Sunday Prep: How 2 Hours on the Weekend can Transform your Whole Week

With this easy step-by-step Meal Prep Sunday guide, a few hours of hustle on the weekend can save you 5 days of stress during the week!

Like many other families across America, my kids headed back-to-school this week. As much as I’d like to think I am the picture of organization when it comes to setting up a school routine, the truth is that our weekdays can be hectic on a good day and pure chaos (and misery) on a bad day.

Between trying to get going in the morning when our kids would rather be sleeping and trying to get dinner on the table in the evening when we’ve also got dance, soccer, homework, PTO meetings, and any number of other obligations, it often feels like our Monday through Friday is nothing but rush, rush, RUSH!

Can anyone else relate to this?

But ever the optimists, this year my husband and I are determined to do better. We’ve already told ourselves that this will be the year that we know what’s going on, that we don’t miss an event or forget to pack a lunch or neglect to return a permission slip.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so this year, to keep ourselves on track, we have worked on developing this easy step-by-step Sunday Prep plan. We figure just three hours of serious hustle each weekend will save us five whole days of stress during the week, which seems like a very worthy tradeoff! Luckily this year we also have the benefit of our new Frigidaire 2-in-1 Upright Convertible Freezer, which makes preparing meals ahead of time a whole lot easier.

Freezer meals are the key to a successful week! Creating a week of meals during your Sunday prep will keep you on track all week when making dinner.

While Sunday evenings work for us, you could just as easily follow these steps on a Saturday morning or Friday afternoon—whatever works best for your family and your schedule. The point is to actually block out a recurring chunk of time each weekend to prep for the week ahead. And for a family of four like ours, the cooking portion of the plan really only needs to be done every other Sunday.

This plan is definitely doable in 2 hours if the whole family helps but may take just a little longer if you are working all on your own. I strongly encourage you to involve your kids as much as possible—let them be responsible for picking out their own clothes, folding laundry, picking up around the house, and even helping with some of the food prep! You might just be surprised at how much fun you all have racing against the clock to get it all done.

Sunday Prep: How 2 Hours on the Weekend can Transform your Whole Week

In just 2 hours, you will have completed these tasks:

  • Prepped 10 Dinners
  • Prepared 18 Breakfast Cupcakes
  • Prepared 20 PB&J Sandwiches
  • Washed & folded 2 loads of laundry
  • Picked out clothes for the week
  • Signed and sorted essential paperwork
  • Created a meal plan for the week
  • Tidied the house
  • Wiped down the bathrooms
  • Cleaned the dishes

Sounds pretty good right? Below you will find everything you need to get it done!

Here is the Supply List:

Shopping time is not included in this 3-hour time frame, so you will need to make sure you have the following items on hand before you begin!

These easy cheese, sausage, and egg breakfast muffins can be made and frozen for an easy, on-the-go breakfast all week.


Ingredients for 10 Meals in an Hour (Check out all our recipes & plans here)
  • 2 loaves bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • 12 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2-3 cups Shredded Cheese
  • 1 package sausage or bacon (optional)
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Premade sandwiches? Save time in the morning by prepping some PB&J ahead of time and freezing.

Additional Supplies:

  • Sandwich sealer & de-cruster
  • Cupcake tin
  • Plastic wrap
  • Gallon freezer bags
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Fabric Softener
  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Toilet Brush
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Disposable Antibacterial Wipes (optional)
  • Laundry Basket
  • Pen

Pick out the kids' clothes on Sunday before the week begins and eliminate the troubled early morning delay!

Before you begin, be sure to check the following items:

  • Sunday Prep Supply List
  • Sunday Prep Action Plan
  • 10 Meals in an Hour recipes
  • 10 Meals in an Hour instructions
  • 10 Meals in an Hour labels
  • Weekday Outfit Hanger Tags (one set for each family member!)
  • Meal Plan Sheet

Here is the Action Plan:

Before beginning, make sure you have all your ingredients and supplies ready. When everything is in place, just set the timer and GO!

0:00 – Gather laundry & sort into lights and darks. Start first load of laundry in washing machine. Fill kitchen sink with hot, soapy water.

0:05 – Prep 10 freezer meals, using instructions/recipes from our 10 Meals in an Hour resource HERE. While you are prepping your meals, have your kids pick out their clothes for each day of the week and/or tidy their rooms.

1:05 – Wipe down kitchen counters. Transfer first load of laundry into the dryer and start second load of laundry in washing machine.

1:10 – Prep freezer PB&J sandwiches. Save the crusts for breakfast cupcakes. Have kids help with sandwich prep and placing sandwiches in bags for freezer.

1:50 – Transfer dry laundry to laundry basket; transfer second load to dryer.

1:55 – Wash dishes & load dishwasher; wipe down kitchen.

2:10 – Remove breakfast cupcakes from oven & place on wire rack to cool. Have kids pick up living areas and dust while you speed clean the bathrooms.

2:25 – Approve outfits that your kids have chosen

2:30 – Plan week’s meals.

2:40 – Sort & file kids paperwork; sign permission slips and add to backpacks.

2:50 – Remove 2nd load from laundry; fold and put away.

Now give yourself a big pat on the back, then put those kiddos to bed and enjoy a glass of wine. You are DONE and now ready to start the week off right! Doesn’t it feel good?

What else do you do on the weekend to make sure the rest of your week runs smoothly?


With this easy step-by-step Meal Prep Sunday guide, a few hours of hustle on the weekend can save you 5 days of stress during the week!

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  1. I’ve been following your blog for a number of years, back to your couponing days. These tips come at the perfect time! I’m looking for some freezer prep ideas as the new school year starts. I really would like to get away from running around like a mad women during the week. Here public school starts after Labor Day, but my daughter goes to church school they start next week.

  2. I am loving this post so much! Since my kids are still little, I don’t have all the craziness of elementary school, but this plan would still be great for a preschool mom too. Thanks so much for showing us very specifically how some prep work really can help make for a less hectic week! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Sarah! The PB&J sandwiches would be great to serve for quick & easy lunches at home too. My kids LOVE them! 🙂

  3. I have started back to work and have 2 in elementary school. This could not have come at a better time! Thank you!

  4. There’s a very good chance you just saved my life…or at the very least my sanity. We just finished the first week of school and ate out every meal, first due to poor planning (ok no planning) and being on the road so much, we commute to everything. So nice to have a game plan and a reliable list of freezable recipes & along with help for how to pull it all off. Thanks! Hopefully it won’t take me all week to get my act together!!!

    1. Ladies, i am right there with you guys! Work FT and also commute. I can see where this plan would be very helpful ESPECIALLY for the working mom!

  5. Thank you so much Ruth, this post just came at the right, Its like God heard my silent prayer.
    These morning I was telling myself I need to rearrange my sundays not seem to be getting the day right and anded up sleeping around 11pm, due to late ironing, couldn’t even speed clean the house.

    You are such an angel, Thank you!!!

    1. PB&Js are still allowed at most schools, including mine. My kids prefer PB&J over other sandwich options, but there is also a peanut free version you can use if your child attends a nut-free school. We just like the convenience of having sandwiches ready to go! 🙂

  6. Hi I’m Australia but I still like ur ideas and food plans. I think there great. Iv tried giving u my email to log on and email for free book but I don’t think it’s going through.

  7. Hi I’m natalie from Australia. I like ur ideas and methods. Iv tried signing to ur web page and fir the free book but unsure if it’s going through. Nat

  8. I have always wanted to try freezer cooking, but was turned off by all of the prep. Your freezer cooking meal plan 1 is a real game changer, and my family is loving it — especially the Creamy Italian Chicken! I used the 1st batch of Orange Glazed Chicken with Costco Quinoa and Rice, and the 2nd to make Chinese Chicken Salad. Today, my daughter and I made the PB&Js, and I can’t wait to prep meal plan 2 next weekend. Thank you so much!

  9. Coming across this post a little late, but I love it, thank you!

    I did a Food Prep day just this past Sunday, but I came nowhere close to the level of organization you’ve described… I always feel so much better when I’m prepared and put-together for my days, so I can’t wait to give your way a try!

  10. Your plan sounds wonderful for families with children in school. Our children have kids of their own, so I’m wondering if you have a plan for those of us who need a plan to cook and clean on the weekend? I need a plan that will keep me focused so I’m not taking Facebook breaks over and over. lol Thank you for any help you can give me. I love your blog. Aleda

  11. I’m really concerned about the food you’re preparing for your children. All that gluten, sugar and dairy is setting them up for a lifetime of weight and health problems. It is possible to eat well on a budget – you could easily teach that on a Sunday night. You could have the slow cooker going and make soups or stews and freeze these in readiness for the week. I suggest a column on healthy eating done the night before. From Nichola, a nutritionist

  12. I love this stuff. The more detailed the better! I don’t think this exact plan would work for our family of work-from-home homeschoolers, but I do love the sentiment. I’m thinking I will try something similar to meet my own needs. Nothing beats a little preparation heading into the week.

  13. I love this! I will be sharing this for sure — what an awesome plan! I only wish I had a freezer like yours to be able to do freezer cooking. My current freezer as small as a shoebox–not kidding. Someday soon I will have an upright freezer too 🙂 I know I can, I know I can…

  14. I love the idea of your organization and meal prep. We too have an issue w peanut butter & my kids don’t really even like sandwiches! So we have healthier options. Also, our washer dryer takes a lot longer than yours & I’m not quite sure how you fold an entire load & put it away in ten mins?

  15. This is great! I am going to pin this for later.. Sunday prep is needed, but this seems like a super effective way to make the most of it!!

  16. This is good information, but I would vote for a different day than Sunday. That is our family’s Sabbath time.

  17. This is an awesome idea.
    With the whole week planned, clothes chosen, lunches made, laundry caught up and a clean house and kitchen, I’m not sure what I would do. But I’m sure going to try and find out how it feels.
    Thanks so much.

  18. I’ve seen the idea of choosing clothes for the whole week…but where do you put several kids’ clothes out for the week?

    1. We usually just place then in the closet in the order that they would wear them. Or you could use the labels and hang on the hangers. 🙂

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