If your family is anything like mine, you spend most of the day thinking about your next meal, planning your next meal, cooking, and/or eating. All of this is magnified when you have kids running around the house, needing help with homework, or otherwise driving you crazy.
To make sure things run smoothly come mealtime, we've learned it's all about the planning. Here are a few of our favorite meal prep “hacks” with kids for back to school:
- Every Sunday, sit down and write out your meal plan. We usually plan 5-6 dinners and assume we will eat out or have leftovers on the other nights. Assign meals to specific nights, and build your grocery list.
- Utilize online grocery ordering and curbside pickup. This is probably the step that has made the most difference for us. Not only do I avoid impulse purchases, but I can easily shop sales and take advantage of the online coupons. I usually set my pickup time for Mondays, so that my groceries for the week are fresh.
- Prep all of your ingredients by meal. In one night, I will chop all the fresh vegetables for each meal and put them in labeled Tupperware containers. I’ll do the same for the meat and store them in either the fridge or freezer, depending on when we will be eating them. If there are rice or grains in the meals, I will also make and measure that in advance. Cooked grains keep well in the freezer, so I make double batches and freeze the leftovers.
- Be sure that you make enough portions of each meal so that you can have leftovers for lunch the next day. Each meal I make is generally enough to cover us for two meals. This is not only convenient but also saves money by not having to go out for lunch each day.
- Always keep easy meal ingredients on hand. For those nights where I am just too tired to cook, I always keep a stash of Crustology® pizza crusts in the freezer. It's so easy to pull them out and set the kids up with ingredients. Within 20 minutes, we have a healthy and delicious meal that everyone loves.
What does your family do to make your mealtimes run smoother? Tag us on Instagram at @Crustologypizza with your tips!