Amazing and Simple Meal Planning Tips for Busy People
If meal planning sounds like a great idea but you just don't see how you can fit it into your busy schedule, check out these tips to help you get started. While having a busy schedule can definitely get in the way of cooking every meal from scratch, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to eat more homemade food if you are short on time.
Plan Designated Cooking Days
There's nothing worse than trying to cook when you don't have all the ingredients or when you have to rush through it to meet other obligations. Commit to setting aside a day or two that's specifically designated for cooking.
This might be an entire day like over the weekend when you have more time, or 2-3 nights when your schedule has a little room for moving things around. Don’t worry about the other days, and just focus on cooking these days when you know you have a bit more time.
Make it Easier for Yourself
Make cooking as easy as possible before you even begin. Start doing some prep and planning before the cooking day arrives. Plan everything when you go grocery shopping, and try to shop just once a week. Stick to simple recipes during the week and do any prep you can before cooking, like rinsing and chopping vegetables, pre-measuring ingredients, thawing meat, and anything else that needs to be done. That way, even with a busy schedule, you have already cut your cooking time in half.
Intentionally Cook Enough for Leftovers
To start cooking more at home, try to cook enough for leftovers. Even if right now you only have 1-2 nights a week with enough spare time to cook a meal, just double the recipe or make a recipe you know will have enough for leftovers. This might be a casserole, slow cooker meal, soup, or chili, where you always have enough leftover.
That way, you are eating more home-cooked meals, but don’t spend as much time doing the cooking. It is a great way to save time and to either have more meals for lunches and dinners throughout the week or to start stocking up on freezer meals for those nights where you just don’t have the time to cook.
Here are a few easy recipes to get you started. Just make two – eat one now and freeze the other for later!
Healthier Taco Casserole by Sweet Peas And Saffron
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie by Happy Money Saver
Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches by The Cozy Cook
Instant Pot Chili by Recipes by From A Pantry
Beef Noodle Casserole by Dinner At The Zoo
Let your kids help! When they keep coming into the kitchen to ask if dinner is ready not, why not put them to work? Depending on their ages, they might be able to prepare a salad, chop vegetables, stir soups or gravies, or just set the table. Every little task that you can get help with by other household members is one less thing you need to find time for yourself.
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