It’s not an easy task preparing meals every day, especially when you have children. Ask every mom and they’ll tell you meal-prepping is their least favorite chore. But Nicole Knight from Sunshine Coast, Queensland has found the best solution. She is not only saving time with her ‘meal-prepping strategy’, but also money.
The mother-of-two spends only $150-$200 a week by preparing 22 meals, including snacks and baby formula for her family. She spoke for FEMAIL saying she started doing this a few years ago because she wanted to eat healthily.
She also revealed for FEMAIL that her boyfriend, Adam eats the same things she does, however, her son, Aspen eats whatever he likes as he can be ‘quite fussy’ the 25-year-old claims.
Props to her for being so organized.
Nicole explained she usually plans her meals on Sundays and then shops accordingly either at a fruit or vegetable store, butchers or grocery store.
Once home, I write a list of what I need to do whilst prepping. I try to write this list in order, for example, each element in the meals like cooking rice/pasta or preparing certain meats.
I either find recipes online or use my own. I divide the meals into containers once cooked and store them accordingly (fridge or freezer). Most meals last 3-4 days in the fridge depending on their contents.
She said her favorite ‘cheap’ meals include lasagnes, Sheppard’s pie, and spaghetti bolognese. By cheap, she means there are not many ingredients, or the ingredients are not very expensive. Another advantage is that she can “put heaps of extra vegetables in them.” Delishhh!
Nicole usually makes her son dinner for the whole week, something like spaghetti bolognese as it has lots of veggies, however, she makes his lunch every day.
For my partner and I, I choose three different meals and within these three different meals, I make six servings of each.
This gets us lunch and dinner from Monday to Thursday with Friday being a free meal day. I like to make three different meals so we can pick and rotate for lunch or dinner.
As for her tips on how to get started with her ‘meal-prepping strategy,’ she says to choose easy recipes that don’t take much time, versatile ingredients you can use for different meals, cook foods all at once, and try to mix it up so you don’t get bored with the same taste every day. And most importantly, enjoy the free time during the week.
Zephi, her youngest child is still drinking only milk so there’s no need to prepare extra meals for him at this point.
Any leftover I freeze – this gives us ready-made meals in the freezer if we ever need them. If it’s easier you can just create bigger portions at dinner time and save that for lunch the next day.
Another thing she told FEMAIL is the high-intensity training she did to help maintain her physique after giving birth.
Before falling pregnant I would workout 3-5 times a week doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training). During my pregnancy, I continued to stay active and would still aim to exercise 3-5 times a week; whether it was a walk or a session at the gym.
But after she gave birth, Nicole said she didn’t start her workout until she got the ‘all clear’ from her doctor, but used to walk a few times a week. She spoke about the importance of exercising, adding it’s good for both your physical as well as mental health.
Even a quick 10-minute walk around the block can brighten up your day.
What about you? Are you digging Nicole’s meal-prepping strategy? Share your thoughts on the comments section loves.