This simple meal planning and prep system is part of a Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE ™ #OrganizeWithBrilliance #CollectiveBias sponsored by the social shopper media company Collective Bias® and it’s advertiser. All experiences and opinions are my own.
I see you there, sitting at the stoplight, running through all the things going on this week while the radio plays in the background. Not that you even hear it. How did life get so crazy? The boys have practice almost every day this week. She has dance two evenings, and a birthday party on Saturday – which means another shopping trip for a gift. Not to mention the call you got from his teacher, asking for a meeting to “discuss” something. Sigh. You’re schedule is already crammed full – and that’s not even counting the big project YOU have going on at work.
Looks like another week of drive through meals and cold cereal for suppers. (Tell me I’m not the only one who’s done this.)
Something Has to Give
I’m holding out my hand to you and telling you there’s another way. And it’s do-able. Even on a time crunch.
I’ve tried something new (not really NEW – but new to me) – and it’s working like a charm. As a busy mom of four boys, meal planning and prep has become a huge key to making sure we all eat well – with less trips to the drive through. Which saves a TON of money.
My two older boys are now in sports and extracurricular activities. While this is lots of fun and we love cheering them on, this also means that many nights, dinner needs to be planned in advance and ready to go. I’ve done the whole meal planning thing for a while, but PREP in advance? Who has time for that?
Well, I was wrong. I’ll tell you now – meal planning AND prep has made all the difference. A couple hours on a weekend afternoon and I’m set for the week. For real. And yes, the 10 pc. Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ set is my new go-to. I’ll explain why.
Why Meal Planning and Prep?
Here’s the thing. Without even realizing it, we had started eating out more and more. Life is busy; all of a sudden dinner time would roll around, and I’d have no idea what to make! So we’d order pizza or take out.
Not only is this hard on our health, it was also taking it’s toll on our budget. As a family of six, even if we chose to eat at a “less expensive” place, our bill was still easily $30-40. Multiply that a few times a month and it wasn’t pretty. Something had to change.
Now, I want to take a moment and say this: I’m not here to point fingers or judge if this is your go-to. Remember, I’ve been there. This is a judgement free zone. I’m just sharing what’s working for us now.
My Favorite Way to Prep
Once I’ve got my meal plan written out, (here’s my all-time favorite menu plan system) it’s time to see which meals are coming up for the week (I make sure to note any sports games or meetings we need to attend). This week, we’ve got a couple games on the calendar so for this post, I’ll show how I’m prepping for fajitas one night and planning ahead for lunches, too.
Let’s talk food storage containers for a moment. If you’re like me, you’ve tried to save pennies by reusing old sour cream and yogurt containers for food storage. Nothing wrong with that – until (if you’re like me) you forget what’s IN the containers. Since you can’t see inside them, you mistakenly think there really is sour cream and yogurt inside. Uuuuntil you realize there’s NOT. And now you’ve got a science lesson on your hands. 😉 Ew. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to throw away food because I just plain *forgot* what was inside and couldn’t see it to remind me. Such a waste.
This is why the 10 pc. Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ set stands out above the rest. It’s *crystal clear* – the full 360° – top to bottom, side to side.
No, really. As in…it looks like glass. Which means…(wait for it)…I’ll never have to wonder what’s INSIDE my containers again because I can SEE!!! Praiseallujah! I’m already imagining all the food I *won’t* have to throw away anymore because I’ll see what’s inside. No more throwing food away = saving more money! I’m all over that. 😀
Let’s Give it a Test Run
Have you ever taken leftovers and placed them in a regular plastic container? What happened when it got knocked off the counter or a kid accidentally bumped it while pulling the milk out of the fridge? YEAH. It exploded everywhere. Not that I would know about this first hand or anything. Ahem.
Guess what? Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ is 100% leak proof – Guaranteed! I tried it. Lol! If something makes a claim, you can be sure I’m going to be the one to test it out to see if what they say is really true. So I did it. I decided to send a couple pieces on a test run with my teen son to school. I was brave and sent him with chili. Messy, stain inducing chili.
Ok, I DIDN’T send him with my vintage silverware. But it sure does make for a pretty photo. 😉
I figured if these containers can withstand being knocked around in a backpack all morning, full of chili, and NOT leak, they would pass the test. So I sent him off to school with one Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ container filled with chili and another one filled with the corn chips he likes as a topping.
When I picked the boys up from school, the first thing I asked wasn’t, “How was school?” or “How’s the homework load tonight?” Nope – with eager eyes I asked my teen, “So did it leak??!” LOL! He smiled and told me it didn’t leak even a drop.
Score! I loved this set even more at that moment.
And for the Fajitas? I just pulled out the veggies and chicken breasts for fajitas and sliced them up. *Please use separate cutting boards for your meat and veggies.
Obviously. 😉 Just had to say it…you know…just in case.
Placed in my Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers, our fajita fixings are prepped and waiting.
So on that crazy night when we all pile in the door after a late game?
In the time it takes the kids to change out of their gear and set the table, I’ve got the skillet heated up, and all my fajita ingredients are ready to go, beautifully stacked in the fridge, for their quick sear.
Dinner is on the table in less than 20 minutes. Mom = 1, Dinner time panic = 0.
Meal Planning and Prep for You, too!
This simple meal planning and prep idea will work for you, too, sweet friend. It doesn’t matter what meals you’ve got on your menu plan. Most prep can be done in advance, saving you so much stress and hassle. Oh! And have you tried my Chicken Taco Bake recipe yet? It’s a huge favorite with my kids.
I know what you’re wondering now: where can I get my own set? I’m happy to tell you that Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ is available nationwide at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Amazon and other fine retailers.
Erase that Mom guilt from eating out more than you like. From spending more than you wish you did on fast food. I know the weight your shoulders bear. I’ve been there.
Just a little bit of time on a weekend afternoon to prep for dinners and lunches can save you so much money. And you’ll be wearing a smile on your face, knowing your family is eating healthy food that will nourish and strengthen their bodies for All the Many Things you’ve got on the calendar.
From one busy mom to another – “You’ve got this.”