Most of our family meals start with the basics, chicken or beef. A lot of grocery stores offer a lower per-pound price on meat when bought in larger quantities. Discount warehouses like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale Warehouse are also affordable alternatives to consider for bulk food purchases. I buy 5 pounds of grass-fed beef and 3 pounds of grain-fed chicken at a time. The 5 pounds of beef gets thrown into a pot to cook while I’m preparing dinner for that evening. Then, the chicken will get diced and cooked. In 2 sandwich bags divide 2 cups of beef into each. Divide the chicken into approximately 1 ½ cups each into 2 sandwich bags. Now it only takes 4 minutes to thaw one of our pre-cooked bags in the microwave, I never thaw out meat in advance anymore.
With our busy lifestyle it became a necessity to learn short-cuts to simplify our meals. By having these simple dishes and one-skillet meals takes some of the stress out of meal preparation after a long day. So we enjoy macaroni & cheese with hot dogs, goulash, tacos in a pan, and a ton of other quick and easy dishes. Make your own cookbook of family favorites and add new easy recipes you think your family will love to try. Make a list of ingredients you use often and keep them stocked.
Vegetables can be prepared quickly and easily too. Most dishes can be improved by throwing veggies in the mix. We eat vegetables every evening and there are some pretty creative short-cuts in cutting veggie prep time. Go on don’t be afraid to just throw vegetables into your skillet meals or add them to your dishes. Simple and one skillet meals save time on washing extra dishes. Your family may even find steam fresh vegetables in a bag to be a welcomed addition to a meal. In minutes they steam in the microwave making the job of adding vegetables to the menu even easier. Take a look in your grocery store’s frozen food isle on your next shopping trip.
There are many tips to save you time in the kitchen so you can spend more time enjoying meals with your family. Be creative and try different techniques to find what works best for you. No need to feel guilty for not making fancy gourmet dishes; as long as your family enjoys the meal. So feel good that you are cooking for your family and not always eating out.
Photo Source: Freerange.com
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