all roasted/cooked vegetables, store in a tightly sealed large glass container as well.

Store all starchy vegetables or cooked grains in a medium sized container as they often do not need as much room.

Lastly, store all your proteins in small or medium sized containers.

Separate for different proteins to not mix flavors.

Make ahead all sauces and salad dressings so they are ready to go as well!

I personally final small to medium sized mason jars work wonders for this part.

When cooking the food, strategize what takes the longest to make and start with that. If you are roasting or baking multiple things, start with the longest to cook and work your way to the shortest.

When packing food, the night before or in the morning, take out your lunch/dinner container and fit all the pieces of your meal in (just like a puzzle).

Ideally, pack in an insulated bag with a cold pack to keep the temperature of the food cool and prevent bacteria from growing.

There you have it folks, meal planning made simple.

Congratulations on completing the series with us!

Send us a photo or comment with your meal planning endeavors!