For 2019, my siblings and I, as well as countless others, have set some goals and resolutions that we’d love to accomplish. Two of those were to 1) be healthier & 2) be more wise in our spending habits. This past weekend, we set out to work on both of those goals. So here is an insight to our adventures in planning, preparing and indulging in our meals! Part one of this two-part blog will cover the prep & part two will cover how we fared through the week & if we managed to make it to the following Sunday without running out of anything!
I hear people all the time talking about how making resolutions at the beginning of the year is stupid because after just a few weeks into the year, people tend to lose all motivation to accomplish these tasks or simply give up on themselves. I for one think it’s a great opportunity to reset our mindsets and tackle these goals head-on. And so with that, I’ll lead you in to how me & my two brothers decided we were going to start 2019 off on the right foot.
On the first Friday of 2019, we began to sit down and comb the internet for recipes that were easy-to-make, looked tasty, and also weren’t wallet-draining. Not to mention, between the three of us siblings, we can be pretty picky eaters. But somehow, by Sunday morning, we’d managed to find ourselves several recipes to work with, and began making a list of everything we needed to purchase at the grocery store. This may have been my favorite part of the process. Besides my love of writing, I absolutely love to make to-do lists! It gives me a small sense of relief to cross things off a list. It makes me feel accomplished.
But anyway, after creating our list, we set out to conquer our grocery shopping. Having that list made it much easier to shop, and prevented frivolous spending and unnecessary purchases. Also, putting the list in categories made for less time spent running across the store for one forgotten item (which we only had to do once, fortunately!) So after about an hour of shopping and double-checking our list, we were home free! I was genuine surprised at all the items we were able to get, and only spend $151.80. At that rate, we will average $50.60 per week, per person. I know I myself spend close to that, if not more, eating out daily. Not to mention, when I do eat out, I’m certainly not choosing healthy options, or fresh food. This was clearly a much better option for me. Also, breakfast, for the most part is either protein shakes, oatmeal or the occasional breakfast taco! So it should be noted that this meal prepping was strictly lunches, dinners, and several snack options. Breakfast is sort of a free-for-all at this point!
One of the reasons our grocery bill came out as high as it did was because one of our recipes to try was lemon pepper salmon fillets. We probably could have done without them, but what fun is that? We decided to indulge a bit & enjoy ourselves. For some clarification, here is a collective photo of all the items we purchased for our meal prepping:
And here is a list of all the dishes we prepared for the week:
- Lemon Pepper Salmon Fillets w/Asparagus & Brown Rice
- Sheet Pan Rosemary Thyme Chicken Breasts w/Baby Red Potatoes & Green Beans
- Creamy Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta
- Ground Turkey Bowls w/Brown Rice, Spinach & Carrots
- Mixed Berry & Granola Greek Yogurt Parfaits
Along with these dishes, we also purchased 2-12 packs of Lipton Teas, 2-12 packs of sweetened sparkling water, and lemons, cucumbers and mint to make infused water. Besides all the bottled water we keep in our house, we are hoping that these drinks will help to curb the craving for sweets and also help keep us fuller, longer.
**It should also be noted that we used some ingredients that we already had in house, so the cost of these recipes could vary based on availability of ingredients, but I’ll cover that more in part two!
Probably one of my worst habits is being the queen of procrastinating. And by that, I mean we didn’t start meal prepping until nearly 9PM. So that meant we didn’t finish with everything until almost 1AM. But I will say this, we certainly enjoyed ourselves! So we lit the BBQ pit, preheated the oven, and turned the burners on and got down to business. And after I complained about my feet hurting about 20 times and cut myself zesting lemons, here was our end result:
Top (L-R): Sheet pan chicken w/ potatoes & green beans; creamy chicken pasta; infused water; ground turkey bowl;
Bottom (L-R): Salmon fillets; Asparagus; Greek yogurt parfait
Side note, my brother Ruben also stepped in and made a fruit cocktail-esque dessert, which we’ll utilize as a snack. It incorporates cheese & fruit, and that’s like, my two favorite things, so yay! It wasn’t part of the groceries we bought, nor our recipe list, so I didn’t know if I should include it or not, but I wanted to recognize it because it was pretty yummy!
Today is Monday, and I’ve only had a chance to have one of our meal selections so far, being the salmon & some brown rice. But I am pretty impressed with what we’ve created so far. As someone who isn’t huge on reheated food, I can confidently report that everything still tasted great! And my meal was filling as well, so that’s always a plus!
Stay tuned for part two, where we will update with our thoughts on these meals, as well as share our favorite dishes & recipes with you all! See you on Sunday!