Today, I have 7 time-saving hacks for you, busy moms. Are you a full-time working mom? Or a stay-at-home mom busy taking care of your little ones? Life is busy. We have to get a way to make ourselves easier and happier.
One of the ways to simpler our busy life is meal planning. I know it is how hard to cook when you back home after a hard day at work. As a stay-at-home mom just like me, though I don’t have a 9-5 job, there are still tons of housework to do and have to make time for my daughter’s after-school activities.
Today, I have some tips for you to make you save much more time for yourself, and your family still have a delicious homemade meal.
7 Time-Saving Tips for Quick and Healthy Meals
1. Meal Planning
When you are sitting there until 3:00 p.m. and still have no idea what to prepare for dinner, you are likely to go for a take-out meal. Always plan ahead and that will save you so much time and money. Plus, home food is always healthier.
Especially if you’re on a diet or want to save money, plan ahead is definitely the most efficient way. I like to spend 5 minutes on Friday’s night for a meal planning. I go check out my pantry and fridge, write down all our grocery lists and shop on next day.
We only do our grocery shopping once a week. It saves my time, money, gas and energy just going once each week. And this makes me more time that could focus on my work on weekdays.
2. Prep on the Weekend
Unpack all the groceries immediately after you back home. I usually buy meat every two weeks and divide them into two-week portions and freeze them. For the meat that I will be using in the next few days, I will season them and put them in the fridge so I could be able to use it anytime I want.
When there are some days you are really busy, really get no time to prep the meat, purchase pre-cut bag of meat and veggies is another option.
A bag of frozen fruits is good to go for a smoothie. Individually divide them in a ziplock bag to freeze, you then have a fresh and delicious smoothie in the morning.
3. Cook Double or Triple Portions
Double up your meals save you a ton of time. I only cook 2 or 3 times a week. That said I cook a big batch each time.
My family loves meat so I usually cook beef, chicken, and fish every week. What I have to do is like I pan fry the steak, at the same time, I brown the ground beef for the next day use. Then, I have the meat ready for next day’s spaghetti dinner.
4. Prep Ahead
You know what you will eat for the week. Prep the meat or even season them, put them in the fridge and it is ready in no time. Plan and prep ahead freezer meal is a wise choice. We all tired of weeknight dinner rush, right? Just spend some time to do it on weekend and will make you stress-free all over the week.
Or using pre-cut meat is another way when you know you are super busy and get no time to prep. We have some days like that, huh? I believe a simple and delicious meal is always better than a take-out one on busy weeknights.
5. One Pan Dish
I totally love and obsessed with the sheet pan dinner. Definitely a must-have in our family’s weekly meals.
Just put the ingredients on the pan and pop it in the oven. Do chores, laundry, prep lunch for tomorrow or take some time to relax until the timer goes off.
It is an easy prep work and no mess at all. Not more than an hour, a healthy, delicious and nutritious meal is on the table. If you not doing this, you have to start to make it. It is simple, easy and gets dinner on the table fast.
6. Try a Crockpot or a Rice Cooker
My family loves to eat rice and we almost eat it every single night. So a rice cooker is an essential kitchen appliance for us.
There is a variety of rice cooker recipes which is simple and easy to prepare. Basically, just toss all the ingredients in, press the button and after 30 minutes, you will have a hot meal on the table.
For those of you may not interested in a rice cooker, a crockpot is another option for you. Grab a freezer meal that you prep before. Use a crockpot and this freezer meal will save your time and money.
Prep before you leave for work, set the timer on and let it do the cooking. When you back home, a hot and hearty meal is ready for your family.
7. Let the Kids Help
Kids love to help in the kitchen. Let them join in and have some fun. Do not worry about the spill-up and just get them involved.
Let them start from some simple tasks just like from measuring ingredients and mixing in the bowl to cracking eggs and prepping salad. They will get better skills when they practice more. Plus, they are the helpful assistants in the kitchen too.
I hope the above tips would give you some idea to save you time in prepping meals. Again, we are human. We do have some days working crazy, not feeling good and feel overwhelming. Don’t be a perfectionist and let it go. I always remind myself live in the precious moment with my family. Don’t feel guilty about having a take-out meal when you need it.