An often overlooked aspect of moving is dealing with meal planning. Whatever you don’t eat before moving day has to be packed and transported, potentially in temperature-controlled containers, or is simply tossed. To avoid waste, and due to the unique circumstances of my move, I paid extra attention to meal planning prior to the big day.
Tip #1 – Finish your perishable foods
Because I had to be out of my old apartment on August 31st and I couldn’t get into my new apartment until noon on September 1st, I didn’t have the option to keep any refrigerator items. That forced me to be really mindful of using up my perishable foods so I didn’t end up just throwing them in the bin.
Even if your move isn’t split over multiple days, it is still a good idea to minimize the amount of perishable foods you are bringing so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of leaky coolers and potential spoilage.
Does it feel like you have a hodgepodge of ingredients that won’t work together? Try typing them in to supercook.com for recipe suggestions based on what you already have! My roommate in college absolutely swore by this website for getting the most of her groceries.
If you’ve eaten up a lot of your food and need to buy more, opt for non-perishable options that you won’t feel rushed to finish.
Tip #2 – Make familiar meals
When a big move is coming up it is not the ideal time to experiment with new ingredients and recipes. Stick with what you know that you and your family love so you know it will get eaten up. Another bonus to using familiar recipes is that you already know how many servings it will make, so it’s easier to meal plan accurately.
Tip #3 – Keep it simple
Plan meals that require few ingredients, less cookware, and can be made in bulk.
This is a great time to monomeal seasonal produce, preferably if it doesn’t need refrigeration!
If sitting down with a watermelon and a spoon isn’t your idea of a meal, then try to cook one pot dinners, like one-pan pasta or slow cooker meals. This will result in fewer dishes to wash and leave unpacked.
As you get to the last few days before moving, make your meals in bulk. That way you have food prepared and you don’t need to unpack your cookware last minute for a few more uses.
Breakfast – Because I moved during summer and I’m a huge fruit lover, I had a lot of melon monomeals. After I finished turning all my frozen fruit into smoothies, that is.
Lunch – For lunch, I definitely took the easy way out. I ate a big salad from the salad bar at work almost every day. It was a bit more costly than packing a lunch, but hey, that’s the cost of convenience.
Dinner – I just can’t get enough fruit. Dates, oranges, bananas, any fruit that doesn’t need refrigeration was my best friend. If I was feeling some cooked food, I had gluten free oatmeal made with water and flavored/jazzed up with pantry ingredients like chia seeds and cinnamon.
Do you have any tips for meal prepping before a big move?
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