I'm going shopping for the week, what the heck should I buy?
from CrossFit Verve
Here is one way to approach a week's worth of prep and shopping. It's Sunday and I know I have busy week ahead of me. If I don't prep for a few hours today, I will feel the repercussion all week long, by making quick and unavoidable bad decisions. When I take the time to prep, my whole week runs smoother. I'm less stressed because I don't have to wonder what, when or where I'm going to eat. I save time, because I'm not running around getting food. I save money, because I'm eating out less.
Before going to the store, write a menu. Break it into 4 categories; breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. Because I like to keep things simple, I'll keep the same menu all week long and change my meals the next week. I choose a meal from each category and duplicate that all week long. Because I am cooking for two, I account to both of our proportional needs. Here is what this week looked like.
I eat 3 block breakfasts and Matt eats 4, I add the numbers accordingly, they don't need to be exact. However, I'd like it close so that I either don't run out or don't waste any food.
This can be a recipe as a whole(like a chicken salad) or parts, for this particular week I decided to separate it into parts proteins carbohydrates and fats, so I can actually interchange them for lunches and dinners. Both ways are great. My recipe is going to be a chicken, a veggie and a fat. I found a crock pot chicken and roasted veggie recipe on the fuel page, I'm going to use those. Don't worry too much about exact quantities as you are shopping, you will get better and better at dialing this in.
Brussel sprouts-2 large bags
Avocado Oil-small bottle
Dinner: I was feeling like there was a lot to prep so far, so I wanted to make it a little easier. Otherwise, I'd be in the kitchen for 6 hours. I decided on beef stew for the protein, and the Kale salad on the fuel page. Knowing that I'd be able to use some of the roasted veggies as well for dinner.
Diced tomatoes-1 large can roasted
Ginger-1 small piece
Snack: Now I'm starting to get the sense that I'll have a ton of food that I can pull snacks from pretty easily. However, I decide to get some chicken that I can grill and have cut up ready to go and a few pieces of fruit for extra carbohyrates.
Now I head to the store. While this is a great outline as to what I need, be flexible when you shop to make life easier on your self, no need to go to three stores when you can just change an ingredient or two. Here is what changed from this list to my actual shopping was;
14 avocados was not only expensive, I felt like we would waste too much. So I got the packages of just avocados in small sizes. I ended up getting 5 pack.
I knew that beverages are a key factor in staying on top of my nutrition so I added 8 large mineral waters and 4 large unsweetened iced teas.
Total cost for this list was $180, that's $25 per day for 2 people or $3.21 per meal. You can't get much cheaper than that.
I'm home now what?
Prep it ALL NOW. Don't delay or you'll waste food this week. I started by getting the crock pot chicken going. Once that was underway, I started the roasted veggies. Now I have two dishes cooking and I could use the food processor for any additional chopping and prepping of veggies, the broccoli, onions, peppers. As things get done they get sticky notes of measurements to keep my week math free and I put something else in, the stew, grill, make salad and voila. 3 hours later, yes 3 hours I'm got a stocked fridge and though it tok three hours, it's going to save me double that over the next 7 days if not more.