First Step to Food Prep: Take Inventory!

I’m sure when you all said in my survey that you wanted food prep ideas, you thought I’d just be sharing examples of what I do each week/weekend. Well, since I want you to actually be successful in prep, and reap all of it’s benefits (like eliminating food waste and lowering your grocery bill), I thought I’d share a weekly series on steps to successful food prep before just throwing ideas of what to prep at you all!

When I provide seminars on food prep, the first tip I always give is that you should start with inventory. Of your pantry and freezer, and of course your fridge…. maybe you need to inventory the extra food from the cost club that you store in the garage or basement, too!

Reasons to take inventory:

  • Knowledge is power. Knowing what you have might remind you of a dish you love, but haven’t had in awhile. Or, it’ll help you get creative merging ingredients together that you might not have before.
  • You’ll find items before they expire, start to spoil, or get freezer burn. In turn, this means less food waste, which is good for your wallet and the planet.
  • When you know what you have, you’re less likely to buy duplicate items and then really wind up wasting food and letting it spoil.
  • It helps give you ideas for meals you might want to have for the week (more on that next week!
  • Once you know what meals you’ll be eating, you can start your grocery list knowing what you need – no more, no less.
  • This week I cleaned out my freezer to pull some items into the fridge for throw together meals at lunch. I came up with a lentil & cauliflower bowl with some pesto over greens. It came together in minutes and was delicious!
  • When I cleaned out our pantry for inventory, I realized I had excess of a bunch of items – I’m on a mission to figure out what to do with all the canned coconut milk and coconut cream I have {there may or may not be a spicy coconut stir fry up here soon}. I also learned I shouldn’t buy any grains or nuts for awhile and I’ve got the ingredients for a fab Mexican pizza tonight and sushi tomorrow.

Ready to tackle this? It sounds daunting, but it’s super refreshing! Plus, in the long run it’ll save you time, money and stress – even just the stress of thinking “I need to clean out this pantry” every time you open it!

Next week: how to come up with a loose meal plan in minutes.

Two Friday’s from now: creating an efficient grocery list.

Other than examples of food prep, what other topics or questions would you like covered? Let me know in the comments below!

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