It’s what the title says. I’ve been more or less doing weekly meal prepping/planning for my lunches for a few years now. I make a big serving of something on Sunday that I can eat every day throughout the week. And then for dinner, my wife and I usually rotate between a handful of tried and true favorites. We typically planned them out in advance, but did little with respect to prepping.

But we recently welcomed a new addition to the family, and with that, have been noticing less time and brain power. It used to be no big deal to fry up some hash browns, scramble some eggs and call it a dinner. It’s not that any of our dinners were that intensive, but starting everything from scratch every night is taking a lot of time that I now value more than I once did. I found a lot of convenience from the Freezer meals we received from friends.

I’m already relying on a lot of leftovers for lunches during the week, so I’m kind of reluctant to make one big dinner on Sunday and eat the same thing all week. What has been really awesome is making a big ingredient that I can reuse. For instance, I threw about a pound and a half of chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Also made a big serving of Spanish rice. We have been able to use that as burritos, rice bowls, added the chicken to a leftover sweet potato they I mashed up for a sweet potato bowl, quesadillas, toppings in salads. It takes so much brain power out of dinners, but I still feel like I’m getting a variety. Obviously other shredded meats would be great for this, but I’m looking for more ideas. An ingredient or two that I can prep in advance, and a few simple meals I can fold it into throughout the week.

Semi-related, I started chopping my vegetables in advance. Now I can spend 20-30 minutes doing that on Sunday and they’re ready to go when I need them and it’s helped me reclaim some of my evenings.