Learning how to meal prep can save you tons of time when you’re a working homeschooling mom. If you find yourself scrounging the kitchen for anything to throw in the microwave, cut, or choose to eat out as a last resort, let me save you some time and money. Below are several practical time-saving tips on meal prep for homeschool moms who also work from home.
This post is part of my Help for Homeschool Mompreneurs Series of 10 posts full of
valuable resources and tips for working homeschool moms.
How to Save Time on Meal Prep
Before discussing how to meal prep for homeschool moms saves so much time, let’s talk about another aspect first… meal planning.
It’s easy to get frustrated when it comes to cooking. Especially when you’re scrambling to meet a work deadline, and that math lesson just took so much longer than you expected. Or if you’re trying to homeschool and work from home through a sick day.
It’s all-too-easy to order in when those moments strike. Honestly, even when I’ve had the ingredients on hand and could throw something together, sometimes it just didn’t come together in an actual meal. That is until I became intentional about meal planning. Simply put…
Planning makes meal prep for homeschool moms easier
Before you even think about meal prepping, make sure you get in the habit of creating a meal plan. Some moms find it easier to plan week-by-week while others plan bi-weekly, or even monthly.
I like to plan weekly so I can shop for the local grocery specials. (In recent years, we’ve been gardening with the kids and now we also raise chickens and turkeys. So it’s a bit easier.)
In your planning, nail down some staple meals that your family loves. I recommend doing a quick Pinterest search and creating a board (or list) of quick and easy meals that are healthy and hearty. And that everyone in your family loves.
Include your family in the meal planning and ask for suggestions. Once you have a good list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas, put them in rotation. This will make meal prepping much easier.
5 Tips to Help with Meal Prep for Homeschool Moms
Once you’ve created your list of favorite meals, take the time to turn it into a meal plan system that will help you put food on the table much faster. Here are a few ideas for doing just that.
1. Gather the necessary ingredients
There’s nothing like going to prepare a meal, and you’re missing that one main ingredient. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to grocery shop according to your meal plan.
I break my grocery list into two smaller lists – ingredients and products needed for Sunday through Wednesday, then things needed for Thursday through Saturday. This is a great way to keep things fresh, especially when cooking meals that call for fresh ingredients.
2. Invest in a good amount of storage containers
These will come in handy once you start setting aside the things you’ll need to cook with later. Some people opt for plastic, but you can’t go wrong with a good stash of glass as they’re supposed to be much better for you. Clear out a cabinet and designate it as the “storage container only” area.
3. Double prep
What I mean by that is to prepare enough to make double the amount. This will give you leftovers to have the next day, or freeze and have weeks down the road.
If you have a large family, this will definitely help you save time and money. Be sure to write “leftovers” on your meal plan so you’ll know to cook extra of a particular meal.
4. Cook earlier in the day
Now, let me tell you right now that I’m a morning person. So once 5:00 pm rolls around, I’m pretty tired. I do not feel like cooking. At all. (And I’m a major foodie.)
If you find yourself just plum tired and not wanting to cook, then consider cooking earlier in the day so all you have to do is reheat the food later. In fact, I found that once I started including meal prep in my weekly homeschool and work from home routine, everything worked better.
Crockpot and Instant Pot meals always come to the rescue because you can start them and walk away!
5. Prep and freeze your meat
If you like to buy in bulk, consider buying a bulk meat order. Then spend one afternoon per week (or even per month) prepping and freezing meat for meals.
Follow this simple rule to keep your meat from defrosting – wrap them tightly to prevent air from getting to it. Then, you’ll have to put it in the fridge a night or two before you use it to give it time to defrost.
Bonus tip: Keep a few recipes for lunches and dinners that don’t need cooking when planning hot weather meals!
Follow these quick tips, and you’ll be on your way to meal prepping like a pro! I’d like to hear from you. What are some ways you meal prep? Let me know in the comments below.