As busy women, we want to do it all. We are moms and working women who have to find time to exercise, shop, cook, shuffling kids around and take care of everything else that comes up. So when it comes to meal prep, that is where many women just can’t find time to actually prepare the food to get to the table. Unfortunately, we end up letting the unprepped foot rot in the fridge and resort to take out meals or cereal for dinner. Even worse, these foods are higher in calories, sodium and added preservatives.
Ultimately, we want to be healthier and cook make better choices for our families, but it just seems next to impossible. The reason why many women fall short in this area is because we truly do not have the time to do all of the things women did years ago, when there were less women in the workforce. Sure, if we were home all day, we may be able to fit it all in, but life just seems busier these days. And to be honest, many of us do not want to meal prep all day!
So how can we cut down our grocery trips and meal prep time to make it work for us?
Here are some shortcuts that I do on a weekly basis to help things run more smoothly in the kitchen:
- Purchase pre-cooked food such as frozen bags of steamable rice, vegetables and potatoes. These steamable bags can be an instant meal in a hurry or a great side dish.
- Save time with pre-washed salads/salad kits, and cut up fresh vegetables such as baby carrots and green beans.
- Stock your freezer and pantry once per month. Every month do a “big” food shopping trip and stock up on the foods that you can store. This is probably my most important tip in keeping things running smoothly in the kitchen. If you have a stocked pantry and freezer, you can always pull out what need for a quick meal. Some foods to stock up in your pantry are beans, tomato sauce, rice, pasta, quinoa, spices, vegetable broth and oatmeal. For the freezer, stock up on frozen vegetables, veggie burgers, healthy frozen meals, and non-dairy, healthy desserts.
- Keep an inventory list on your fridge. I keep a sticky notepad on my fridge so that when I remember I need something, or we are running low on any of our staple foods, I’ll add it to the list. Having a list when you go grocery shopping will cut down on time spent shopping and prevent impulse purchases.