Making the Most Out of Your Time in the Kitchen- Time Management for Parents

Meal Time. Some of us may enjoy cooking, and others may despise it. Either way, getting our family fed can add stress to our day and take away time from other things we want or need to do.
There are some simple time management tips you can apply to the kitchen that can save you time making meals. I am going to give you 4 time management tips to help you make getting meals on the table faster and easier.
I encourage families to make their meals whenever possible because they are healthier, and do not cotain preservatives or additives and you know it is something your family likes.
1.When you make something, Make Double
If you are making cookie dough, pizza dough, lasagna, or some other meal, double the recipe and freeze the 2nd batch to use for another dinner or when you need to make cookies or pizza fast.
I needed a dessert for a family get together, but I also needed to bring something with me to a party the next evening. So I made extra frozen ice-cream pies all at the same time- it was the same amount of work but I took care of 2 events.
2. Purchase “Pre” Foods. Foods that are diced, sliced, cooked for you-when you are in a time crunch
If you are having a large group over and you will be making Fajitas. buy the frozen bags of pre-chopped peppers and onions. Of course, you have to be careful because if the foods are prepared often they can cost much more than the basic items. But for some things like peppers, fresh peppers can be expensive, so often the generic frozen peppers and onions costs less.
3.Plan Ahead
If you have a busy day and you are having company over for dinner or have to bring a dish to a function, go to the grocery store a day or 2 ahead of time and prepare part or all of the dish/es the night before. Often a great time to make a meal for the next day is in the evening when the kids are in bed. If I need to cook or boil potatoes, I often do that while I am cleaning up or doing laundry or working in my office. So plan ahead to minimize the stress of making a dish or meal right before guests arrive.
For Holiday Breakfasts or Brunches, I always make items the night before and cook or reheat the next morning. A favorite in our house that feeds a large group is French Toast Souffle and Crustless Quiches.
4.Consider Making Your Meals for the Week in 1 Day
You heard me right- consider shopping for all of your dinners for the week, and then preparing everything and making all of the dishes right then. The idea behind this is the same as the Prepared Dinner Stores- if you buy your ingredients and your meals have some same items (beans,cheese, onions,or ground turkey) you can cook up all of the meat or veggies at one time and them put them with their appropriate ingredients for that meal.
Basically, you are only getting out your spices one time, your dishes 1 time, your cooking one time-just many items.
Then you refrigerate or freeze the items for later in the week. This way, each evening you have a meal ready to cook or reheat and serve.
It can save you stress of deciding what to eat every night, if you have not planned your meals by making you decide ahead of time, and putting all of your time to prepare meals in at one time.
I worked with a woman, who worked full time, had 4 children and was going back to school and she made ALL of her meals for the MONTH in 1 day. I kid you not- she said when she first started doing it, it took her 2 days but she eventually got it done to 1 day. Wow-that is amazing, but talk about a great use of time management in the kitchen.