School’s back in session and with it comes the hustle and bustle of daily preparation. Kids’ clothes, homework, housework, your studies, shopping and family food preparation—all these need to be juggled within the day. By the time the kids are home from school, you’re probably beat. But dinnertime’s coming and a meal has to be prepared. Overcoming the dark temptation to serve everyone fluffernutter, you buckle down and set to prepare dinner. By the time it’s over and the dirty dishes and leftovers are dispatched, it’s late, you’re tired and you don’t have any more time for the other things you have to do. The average American woman spends over 10 hours a week on food preparation and cleanup, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a lot, especially if you have other priorities too like studying. But with careful planning, you can better manage your time and your schedule.
Prepare Ahead Freezer Meals
Your own ready-to-eat meals save time, money and offer nutrition that’s far better than store bought convenience food.
Planning and Ease of Preparation
You should include your family when planning successful freezer meals. It’s no fun laboring over meals that result in turned up noses and secret trips to the Golden Arches. The best candidates for freezer meals are those you can prepare in a stovetop pot or a crockpot, or bake as a casserole. It’s also easy to portion these out into freezer bags. Stews, casseroles, and lasagnas are ideal and easy to heat via microwave oven. You can check the internet for free recipes for freezer meals and advice on how to best plan them. An ordinary refrigerator freezer can hold up to 30 frozen individual meals. Although most frozen food keeps indefinitely, some may lose texture and flavor after a few months. This isn’t a problem with food a family enjoys—it disappears quickly!
“Not meatloaf again!”
Part of having your family embrace your freezer meal model is having a variety of meals. Variety requires more preparation time and planning. Joining a cooking club may be an option to help you get ideas and tips from other people. You can lessen preparation time by planning and cooking with a friend. The club can be an informal gathering of friends or a group of people who regularly meet. Freezer meals can be a source of good food, better family interaction, and more quality time for you, as well as an opportunity to engage and make new friends.