Dinner time is always hectic for the working parent. You’re trying to get dinner on the table, help your kids with their homework, and get a little bit of time to yourself. Finding the time to cook dinner every night can be challenging. That’s why preparing dinner ahead of time is such a lifesaver. These dinner prep tips for busy parents can help:
Make a plan
The first step to preparing dinner ahead of time is to make a plan. Decide what you’re going to make for the week and make a grocery list accordingly. This will save you time and money at the grocery store. In addition, take a look at your schedule for the week. For example, if you know you’re going to be busy on Tuesday night, make a double batch of Monday’s dinner so you can have leftovers. Planning ahead will make your life much easier and less stressful.
Use your slow cooker
Making meals in the slow cooker is the ideal solution if you only have a little time to cook during the week. So many great crockpot recipes are easy to make and delicious. Simply throw all of the ingredients into the pot in the morning and let it cook all day. Dinner will be ready when you get home from work. In addition, using your slow cooker will free up time in the evenings. Instead of spending an hour cooking dinner, you can use that time to relax or spend time with your family.
One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is this veggie chili.
Prep some ingredients ahead of time
One way to save time when cooking dinner is to prepare some ingredients ahead of time. For example, if you’re making a pasta dish, chop the vegetables the night before. Or, if you’re making soup, cook the meat ahead of time and freeze it in individual portions. Prepping ingredients ahead of time will make cooking dinner much quicker and easier. It’s a great way to save time during the week.
Make extra servings
Another option is to make extra servings. When you’re cooking dinner, make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. This way, you’ll have a ready-made meal for another night. Making extra servings saves time and money. It also ensures you can have a delicious home-cooked meal rather than fast food.
Take advantage of shortcuts
There are many shortcuts you can take when preparing dinner ahead of time. For example, use a jarred sauce instead of making your own pasta sauce. Or, instead of cooking rice from scratch, use microwaveable rice packets. These shortcuts will save you time in the kitchen. And they’ll still result in a delicious and healthy meal.
Use these tips and you’ll be able to have a delicious home-cooked meal without any stress!