This is the first post in a series on how to prepare your dinner ahead of time
Before we had Jaxen, my husband and I would share the task of cooking dinner since we both worked and my husband liked to cook. The task shifted to my responsibility once Jaxen was born and I quit my job. At first I didn’t like it, as I wasn’t as good of a cook as my husband, and I always felt it daunting to find a recipe and cook from it every day. Add in a newborn and I was downright anti-cooking!
Meals needed to be prepared however, so I pushed through it, and learned to cook better, with and without recipes, but it still was a lot of work. I started researching making meals ahead of time and found some great resources that I still use today that I will share with you in this series.
Making meals at home are generally healthier, cheaper, and better all-around for your family. Sitting down to a nice home cooked meal with my family and talking about our days is a great time to bond, and we’re saving money by not eating out or getting prepared foods from the store.
In this post I want to focus on the time and tools you need to make meal prep successful. It can either be an all-day affair, or take an hour, it’s up to you! I prefer to take as little time as possible, but still create some healthy, yummy dinners for my family.
Some people do month long meal prep in one day; I prefer to do it once a week. It keeps my cooking skills tuned and I don’t have as much food to prep and store. The choice is of course yours, but cooking for an entire month requires even more planning and organization to do it successfully.
Some of the meals I make are fully cooked and then refrigerated or frozen, but the majority is just prepped and then labeled with heating/cooking directions for the day of. I have found these recipes to taste a little better, and by simply doing all the prep work ahead of time, all you have to do is pull out the food and put it in your crock pot or oven, and it’s done!
So take this post to your kitchen and make sure you have the following tools:
- Gallon Freezer Ziploc Bags (Don’t skimp on the cheap ones, because they will break/leak!)
- Plastic Wrap
- Disposable cooking trays
- Sharpie Pen
- A crock pot large enough for your size family meals
- And most importantly, FREEZER SPACE!
In the next post I’ll discuss foods that freeze really well and other’s that you should skip! Click HERE to read post 2!