The Best Products to Help with Meal Planning and Prep

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Why should you listen to me at all ?

  • It’s not just you for years I would stare at the blank sheet in front of me and try to figure out what to cook. I couldn’t even get together a list of meals let alone the grocery list. Don’t worry though I’ve done all the hard work for you.
  • Uneaten food, empty takeout containers empty wallets that was the story we lived with in my house. Finally, I was fed up and of course like any modern Mom took my inquiries to Google, Youtube and my other friends who cook.
  • I’ve discovered several Bloggers and Chefs who have it down and now have provided their cooking expertise to the masses. Meal time isn’t filled with tears or massive amouts of uneaten food at my house any more. There are now less dinner time rebellions. One hour or less one morning a week and I have the plan in place. Grocery shopping is done usually the same day and then a few hours meal prep saves me TONS of time. Time I’m not scrambling during the week to figure out “What’s for Dinner.”
  • Do you need help getting motivated to meal plan check out my post on Beginning Meal Planning

What is Meal Planning and Meal Prep ?

  • Meal planning is sitting down once a week and figuring out what’s being eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner in my house. Or, it’s just figuring out what’s for dinner. It’s all about figuring out when you need that meals or meals to be ready or have very little thought to get put together.
  • Is meal planning hard ? No! Like all things in life you just have to dive in and get started. There are no hard and fast rules about meal planning. Meal planning is all about making the food work for you.
  • Meal Prep is not difficult either. In my house it can mean marinating proteins and chopping vegetables on a Sunday before the week begins. In my neighbors house it means assembling dump and go freezer meals for the crock pot. It’s all about what works for you.

Why does Meal Planning and Meal Prep not Happen ?

  • You just can’t seem to make choices. It feels overwhelming to decide what to cook and what to buy.
  • I watched YouTube videos, read blogs and felt like if I can’t be perfect why should I try. There is no such thing as perfect I finally realized. I got off my rear end and picked one recipe. That’s how it started I cooked it and it wasn’t a total disaster. Then the next week I planned for three nights and so on.
  • The next month I realized I wasn’t in a blind panic about dinner or any other meal I needed to prepare for. My kids had had more than peanut butter and jelly. It was a hallelujah moment for me. This whole meal planning and prep thing might actually work.

Best Products to Over Come Meal Planning Anxiety

My Go-to Cookbook for when I need a sure fire crowd pleasing meal.
The title “One & Done” says it all which is music to the busy home cooks ears. Who wants to clean lots of dishes every night after dinner? Not ME! Plus, when you have company over you look like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours with a lot of these.

Are you on a tight budget? This is the first of my favorite budget cookbooks. My number one the budget is tight cookbook the kids need new shoes again gotta save money !

My second budget cookbook is the most awesome according to my kids. Beth Moncel has done an amazing job creating affordable relatable recipes. We highly recommend the Dragon Noodles at my house. From stocking your kitchen with the correct cookware to pantry staples and freezer guidelines it’s the new or busy cooks go to guide for tasty, cheap and quick.

The Best Equipment for your Meal Prep

There are five products I will not be without in the kitchen. My Vita-mix, Crockpot, Instant pot, sheet pans, and skillet.

Why these Products are Essential Items in my Kitchen

Vita-Mix more than a smoothie maker

The Vita-mix is not just for smoothies. I make sauces, soups, banana ice cream and all sorts of wonderful goodies in it. I have had my mixer for years. If a Vita- Mix can stand up to my families use in the kitchen anybody can use it.

Crockpot isn’t Just for the Neighborhood Potluck Anymore

Second, is the Crockpot this isn’t just for potlucks any more. Crock-Pot is the best way to cook a meal low and slow all day. Prep the meal the night before put the food in the stoneware crock with the lid on and stick it in the fridge. Next morning before work take it out and fire up the crockpot. It’s almost instant gratification people come home to a cooked meal and the house smells amazing.

The Kitchen Multi Tasking Wonder I Would Save in a Fire

Third on my list of must-haves for the kitchen is the Instant Pot. It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, slow cooker, saute’ pan, and egg cooker. The Instant Pot saves time. It’s the Swiss army knife of kitchen tools. I use this three times a week sometimes more. The first cookbook on my list “One&Done” has lots of tasty recipes for this and many of the other must have kitchen tools on my list.

Sheet Pans Simple and Versatile

The sheet pan is not just for cookies. Throw a piece of parchment paper down on it’s surface some protein, veggies and oil of your choice and ding dinner is done about an hour. There is only ONE PAN LEFT TO CLEAN UP. Every cooks dream come true busy mom or just busy cook in the kitchen

The Skillet with a Lid

My other necessary tool is a quality non-stick skillet with a lid. It does everything from eggs in the morning to pan cooked juicy chicken thighs with a honey mustard sauce at night.

Meal Planning and Prep Can Be Done

After reading this be sure to check out my meal planning printable to help you with your Meal Planning Journey.

What other tools do you consider essential as a home cook? What are your favorite cookbooks? Comment below and let me know. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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