Shortcuts to Feeding Your Family in a Hurry

Are you the kind of mom who doesn’t really want to spend hours in the kitchen every day? Do you find yourself desiring to pick up dinner most nights? I’m that kind of mom too.

Think about what takes the most time when preparing dinner. Usually it is the meat you’re having.
Figure out how much meat you will need for the month ie. ground beef, chicken, roast, whatever meats you use. Choose one day to prepare all of your meats. I would make 15 – 20 pounds of gr. beef in my giant roaster. Four chickens in a large stock pot or two, and two roasts in my big crock pot. Most of these just cooked on their own. Of course I would have to season and stir some things. But generally I could let it go for several hours.

I rinsed the ground beef under cold water to get most of the fat off of it. I packaged the ground beef in freezer bags in quantities that worked for our family.

I would debone the chicken, and package the meat in freezer bags too.

I would also take the roast and shred it so I would have meat for things requiring shredded beef such as chimichangas, shepard pie, etc.

Any meal that had meat, usually took less than 20 minutes to prepare.

Another way to make meal time fast and easy is to already have a plan.
Sit down with the family and make a list of everything you want or like to have for meals. Be sure to include breakfast and lunch.

Take all of those items and put them into weekly menus. I like having six weeks of menus available. That way we can easily rotate and don’t get bored with the same thing day after day. Create a book of recipes to go along with each item. Be sure to include the ingredients for the week. Which makes it very easy to plan your monthly shopping trip.

I would go shopping once a month for my staple items, then once a week for the perishables.

When you have older kids like I do, you can assign them certain days to plan the menu and prepare the meals. I don’t do any of this myself anymore. When it’s my day to cook – I buy pizza! 🙂

Some of my favorite resources:
Dinner’s In the Freezer – Jill Bond
Mega Cooking – Jill Bond
Base Cooking – Donna Zito This was a recipe book of meat recipes that used the meats I had already prepared.
Hearth and Home – Karey Swan

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3 thoughts on “Shortcuts to Feeding Your Family in a Hurry

  1. That sounds like a great plan! I have been looking for ways that will cut costs and save time. Financially we live week to week so that is how I have to buy groceries too. Any ideas or suggestions?

    I think you are so awesome!
    Big Hugs…
    a Knitting Junkie!

  2. Terri- many, many years ago now, I did just what you suggested. I made a 6 week menu plan and figured out everything we would need. It worked great. But ever since we moved into this house (3.5 years ago now) I haven’t been able to find my menu book! How crazy is that?? Anyway, I was making do and making do and also making DAILY trips to the store. So, I finally decided to start over again. I started a month ago and it was great! I made one BIG trip to the store and then only had to buy milk and bread and a few fresh veggies throughout the month. We spent WAY less money on food this month. We ate out less and I always had something to throw together even on the days I hadn’t thought ahead! All because I had all the ingredients handy. Thanks a million!

  3. Aww, you’ve inspired me again! I love your ability to write and inspire. When I grow up I want to be just like you.