meal planning and meal prepping part i

I am so excited to introduce you to a little series on meal planning and meal prepping! It can be easy to get into a rut when it comes to meal planning and deciding what recipes to make for weeknight dinners. I love getting inspiration from how others plan and carry out their meal planning routines, and seeing what they have at the ready. For this series, I gathered routines from friends in multiple walks of life, dietary needs, and locations, from Washington, D.C, to suburban-NC, to small college towns. In addition to meal planning and prepping questions, I asked these friends what 5 items they always have on hand in their fridge and in their pantry. A few weeks ago, I shared our Trader Joe’s staples, which can be fun items, but sometimes are not necessities. This post gets down to the true staples that we use all the time. I hope you enjoy it and get some inspiration for your own meal planning over the next few posts!

Meal Planning Tips | www.passthecookies.com

Avery (mid-20s, engaged city-dweller, runner)
What are 5 items you always have on hand in your refrigerator?
1. Chicken broth
2. Frozen fruit (for smoothies!)
3. Baby carrots
4. Minced garlic (I know fresh is ideal but I use garlic in nearly every recipe and get lazy about mincing myself. Less than $10 for a huge container from Costco is the way to go in my book!),
5. Bananas (they don’t actually go in the refrigerator but I figured produce can fall into the fridge category)

What are 5 items you always have on hand in your pantry?
1. Canned black beans & chickpeas
2. Canned diced tomatoes
3. Couscous
4. Cereal like Special K or Cheerios
5. Grits (…with cheese of course. They make a great breakfast, side, or snack)

Dean & Holly (mid-50s, empty-nesters, retired but always active, my parents :) )
What are 5 items you always have on hand in your refrigerator?
1. Butter
2. Cheese
3. Yogurt
4. Apples
5. Eggs

What are 5 items you always have on hand in your pantry?
1. Chocolate chips
2. Onions
3. Natural peanut butter
4. Rice
5. Canned tomatoes

Lane (young-20s, college senior, soon-to-be industrial designer, my sister)
What are 5 items you always have on hand in your refrigerator?
1. Eggs
2. Cheese
3. Mayo (I know, I’m not proud of this, it’s just always there ya know)
4. Jam
5. Something green (this changes. sometimes it’s broccoli, sometimes it’s cilantro, sometimes it’s kale. but there is always something green)

What are 5 items you always have on hand in your pantry?
All these things are classic college things. Go team.
1. Chocolate chips
2. Sandwich bread
3. Peanut butter
4. Ramen
5. Baking needs (flour, sugar, baking powder, etc…) (I felt like these should all be one ingredient because it would be boring if all I said were 5 baking ingredients).

Alden (20-something, new mama to a sweet baby girl)
What are 5 items you always have on hand in your refrigerator?
1. Hummus
2. Guacamole
3. Cooked chicken
4. A variety of veggies
5. Cookie dough

What are 5 items you always have on hand in your pantry?
1. Chicken stock
2. Rolled oats
3. Quinoa
4. Beans
5. Chips

Me (mid-20s, runner, baker, married to a med student)
What are 5 items you always have on hand in your refrigerator?
1. Eggs (clearly this is a family thing :) )
2. Almond butter
3. Apples
4. Butter
5. Broccoli

What are 5 items you always have on hand in your pantry?
1. Lentils
2. Almonds
3. Dried fruit
4. Chocolate (also a family thing?)
5. Beans

Check back next week to see how we all organize our meal planning and meal prep!

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