There are many ways to make your life easier in order to still have made from scratch recipes every day of the week and not resort to hamburger helpers or take out.

By having a menu plan ahead of time you can get organized whenever you have the time. When I do the shopping, I buy in bulk to cut the cost and since I have my menu plan ahead of time, I break down the bulk package into meal appropriate sizes before freezing when I get home. During the winter, I like to spend Sunday afternoons preparing for the week’s meals. If I know we’re heading into a particularly busy time I always make double batches and freeze half for another meal. There are times we literally eat out of the freezer for the whole week, but they are all homemade meals.

Remembering to defrost your meat is key to easy meal preparation on weekdays. The most time consuming part of cooking with fresh ingredients every night of the week is the chopping and preparation of vegetables. If you are sticking to your meal plan you can do these all at once. For example if you are going to need a 1/2 cup chopped onion for each of 3 meals, then choose a large onion and chop the entire onion, storing it in Tupperware and taking out what you need for each meal as you need it. I also gather together the seasonings for each meal and have them ready to go.

The key here is to be able to start cooking immediately and just add ingredients without having to do chopping and prepping.

To recap:

  1. Menu Plan
  2. Defrost Meat
  3. pre-chop vegetables
  4. pre-measure seasonings
  5. pre-set table when/where possible
  6. prepare double batches when appropriate

The original post ran here.