Make Ahead Meal Tips and Other Ways To Save Time in the Kitchen

A lot of people want to start eating healthy. To do this, you need to make your own meals.

If you have always wanted to make delicious meals for you and your family but do not have the luxury of time, planning and creating your meals ahead of time will ensure that you have something healthy to eat for several days without spending hours in the kitchen on a daily basis.

A benefit of cooking dishes ahead of time is that you get to save money since you won’t need to order your meals. In addition, you won’t have to resort to eating junk since you can easily reheat something nutritious that you made yourself. 

In order to manage your kitchen time wisely and to help you in your make ahead meals, follow these tips.

Make a shopping list of what you need and complete it.

Head to the groceries or the farmer’s market and get everything you need for the whole week.

When your pantry has all your essentials, you can easily make anything and be more inspired to cook.

A hindrance to cooking regularly is missing ingredients as some folks use that as an excuse to not cook and buy fast food instead. Don’t fall into that trap.

Keep everything organized.

Starting with your fridge and pantry, make sure that everything is labeled well and is accessible.

Divide your meats into desired portions and put them inside a ziplock bag with a sticker label before putting them in the freezer.

Your spices and dried herbs must be stored neatly in bottles and jars, again labeled so that you’ll be encouraged to use them more often instead of loading up on salt and other sodium-filled condiments.

Shorten the time you spend in the kitchen.

If you are working, you need to limit the cooking once or twice a week. This can be done by strategic meal preps and making large batches. In doing this, you will be repeating a meal.

This is okay. Repeating meals are done in most households and are a great timesaver. 

Do the slicing and dicing ahead of time too.

For those who want to incorporate more fresh produce into their diet but are too lazy to peel, chop, and dice every time, what you can do is to tackle your vegetables and fruits ahead of time too.

Peel them and slice them and place in zip lock baggies or meal containers and stack them in the fridge.

Pre-sliced vegetables and fruits can last for days as long as they are sealed and in the freezer. Label them as well.

Always make extra.

The very concept of make ahead meals is that you always anticipate the need for something.

If you love a certain food that is particularly time-consuming to make, just make extra.

For example, always roast 2 whole chickens instead of one. Eat one as you wish and debone the other and use the meat for salads, sandwiches, and soups.

The roasted chicken bones can be made into a stock or a soup base which you can make ahead too.

Download a meal planning app.

Planning your meals is easier when you have an app. Some people prefer writing it down, which is okay too. Create a weekly or even a monthly menu during your free time.

A menu allows more careful planning, ensures that you have coordinating dishes, and makes grocery shopping easier and more efficient.

Get a slow cooker.

Making meals ahead of time can be made easier by a slow cooker. With this, you can make one pot dishes such as casseroles, stews, and soups that you can freeze then reheat as needed.

Some of the things that you can make in a slow cooker are stocks, Texas style chili, beef stew, and onion soup.

The great thing about this is that you can create professional tasting meals with minimal effort and little to no presence in the kitchen.

Pre-blend your smoothies.

For those who are struggling to think about what to eat for breakfast, you can make breakfast meals ahead of time too.

Blend your smoothies in advance and freeze them using muffin trays. This way, you can just thaw and get what you need per meal. 

Never waste a time cooking oatmeal.

Another great breakfast idea, overnight oats are now the new fab way to eat oatmeal.

Just get a mason jar with cap, put oatmeal, raisins, yogurt, and milk, cover and put in the fridge overnight and the next morning, you have a yummy breakfast. No need to cook your oats. 

Infuse your oil.

If you love quick meals every once in a while but only have limited time, infuse your oil with garlic by heating up some oil and frying some garlic.

Cool, and store the oil in a sterilized bottle. Now you have a garlic oil that you can use for stir fry. 

Freeze homemade garlic bread.

Create restaurant-style garlic bread by spreading a mixture of olive oil, butter, garlic, and thyme into your fave bread.

Make a huge batch, wrap them in aluminum foil, freeze them, and just toast what you need. You can do this with homemade pizza too.