5 foods I meal prep on the weekend for the week ahead

Easy and quick weekend meal prep ideas that will take the stress out of dinners, lunches, and snacks for the entire week, making the manic morning and evening chaos a little easier on YOU!

In partnership with Woolworths

A smooth-sailing stress-free week starts with a little weekend planning, which is why after my weekend grocery shop I do some quick prep with my food before putting it away. These easy little hacks have become habit for me now, and take so much stress out of the week that follows. By prepping my food I am able to make it last longer, stay fresher, reduce my meal prep time on busy weeknights, and ensure there’s always healthy snacks on hand for the entire family.



1. Carrot and Celery Sticks

I cut up my carrot and celery because they make great healthy go-to snacks for the whole family. They can be put into school lunchboxes, the kids pop a little peanut butter on them for an afternoon snack, and even my dog Zoe loves a carrot stick! I used to store my chopped up carrot and celery in tupperware containers, but noticed they started to dry out. I now store them in water, cooled from the kettle, in mason jars in the fridge. After a few days when the water starts to look cloudy, I simply tip it out and replace with fresh water.

This hack saves me so much time and stops the family reaching for sugary snacks. You can also check out my tips for How To Easily Remove The Stringy Bit From Celery here.

  READ MORE: Storing Carrots And Celery For Healthy Snacking

Carrot and celery stored in mason jars for freshness

Alternative suggestions:

Carrot Chips – Carrot chips are a fantastic way to get your chip fix with a healthy twist. They make a great snack or addition to meals. View carrot chip recipe here

Healthy carrot chip and avocado dip recipe


2. Fruit, Veggies and Eggs

I wash all my fruit and vegetables straight away – (except to be honest, I don’t wash the raspberries) – cut up my vegetables, cube my watermelon, and take the spinach out of its bag. All these ingredients are then put in their own containers which helps keep them fresh, and makes grabbing a handful of cauliflower or broccoli to add to a dinner so quick and easy! Whilst I’m doing this I put the eggs on to boil. Having all the fruit washed and cut up makes packing healthy lunches easier, and the boiled eggs make for great protein snacks too. 

I use an Oxo container for the spinach, various Decor containers from Woolworths for the fruit and veg, and a couple of Tupperware containers too (these ones have lasted so long, but sadly are not made anymore).

Oxo, Tupperware, and Decor fruit and veg food storage ideas

Alternative suggestions:

Baked Cauliflower and Cheese – This is a great way to make veggies tastier for the kids! Cauliflower cheese is a delicious side for roasts and other dinners. View Baked Cauliflower and Cheese recipe here

Baked cauliflower and cheese recipe for busy families

3. Bliss Balls

Over the weekend I like to make bliss balls. They are so quick and easy to make, are great to freeze – although they never make it to the freezer in my house because they get eaten too quickly – and are a good healthy go-to snack option. They only take 10 minutes to make, so I like to make a fresh batch every weekend.

  Find my Chocolate Brownie Bliss Balls recipe here. 

Chocolate bliss ball recipe perfect for freezing

Alternative suggestions:

Bliss Balls – Bliss Balls are a delicious and nutritious healthy snack which will help satisfy your sweet cravings and are super easy to make! View all my bliss ball recipes here

Bliss ball recipes for easy and quick healthy snack options


4. Mason Jar Salads

In summer I like to pre-make mason jar salads, and these little babies can keep fresh for 5-7 days! By prepping a few of these on the weekend, I am able to have them on hand to grab for a quick work lunch, or as an accompaniment to dinner on a busy weeknight. There is a trick to assembling these salads so that all the contents stay fresh, with the vegetables and protein layered in the following way:

Layer 1 – Dressing – 1-2 tablespoons.
Layer 2 – Hard vegetables – carrot, celery, capsicum, red onion, cucumber
Layer 3 – Pasta, rice or quinoa
Layer 4 – Soft vegetables – avocado, tomato
Layer 5 – Protein – chicken, egg and cheese
Layer 6 – Salad greens – lettuce or baby spinach

  READ MORE on How To Make Mason Jar Salads here.

Mason Jar Salad ideas for quick convenient meals on the go

Alternative pre-made salad kits: 

Tuna Salad – This tuna salad has very few ingredients but is packed with flavour! This is a great lunch option! View tuna salad recipe here

Tuna salad recipe option for easy healthy lunch


5. Trail Nut Mix

Trail nut mix is another really easy and healthy option to throw together. I find making it up myself allows me to put in exactly what hubby, the kids, and I all like.  Sometimes with pre-made trail mixes I find the kids leave some of the nuts and fruit behind, which is a waste. 

Alternative pre-made trail mixes: 

  MEAL PLAN: Available as an instant download here. 

The Organised Housewife Meal Plan Printable

Tropical Trail Mix – Easy to make and so tasty, this trail mix is great to keep on hand during the day for snack time. View this tropical trail mix recipe here

Trail mix recipe combination to make at home

and… LUNCHBOX SNACKS

Having a few pre-planned school lunch box fillers on hand is a sure fire way to get my week off to a stress-free start. Mornings are calmer, the kids get interesting, tasty, and healthy contents in their lunch boxes (that they actually eat!), and I save a lot of money at the checkout. I do a batch-bake-up of a few different freezer-friendly recipes during the school holidays or every fortnight to fill the freezer – and these last me weeks! I like to mix it up with a little variety – such as a fruit muffin recipe, some mini quiches, and then maybe sausage rolls or savoury scrolls. The kids love the variety, and they make great afternoon snacks for the whole family too!

  READ MORE: My Lunch Box Recipe Cookbook is available here, filled with over 50 sweet and savoury freezer-friendly recipes. 

Freezer friendly lunch box cookbook recipes and ideas

DO YOU PREP ANY FOOD OVER THE WEEKEND? 

This post is run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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16 comments

Catherine August 8, 2019 - 7:55 AM

Hi Kat, thank you as always for your handy hints etc. Which size Oxo container do you use for your spinach? Spinach is something that does not always keep as well if not stored properly. We eat more of it if it is ready to eat 🙂
Many thanks once again, Catherine

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 8, 2019 - 11:28 AM

Hi Catherine, I got this Oxo container years ago and I’m not even sure if they make these ones anymore. I would recommend the new Fridge Food Saver range from Kmart though. This one looks quite good: https://www.kmart.com.au/product/4.5-litre-fridge-food-saver/2438803 – hope that helps! Kat x

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Chelsea August 9, 2019 - 10:39 AM

I can see how a lot of these hacks would help save time during a busy week! The only reason I wouldn’t opt to pre-cut up veggies & fruit though is that once they are cut they lose alot of their vitamin content. So unfortunately healthy food then loses a lot of its goodness & the very reason we eat it! 😉

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 13, 2019 - 2:00 PM

I have heard this before too Chelsea, but after doing a little bit of research it seems that the loss of nutrients comes mainly from how much surface area becomes exposed to the air. So cutting a broccoli stem is probably better than slicing up an apple. This is also why I like to use really good air-tight containers. I guess it’s about finding what balance works for you and your own busy family – I know my kids certainly eat a lot more fruit and veggies if they are pre-cut. Kat 🙂

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Tara August 9, 2019 - 10:45 AM

HI Kat,

I like to prep as much as possible too but am wondering how long your watermelon lasts. I find within 24 hours it looks less than desirable and then does not get eaten.

Cheers,
TARA

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 13, 2019 - 2:44 PM

Tara we get a good few days out of our pre-cut watermelon, which I put down to using a container with either a waved bottom or an internal drainer, so that the juices don’t pool. Kmart have a good range out perfect for this: https://tinyurl.com/y5whgh9p Hope this helps! Kat 🙂

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Holly August 9, 2019 - 10:57 AM

HI Kat, love your blog, thankyou. 🙂 Spinach tip that I want to share with your readers- wrap spinach in a cloth (small clean teatowel will do) then place it back into a container. I usually lay out the cloth, tip the spinach onto it, then lift up all four corners for easy transfer into container. This honestly makes the spinach last twice as long.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 13, 2019 - 2:01 PM

Fabulous tip! Thanks so much Holly 🙂

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Hazel August 9, 2019 - 11:45 AM

I swear by Tupperware’s VentSmarts for my veges and never find they dry out. I tried your mason jar method and didnt like the smell after a few days, sorry to say! My carrots last 3 months in VentSmarts!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 13, 2019 - 3:08 PM

Oooo, very good to know! Thanks for sharing this tip Hazel. Kat x

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Justine August 11, 2019 - 10:04 AM

Great tips Kat. I like to cook a roast on Sunday and we get a second meal out of it for Monday. On Sunday I make dinner for Tuesday – eg. lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise sauce, apricot chicken. I bake on weekends and place biscuits, slices or muffins in the freezer ready to be taken out for school lunches. My meals for the week are planned prior to my trip to the supermarket. This all makes a huge difference to my week.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 13, 2019 - 2:35 PM

Justine I am a big fan of pre-planning meals before the supermarket trip! I don’t trust myself not to get distracted by all the pretty products if I don’t, ha! Kat 🙂

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Margie August 12, 2019 - 1:07 PM

How would you suggest freezing batches of biscuits, muffins etc so that they don’t get freezer burn?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 13, 2019 - 2:33 PM

Margie I always freeze my biscuits and muffins in good quality air-tight containers, and this works wonders for me. Kat x

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Jude August 16, 2019 - 11:36 PM

Our children do an hr work each week. They get to choose what to do – yard work, cleaning or cooking and they often choose to bake school lunchbox snacks. I appreciate it so much – and so do they!! (primary/high school age) (When they were toddlers it was packing up toys and when they were 4yrs old they started helping with cooking and hanging washing on racks so it wasn’t a culture shock for them to be expected to contribute to the family when they were older and quite capable = yay! Glad I did that 🙂

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 19, 2019 - 2:47 PM

Jude I love this! Getting the kids to get in and help is a great way to instil a good working ethic and sense of responsibility in them – plus it helps give us a bit of a break too! 🙂 Kat

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