There is only so much time in a day, so I like to make the best use of my time. I have created a list of ideas that I use to save time, specifically in the kitchen. I try to spend as little time in there as possible, even trying to convince my hubby and kids to try fasting for a day, but they won't go for it.
The majority of my days are spent prepping food, making meals, washing dishes, cleaning kitchen, repeat. It's like laundry...it never ends !
To make the best use of my time and to continue to feed my family healthy, homemade meals, I have a list of things I do. I don't do all of them every week, it depends on the week and what the meal plan is, what's needed and my schedule.
Here is the list of things I have found really helpful in the kitchen:
Create a meal plan
Have a "master" shopping list of all your food and pantry items
Wash, peel (if needed) veggies and cut into sticks. This makes it really easy to serve with lunch, to snack on or to cut up a little smaller to throw into soup or salad.
Big batch baking. Bake enough to last a few weeks. I love having baking on had for quick snacks, outings or visitors. I tend to quadruple (at least) my recipes and then freeze a couple of the batches for later use.
Pre cook ground meats and freeze in individual packages. This is great a good time saver for adding to soups, taco salad, spaghetti...pretty much any recipe that requires it.
Big Batch Cooking/Freezer Meals
Double up. When I make hamburger patties, meatballs, or meatloaf, I make lots at once. For example, if I know I'm going to be needing meatballs for the meal plan that week, I will work with 10lbs-15lbs of ground beef. I will make a bunch of meatballs, a couple meatloaves and some hamburger patties. I wrap everything in meal size portions and freeze for later.
Boil eggs to have on hand. These are handy for breakfast, snacks, egg sandwiches or adding to a salad.
Cook once, eat twice. I love cooking with the intention of using the leftovers, whether it's as is or to reinvent the leftovers.
Premix dry ingredients for baking...cookies, pancakes, muffins, etc. Make sure to label them !
Use a slow cooker
Meal prep/assemble the night before