Submitted Date 08/25/2019

Do you desire to master your food prep sessions to help you save time and money? Do you spend too much time in the kitchen and not enough time doing the things you love?

The truth is that once the time is gone; we can never get it back. However, we can take simple steps to become more productive and dominate our time.

Here are ways to master your food prep sessions in 4 simple steps:

Menu Planning

Family Favorite Recipes – While menu planning, include your favorite family recipes. Think about what recipes your family loves to eat regularly. For holiday cooking sessions, include those particular food items they genuinely enjoy.

New Recipes to Try – Take an hour each month to search out new recipes to try. Then, include these in your future menu planning sessions. Methods can consist of new chicken dishes, soups, casseroles, and meatless meals.

How Often to Serve – While planning your menus for the month, think about how often you will serve the meals. For instance, will you be serving the same soup two times in the month? Choose how often you will serve the same option over again during the month. Some families prefer this option to save additional time.

Organize Your Kitchen Spaces

Appliances to Use – Which kitchen appliances will you use during meal prep sessions? How can you create more meals in the same amount of time? For example, you can create one food item in the slow cooker while using the oven for cooking a casserole for the next day's meal.

An Organized Pantry – Having an organized pantry will help you to save time during meal prep sessions. Also, it can save you money – if you know what you have on hand, you won't be accidentally purchasing something you don't need.

Organizing Freezer Space – If you plan to do freezer meals and to store leftovers to use later in the month, having an organized freezer space is essential. Also, do an inventory of the containers you will need to store food from cooking sessions.

Use Recyclable Shopping Lists

Ready, Set, Go – Once you have created menu plans, then create shopping lists that can be reused again. You may choose to create weekly shopping lists based on seven main meals. So, your reusable shopping list will contain all the items needed to create those seven main meals of the week. Then, you will be "ready, set, go" for the next time around.

Stick to the Plan – When it comes shopping time, intently focus on sticking to the plan. Frequently, we get distracted by the desire to shop for other things on a grocery day. Go with your shopping list in hand and intentionally stick to the plan.

Food Prep Sessions

Double Dinner Batches – A simple way to add more meals for the days or weeks to come is to create double (or triple) dinner batches. Even if you didn't meal plan for the month, you could still create double (or triple) dinner batches. One quantity you will eat for dinner, and the other(s) can be placed in containers to freeze for future meals. Then, you will have a quick dinner at your fingertips for the day you don't have time to spend cooking in the kitchen.

Freezer Cooking Sessions – Our family loves freezer cooking sessions. Prepping one month of meals in a weekend frees time to do other things throughout the month. If cooking a month of meals is frightening to you, then consider trying freezer cooking for two-week menu options.

Cook Once, Use Twice – This simple food prep idea allows you to cook an item and use it in two different menus. For example, when I find chicken breasts on sale, I will prepare all of them ahead of time. I will use a few for the evening meal. So I will freeze the others to have for additional quick meal prep ideas. For example, I can pull out a cooked chicken breast and add it to a soup recipe. Alternatively, I can make a quick chicken enchilada meal in no time. Dinner is on the table in very little time.

Bulk Cooking Sessions – One way we have used bulk cooking sessions is cooking up twenty to thirty pounds of ground hamburger in one sitting. Bulk cooking helps us to save money by buying at an excellent price. Moreover, it allows me to make quick meals by pulling out a pound of cooked ground hamburger at a time. Some easy meals using this ingredient include spaghetti, easy rice dishes, homemade pizzas, soups, casseroles, enchiladas, and chilis. You can also bulk cook other food items as well.

Additional Food Prep Tips

Create Various Bulk Cooking Sessions – One great idea to get started in mastering your food prep sessions is to create a prep session using one main ingredient. For instance, plan one bulk cooking session around chicken breasts. In your session, use four to six different quick and easy recipes to prep ahead of time. The next bulk cooking session you plan may be creating casseroles to freeze using the same process.

Plan Ideas for Leftovers – Have creative ideas in mind for possible leftovers. If you have leftovers from dinner, think about fast and simple ways to include them in your lunch for the next day.

Make Meal Prep Fit Your Life – Mastering meal prep sessions that fit your life will help you save time and money. It will also help you have more time to do the things you love. The main idea is to come up with ways that help you in your life. Every family will have meal prep sessions which look different. One family may choose a vegan lifestyle; another family may use organic products.

In Summary, using these four simple steps will help you to master your food prep sessions. Take time to menu plan according to your recipe choices. Organize your kitchen spaces to help you save time and money. Use the menus and shopping lists you create more than once. Lastly, create meal prep sessions which work for you and your family. Then, you will have more time to spend outside of the kitchen doing more of the things you love!








Barbi Green


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  • Ashley Aker 3 years, 7 months ago

    ohh some really good tips in here! I have implemented some of these naturally in my home. When you cook in bulk, are you storing the rest in the freezer? I imagine it goes bad pretty fast if it sits in the fridge. I understand it depends on how much you are using per recipe, I just wasn't sure where I would put 13 lbs of hamburger in my own fridge. I appreciated your tips on organizing the pantry and the fridge. I thought you could expand on that area a little more. It's really easy to tell someone to be organized but people like me, have no idea how to do that. I organize maybe 3 or 4 times in a year but it never stays pretty for long. What's your strategy there? Thanks for posting and I look forward to reading more from you.

    • Barbi Green 3 years, 7 months ago

      Hello Ashley! It is great to hear about your implementations! When I bulk cook ground hamburger, I allow it to cool and then place in freezer containers in 3/4 to 1 pound increments. And, freeze them to pull out later for making quick meals like spaghetti, enchiladas, tater tot casserole, taco rice, and the like. I use my regular freezer/fridge in the house and also have a small freezer in the garage. Thanks for the comments and your interest in learning more on staying organized! I will post more organization strategies that I use and others use which are helpful in the days to come! :0)

  • Ceara 3 years, 7 months ago

    Love these! I have been considering starting to meal prep more in bulk so these are really helpful tips. Thanks for sharing!

    • Barbi Green 3 years, 7 months ago

      Hello Ceara! Cooking in bulk as a meal prep strategy can save you so much time down the road! As a single mom with three children in the home, bulk cooking has kept me from going "crazy" at times! I am glad you found the tips useful and I will be posting me in the near future! Thanks, again!