Feeling guilty about the number of frozen pizzas you’ve been serving your family as of late? Making tasty meals at home every night of the week is easier than you may think. Follow these tips to replace those frozen, pre-packaged foods with healthy and delicious homemade meals.
Create a Schedule
Not thinking about what you’ll be serving for supper until an hour before mealtime means you’ll likely be turning to prepackaged meals. Break the cycle by creating a weekly meal schedule. A well-planned meal program sets the stage for success and serves as a guiding light for grocery shopping, ingredient prepping and more. Make the creation of a meal schedule a family activity by asking family members for input on what they’d like to see on the menu in the next week, two weeks and beyond.
Prep in Advance
According to How to Make Great Meals at Home Every Time, make tasty meals in minutes during weeknights by prepping each meal’s ingredients in advance. For example, set aside time each Sunday afternoon to prep ingredients for the next three weeknight meals.
When possible, plan freezer meals for weeknights. Freezer meals are ones that include elements that can be prepped and frozen in advance. By prepping meal ingredients in advance, you can quickly combine them in cooking pots and have meals on the table sooner during busy nights.
Make Detailed Grocery Lists
Missing a crucial ingredient while cooking is something most home cooks have experienced. Reduce the chances of this frustration happening to you by making detailed grocery lists. By creating a weekly meal schedule, you can quickly scan each of the week’s recipes to determine which ingredients you have on hand and which you’ll need to purchase. While shopping, cross each item off your list as you add it to your shopping cart. Scan the list one final time before entering the checkout line to ensure no items were missed.
Inventory your Pantry
Spend less on home cooked meals by regularly inventorying your pantry. Of course, this task sounds much more complicated than it is. Inventorying yourpantry can include looking for items needed for the next week’s meal plan, for brainstorming meal ideas that will help you use on-hand ingredients and more. Regularly scanning your pantry also helps you avoid having five of the same unneeded item or none of the items you need.
Never underestimate the power of leftovers in reducing your grocery bill and in simplifying mealtimes. Every other night, prepare large meals to ensure there will be enough leftovers to feed the family again the next evening. You can also start brainstorming ways of transforming leftovers into fresh and delicious meals. For example, roast chicken can be reused in soups, enchiladas and other delicious dishes.
Making tasty meals at home needn’t take all night. Rather, from creating a meal schedule to prepping ingredients in advance, there are many ways to prepare delicious and nutritious meals in minutes every night of the week.