We all could use a little more time in our day. Think of all the time spent if you didn’t have to worry about making dinner every night. You just spent a little extra time once a week or once a month to prep most of your meals. Here are some tips to help you transition into make ahead meal planning and make it work for you.
Make a List
To start you should have a list of all of the meals you like to make for your family. This makes it so much easier to decide what you want to plan for upcoming meals. Even better if you can manage to have the ingredients for some of your favorite meals always on hand. They should always be in your pantry or on your weekly shopping list.
Make Once, Use Twice
A great way to save time is to use ingredients that you can make once and use multiple times during the week. For meat that may be browning extra ground beef one night to be used in another meal later in the week. Or make extra chicken breast to use in a second recipe.
If you can plan meals for the week that use similar side dishes, you can make them once and be done. For example, you can make a large batch of mashed potatoes to go with dinner one night, and then use them to make shepherd’s pie the next. Or make a large batch of mac and cheese to serve with two separate meals during the week.
You also want to think ahead when prepping items like chopped veggies. We use chopped onion in many different recipes, so if I chop some up one night I always do extra.
There are many meals that it is just as easy to make two batches of as it is to make just one. So when possible, make a 2nd batch and freeze it for later in the month.
What other tips do you have for make-ahead meal prep?