Let’s talk Family Meal Prep! I don’t know about you, but dinner time at our house can be a pretty crazy time! We have kids running to different practices or games, doing homework, alllll the things! So I have learned that anything I can do ahead of time to prep our dinners and make the actual dinner time as simple and easy as possible is huge. These quick and easy meal prep “hacks” have saved us so much time and sanity. Which makes dinner time a much happier time of day. So I thought I would share them with you too in case they can help!
:: BUY + COOK YOUR BEEF IN BULK
Beef is a major star in our family meal rotation. We love spaghetti, tacos, and stroganoff and they all feature ground beef. One thing I don’t love is the time it takes to cook it for each individual recipe. Which brings me to my first meal prep hack. We get all our our meat at Costco. I will buy a huge thing of ground beef and separate it into individual bags that will cover about 3 meals each. While the meat is fresh, I will take one of those portions and cook it all up and bag that into 3 in the fridge. That way we have ground beef prepped for spaghetti, tacos, and stroganoff = 3 meals that are half way prepped already!
If I’m feeling extra ambitious I will prep the sauces too, so that the day of when it comes to busy hour, I just have to cook noodles and we are good to go!
:: SAY YES TO ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
Rotisserie Chickens are pretty much my best friend in the kitchen. You busy moms know just what I’m talking about! They save us from choosing fast food or unhealthier options so often because we always have them on hand. My family meal prep hack with rotisserie chickens, is to buy them in bulk too, depending on the size of your family. I will grab 6-7 at a time and pick alllll the meat off in one sitting. You are taking the hard work and getting her done in an hour, instead of adding that to your to do list in the heat of meal time.
Once I’ve got all the meat off, just like with the ground beef, I will bag it and freeze some and fridge some for that week. We love using it for tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, so many yummy choices.
:: SLICE + CHOP ALLL THE THINGS IN ONE SITTING
If you are like me, if a side dish to your meal is going to add to the stress of preparing it, you probably aren’t going to take the time to do it. For me, fruit is one of those things. So a quick and easy little family meal prep hack for fruit and veggies, is to slice, chop, cut whatever it is right when you get it, and then bag and freeze or fridge it. That way, when you want to have it with a meal or in a shake, again all your prep work is done. My little people (+ me!) are much more likely to grab a healthy snack if the work is already done.
:: BREAKFAST CAN BE DINNER TOO
In addition to the ground beef and chicken meals I mentioned above, breakfast for dinner is a favorite in the rotation too, and usually happens close to once a week. It is so quick and easy and something the little people LOVE! My family meal prep hack for breakfast is such an easy one. In addition to eggs and bacon, we will usually do French Toast for our dinner. Once I’ve made the amount we need for that meal, I don’t stop. I will prep a bunch more and freeze them. That gives us another option as a grab and go when heading to a game or practice, instead of stopping for fast food.
:: ALWAYS THINK AHEAD
Last but not least, always think ahead. When you are unloading your groceries, think about things you could do to save you time later in the week. It might seem so simple at the time, but your future self will definitely thank you. Think ahead when you are making dinner too. If you have the ingredients and time to make a little extra, DO IT. One example is when we do tacos. I will prep extras and put them individually in these reusable containers. When we are headed out the door, we can grab one, warm it on the grill with a little lime, and we have a yummy dinner instead of getting a mediocre version of the same thing from a drive thru.
As you can see, none of these family meal hacks are too shocking. They really are just simple steps you can take to make your life a little easier during that dinner time rush! I’d love to hear your meal prep tips and tricks that make dinner time easier at your house too!