Meal Prepping Pt. 1: Plan and Prep

Meal Prepping - Urban Oreganics - Vegan Eating

It's finally here! Our Meal Prepping blog series has been in the works for nearly two years… because, mom life. But we’re so excited to share this with you! To keep things simple (for us and for you), we’ve split it into three parts:

Part 1: Plan & Prep
Part 2: Fave Prepping Products
Part 3: Healthy Eating

Our family of four (hubby, two toddlers, and myself) is vegan, and we also eat organic and mostly gluten-free. When beginning your meal prepping journey, don’t feel like it needs to be all or nothing. Start with just planning your meals ahead of time and creating an organized grocery list. Once that becomes routine, then begin prepping 2-3 meals per week and work up from there. Or just stay there, if that feels right. Every little bit you do will save you time (and money). So make adjustments to meet your family’s lifestyle as needed.

Meal Prep Blog Post - Urban Oreganics - Vegan - Gluten Free - Organic

Plan, Plan, Plan:
During breakfast on Saturdays, we get on Pinterest and choose our meals for the week together as a family. We meal plan/prep a little differently than you may have seen - instead of prepping one large recipe ahead of time and eating the same thing every day, we actually make 7 dinners (from which leftovers become lunch the next day) and one large breakfast. I take inventory of what we already have and make a grocery list (organized by department/aisle). Then on Sunday mornings I wake up before the rest of my family and arrive at the store as soon as it opens.

Pro-tip: This saves time because I don’t have to bring the kids, and the store is pretty empty, thus easy to maneuver quickly in and out. My typical shopping trip is 30 minutes long and I spend an average of $150 - that’s buying seven days worth of vegan and organic food for four people. Because our meals are planned out and the list is organized, I only have to go to the store once a week. By sticking to a list, I save time, money, and it keeps me from throwing junk in my cart.

Pro-tip: Eat before you go to the store - if you shop on an empty stomach, you‘re more likely to give into your cravings.

Meal Prep Blog Post - Urban Oreganics - Vegan - Gluten Free - Organic

Prior to intentional meal planning, I would go to the store aimlessly, buy whatever looked good, then try to figure out what was for dinner each night with whatever we had in the house. Which meant I’d typically have to run back to the store 2-3 times in a week to get a extra ingredients. We were spending an average of $300 a week on groceries and a lot of it would end up spoiled and tossed into the trash. We also never ate our leftovers, so those would sit in the fridge until they were eventually tossed. One key change we made to our eating habits is portioning out our dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. This saves us additional time and money since we are not having to figure out what to eat for lunches or resorting to eating out after long days.

When searching for recipes and planning your shopping list, keep in mind the number of servings you will need. We account for one serving per adult and one-half serving per child. This equals six servings for one meal so that there is enough for dinner, then lunch the next day. Also, we pick 1-2 new recipes per week, and 5-6 family favorites so we can branch out without having to commit to too many new recipes.

Meal Prep Blog Post - Urban Oreganics - Vegan - Gluten Free - Organic

Our kids eat a slightly modified version of what we’re eating. We used to prepare totally different meals, but now we just simplify and leave out certain ingredients. For example:

Rice bowls: brown rice, black beans, avocado, hummus sauce
Tacos: soy curls with mole sauce, black beans, avocado
Quesadillas: vegan nut “cheese”, sweet potatoes, black beans 
Pizza: vegan nut “cheese” only (occasionally they’ll let us sneak a few veggies on)

Time to Prep:
Sometimes the prepping can be the hardest part. You now have a countertop full of fresh groceries and almost no time to prep everything. Meal prepping all at once can seem very daunting at first. Once you get into a routine, it will get better, promise! If you have younger children, get your significant other to keep them entertained, or prep during their normal play time or nap time. If they are old enough, have them help you prep! Kids are more interested in trying new foods when they’re involved in the process.

I still cook all our meals fresh each night, so all I do ahead of time is prep and sort ingredients, and occasionally pre-cook portions of the meal (bean from scratch, rice, sauces, etc.)

Pro-tip: If you know you’re going to have a long day at work, plan a “quick” meal for that evening. My prep method only requires preparing the ingredients (washing, chopping, portioning, and labeling). If you know a certain ingredient isn’t going to last all week, then eat that meal earlier in the week to prevent spoilage.

Meal Prep Blog Post - Urban Oreganics - Vegan - Gluten Free - Organic
We plan and prep all our meals with the idea of having leftovers for lunch the next day. If you happen to have extra on top of that, there are a lot of things you can do with those instead of tossing. Of course, you can enjoy an extra portion for yourself, freeze it for a busy week, substitute for dog food (depending on the ingredients), or give extra leftovers to family and friends; elderly neighbors or new mamas.

Remember, meal prepping doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you only prep for two to three days starting out, that is better than nothing. I always always keep 1-2 meals in the freezer just in case. Some days will be so busy you just don’t feel like cooking, even if the ingredients are all ready for you!

Meal Prep Blog Post - Urban Oreganics - Vegan - Gluten Free - Organic

Part 2 of our series gets more in-depth about my preparation techniques and the awesome supplies I use that help keep my ingredients fresh.

If you already follow us on Instagram, you can watch our stories every Sunday to check out what we’re eating that week.


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Urban Oreganics Owners

About Us

Hi! We’re Cory & Emily, husband and wife, parents, and co-owners of Urban Oreganics. Over the years, we’ve developed a passion for creating an eco-friendly, minimalist lifestyle for our family. We’re always discovering new sources of inspiration and are excited to share those with you through our blog.


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2 comments

  • Hello to everyone out here, I am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me … My name is Susan Christian , I live in London, UK. we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do, i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr Emu for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr Emu casted on him that make him come back to me today, me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr Emu for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact Dr Emu ,if you need his help you can contact him through his private mail: emutemple@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website https://emutemple.wordpress.com/ fb page Https://web.facebook.com/Emu-Temple-104891335203341 and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

    • Susan Christian
  • Wow, this is good insight on how you operate your household for a big task- FEEDING everyone! Thanks for doing this series. It’s nice to read how someone else does it. It’s time for me to re-visit our “meal prep” habits. Thanks again!

    • Charlotte
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