In the past, much of my time was spent stressing over meals that I feed my family. The hours between after school and bedtime are hectic and busy. I would run home and throw something together for supper only to feel guilty about not feeding my family good and healthy food. These time-saving meal prep tips and hacks that work have made cooking easier. I know many people like to prepare complete meals and freeze the meals for later. Freezing prepared meals does not work for me. I don’t want to spend one entire day preparing the meals. Also, I must be doing something wrong because some of the meals are not as good to me after freezing.
Also, by using these tips, a spouse or older child can prepare the meal easier.
One of the best things that came out of attending Culinary School was learning tips that were used in the restaurant and using the tips in my home. Using these tips, I was able to prepare meals quicker than if I went through a fast-food drive-thru line. My kids are older and grown and I still use every one of these tips.
My #1 Tip: Cook and freeze your meat.
This hack is going to change your life!
If you already have your meat cooked, you can throw a meal together in minutes. Think of all the meals you can throw together quickly like tacos, spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, hamburger helper, and any recipe that calls for ground beef. On Saturday afternoons, we can make tacos as quickly as making sandwiches.
- Purchase a larger quantity of meat.
- Cook in smaller batches.
- Place 2 cups of meat in each bag or container.
- Place bags or containers of meat in the freezer.
I have learned many time-saving cooking tips from being a wife and mom for so long and also from Culinary School. This kitchen tip for cooking ground beef and freezing is what I learned from having to cook all the time.
Cook and shred chicken to freeze.
Another life-changing tip is to cook, shred, and freeze your chicken.
I have been doing this for years. If you have your chicken already cooked and shredded, and stored in the freezer, you can pull it out of the freezer and make a meal in about 15 minutes. Think about all the meals you can make quickly. You can make a chicken casserole, chicken tacos, chicken soup, and many other dishes in about 20 minutes.
- Cook a large amount of chicken. I use a crockpot to cook the chicken.
- Place a couple of cooked chicken breasts in a mixer or cut up the cooked chicken with a knife.
- Turn mixer on low for only a few seconds to shred the chicken.
- place chicken in freezer bags or containers in one-pound servings.
- Place bags of chicken in the freezer.
Purchase several of the items that you use often.
This tip is gold! I always purchase several of the items that I use most often in my kitchen. It feels amazing not to have to run to the store every time I want to make a meal.
Purchase several bags of cheese and freeze! I have been doing this for 10 years and the cheese is fine frozen. It is best to thaw the cheese before cooking but many times I have used it slightly thawed and it was fine.
Make and freeze hamburger patties.
When you have your hamburger meat out to freeze, make a few patties and place in a freezer bag for later.
Seriously, these time-saving meal prep tips and hacks that work have changed my life. I have used these tips for years and it has made my life less stressful. It is so nice to be able to put a meal on the table in much less time than before.