These 5 ways to make meals in half the time have made preparing meals so much easier and less stressful. Luckily, I have figured out a couple of ways to help get meals on the table in half the time and it has changed my life. I learned some things from Culinary School and some things out of desperation. I have been using these 5 kitchen hacks for years. Not one of these tips will require cooking complete meals and freezing the meals because I do not want to devote an entire day making meals and freezing.
Knowing that it is hard to come home at night and have to prepare a meal while everyone in the family is needing your attention. I do these 5 things so that I can prepare dinner quicker, and I am able to sit and enjoy our meal time together.
#1 Cook your chicken ahead of time and freeze for mealtime.
Below are my instructions for how I cook a large amount of meat easily and place in freezer bags to put in my freezer for super quick weeknight meals. When we come home in the evenings, we take out a bag of frozen chicken and defrost it in the microwave before adding it into my recipe. If your meat is already cooked and ready, you can have a chicken casserole, chicken noodle soup, chicken burritos, and many other dishes in about 15 minutes. Read the post below for more meal ideas.
Time-Saving Tip To Prepare Chicken for Meals
Tip #2 Cook and freeze ground beef ahead of time.
Time-Saving Tip To Prepare Ground Beef for Meals
I will purchase a large amount of ground beef and brown it all at once. Visit the link above for details and more quick meal ideas.
Tip #3 Stockpile items that you use most often.
I know you are thinking that it is too expensive to buy more than one item when you are shopping but it isn’t if you buy when it is on sale. I usually do this when items are buy one get one free. Also, if you add a coupon, you can purchase three items for the price of one. I usually purchase several of the items that I use most often. Think of the items that you usually have to run to the store to get or have to ask your spouse to pick up. I purchase more than one chicken and beef broth, butter, and several other items. It is so easy to come up with meals when you have your ingredients on hand and where you can see what you have easily.
#4 Freeze items that you use often.
I freeze packages of cheese because I am always using cheese in my dishes. I really cannot tell that the cheese has been frozen. I just lay it out on my counter for several minutes and use it in my dish. I also have added the cheese when it is still frozen in dishes that I am going to cook and it works well. I freeze other items like nuts, dips, chocolate chips, baking squares of chocolate, coconut, herbs, ginger, and several other items so that I will always have it on hand.
#5 Make hamburger patties ahead of time and freeze.
Make Hamburger Patties Ahead of Time and Freeze
Making your hamburgers ahead of time will save you so much time when preparing your meal. Click on the link above to read how I easily make perfect patties and freeze the patties for quicker meals.
I really want to enjoy mealtime with my family and these 5 ways to make meals in half the time helps me to be able to spend more time sitting and enjoying our meal.
Nikki Frank-Hamilton says
The chicken idea is my favorite. Who knew that a mixer could shred it for you in just minutes! LOVE this! And that cheese! I love cheese, and when it’s on sale I should be picking it up in large batches and freezing it! I never knew I could do this. So cool! Thanks for making my meal prep easier, especially in the summer when the last thing I want to do is spend daylight hours stuck in the kitchen!
GiGi Eats says
I always have frozen foods that cook quickly on hand – JUST in case! My broiler is my best friend when I am in a time crunch!
Erin - Suburban Simplicity.com says
What great advice, Sherry! Batch cooking when you can find things on sale helps keep the cost down too. I like the chicken idea. I usually buy a roasted chicken, but your tip about freezing would work even better. We just bought a chest freezer so now I have more room!
Linda at Mixed Kreations says
Great tips Sherry! I do buy when on sale and use coupons when I have them, and keep a stockpile of items I use. I also freeze my cheese. Now I just need to start cooking my chicken and beef and dividing it up for quick meals. I love ideas that save me time since time is so short around here.
So many great tips. I have started to freeze a lot of the items I’m using often. It really helps!
So smart!! I do these things in spurts but should do them all the time. Great way to save money and to keep from eating out.
Pinning and pinning.
Julie at Logger's Wife says
I usually freeze chicken or turkey when I roast a whole bird. It really does help out for quick meals. My mom always has hamburgers in her freezer. She even has special Tupperware things to make and store them. (visiting from Welcome Home Wednesday)
We do some of these already, (Although, I am quite guilty of eating handfuls of chocolate chips from the freezer on occasion) but others are new ideas. I can see how batch cooking and freezing pre cooked meat would save me tons of time, though!
I do that too, Jessica! Frozen chocolate chips are the best! Haha!
Great tips! I have a frozen cheese stash too~Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on FB! Have a great week!
These are great tips for cutting down on cooking time!! I like the idea of cooking chicken and ground beef and then freezing it, that would be a big time saver for me. Thanks for sharing!!
Cathy Lawdanski says
Sent a link out to this post in my newsletter today – said it was the tip that changed my life! Hope you get some traffic from it!
You are so awesome, Cathy! I am so glad it helped you!