If meal planning sounds appealing, but you just don’t see how you can fit it into your busy schedule.Check out these tips to help you get started off on the right foot. Having a busy schedule can definitely get in the way of cooking every meal from scratch,but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to eat more homemade food.
Designated Cooking Days
There’s nothing worse than trying to cook a meal when you don’t have all the ingredients. Especially 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 Easy
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. Do any prep you can before cooking, like rinsing and chopping vegetables, pre-measure 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.
Cook Enough For Leftovers
To start cooking more at home, try to cook enough for leftovers. Even if 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 leftovers.
That way, you are eating more home cooked meals, but don’t spend as much time doing the cooking. It’s a great way 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 From A Pantry
Get Help in the Kitchen
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. You can just let them set the table. Every task that you can get help with by other household members is one less thing you need to find time for yourself.