Meals

Ground Beef

Category: Meals

The main ingredient in many recipes is ground beef (i.e., sloppy joe, tacos, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.). I pre-cook, separate and freeze mine in smaller quantities (approx. 1 lb. packages) for future use. When ready to prepare a recipe I simply defrost the necessary quantity in the microwave and add it to whatever I might be making. Voila....saves time and makes it easy to prepare a quick meal with little mess.

Eating Healthy

Category: Meals

On the week-end, I will make up 2-3 meals (generally one which will provide 2 days of dinner) in advance and place them in the refrigerator... when I get home from work I just pop one in the oven and dinner is served without the rush. Because my husband and I are not always on the same page where food is concerned, it gives me more time to focus on eating healthier without the temptation to eat poorly after a long day at work.I also make up fruits/vegetables in small snack bags for grab and go snacks and late night snack cravings.
This allows for much more time to focus on family in the evenings.

Meat in Bulk

Category: Meals

I buy meats on sale in bulk , precook and freeze individual packages for quick evening meals after a long day at work. For example : Hamburger can be browned plain or with a mixture of onions or peppers to use in soups, pasta or sandwiches. This saves money and time. Easy peasy!. Chicken can be baked or boiled and used all week for salads, sandwiches, casseroles or frozen for easy Homemade Noodles or Pasta. Love this!

Shredded Chicken

Category: Meals

If you are in need of shredded chicken for an upcoming meal, use your crock pot! I stick several frozen chicken breasts in, put some chicken broth and/or water in and whatever seasonings I want (usually just some Lawry's so I can use it with multiple recipes). Set the temp to low for 6-8 hours depending on how your crock pot cooks. When they are cooked, take them out and place in individual baggies. Stick in the fridge to cool. Once cool enough to handle shred them with your fingers in the baggies. No mess and then you can stick them in a larger baggie in the freezer and they are ready to use whenever. Love this! For even easier cleanup use crock pot bags. Then there is NO mess whatsoever!

Double Up

Category: Meals

 As our family shrinks, with kids moving out, it is hard to make smaller meals. I decided to continue making the same amount of a number of our favorite meals; chili, meatloaf, spaghetti, etc. Since this is about double of what we need, I freeze half for a meal sometime in the next several weeks. These leftover meals build up until I'm able to go a week using leftover meals.They save time and electricity for a simpler life.

Leftovers

Category: Meals

We package leftovers from our dinner meal in single serving containers. They are ready to "grab and go" when leaving for work!

Meal Planning

Category: Meals

 I'm thinking about dinner a day or two in advance so it's always kind of in the back of my mind. That means maybe I take out the meat and let it thaw in the fridge for a day or two or maybe I have the items I need ready to go. Either way, I'm already prepared in thought so the deed is easier. About a year ago, I started including them on the big decision of, "what's for dinner?" I sometimes ask the question on the way home from school and they give their input. The first thing we do when we get home is start making dinner - together. The more input they have, the more they want to help.These two things have avoided many frozen pizza nights.

Dinner Exchange

Category: Meals

We do a dinner exchange with 2 other families of the same size and eating habits. One night a week, each family makes 3 of the same meal and delivers 2 of them to the other families. So each family gets 2 nights of meals delivered to their door! We get together and make a menu schedule for about 8-12 weeks. We've been at it for over 3 years now and it has really been great. By the way, it's the dads that are the pickiest eaters ;)

Parchment Paper

Category: Meals

When baking cookies or even fish in the oven, parchment paper keeps your pan clean and nothing will stick. The great part is with cookies you can use the same piece of parchment paper over and over again.

Making Lunches

Category: Meals

I make mine and my husbands lunches as much as possible on the weekend...I will prepare as much as possible Sunday evening and then all I have to do is pull and put stuff together. "Samwiches" are readied by putting the lunch meat and cheese together in the sandwich bags and placing them in the fridge. The night before all I have to do is pull the bag out, put the 2 slices of bread on it and its ready to go and put the chips and fruit in and cookies in. Just seems like it takes so much less time and more of a variety is given too. Instead of the same ole, same ole, I will go ahead and prepare a day or two of fruit cups to quickly put in as well. If I peel the apple I will toss a small amount of lemon juice in the cup with the apple (not enough to flavor the apple) to prevent the apple from turning brown before it is eaten. If it's grapes, I pluck a baggie or two baggies ahead and put them in the fridge. If it's an orange I'll go ahead and peel one or two of them and put them in baggies. I will also portion out the cookies into baggies for the week. It is more like an assembly line the next morning and saves so much time then.