January 5, 2011

Tip of the day—Start meal prep early

There isn’t anything that sabotages our budget worse than hungry people asking, “What’s for dinner?” and not having anything prepped or ready to eat.  I have learned that if I do meal prep ahead of time we are much more likely to stick with our meal plan. 

  • When cutting up vegetables, ask yourself what other meals you have planned for the future.  Yesterday, I came home from the grocery with free Athenos hummus from Kroger.  I was prepping a snack for our daughter and me by cleaning and cutting up celery and carrots to go with the hummus.  I realized that it would only take me a little longer to go on and prep extra veggies for the next few days of lunches.  As I continued to cut, I thought about the soup I have planned to make later in the week.  I prepped the entire bag of carrots and half of the celery, and it is ready to go whenever we need it.
  • I learned as a stay at home mom that if I started prepping supper right after we ate breakfast it made things a lot easier.  It seemed like the grumpiest time of the day for our daughter was around 3-5pm, when I would otherwise be preparing dinner.  Whenever I’m planning to be at home a little in the morning, I take time to think about what food we are having for supper that night.  Yesterday, for instance, while I was cooking our soaked oatmeal I started filling the soup pot with water, added the soaked black beans, and ham bone.  While we ate breakfast, got dressed, played on the computer, and went about our usual morning routine, supper cooked. 
  • My sister is a crockpot cooker.  She loves her crockpot!  She works full time as a music teacher in West TN, and her mornings and evenings are busy ones.  She finds that the easiest way to make sure they have a healthy supper at night is to prep her crockpot in the mornings with a full meal and time it so that it cooks all day long.  She even bought another crockpot so that she could make a separate dish if she wanted it to go with the meal.  With only about 5-10 minutes of prep work, she’s able to serve a full, delicious and healthy meal for her family. 

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with the tips and especially the crockpot cooking. It's like having a personal chef cooking for you all day. There's also no other air freshener better than the aroma a simmering crockpot. When I make tomato sauce in it, I swear I can smell it 1/2 mile down the road!