14 Brilliant Time Saving Tips for Moms

14 Brilliant Time Saving Tips for Moms

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

BRILLIANT TIME SAVING TIPS FOR MOMS

You’ve got 99 problems and having too much time on your hands is absolutely not one of them. From keeping your kids alive, maintaining a home, and working you’ve got your hands more than full.

In fact, you need to find more time in your day so you don’t go full-on crazy.

I feel ya. With 4 small kids, a busy house, and a job, I know exactly what it feels like to be drowning in responsibilities and wishing for more time every single day.  

Which is why I’ve made it practically my life’s mission to figure out how moms can save time and live with more peace and well being. So I’m here with the best time saving tips for moms with no time on their hands.

1) Make one dinner for everybody (even the picky eaters).

If you have picky eaters, you can feel like you need to make separate meals for the kids in order to make sure they each. However, research suggests that making separate meals only perpetuates picky eating and unhealthy habits. And it makes you run around like a chicken with your head cut off at every meal.  

But Mama, you don’t have to be a short order cook to get everyone to eat. Best thing for your kids and you is to make ONE healthy meal with a few food options.

After reading this book, I stopped making separate food for my picky eaters. Just one meal with variety. And guess what? Not only is my life easier, but my children have become less picky and much more healthy eaters. 

2) Stick to a couple stores.

I get wanting to take advantage of the best deals, but is the hassle of running around to a million stores really worth it?

I used to do this, hauling 4 kids 4 and under around town deal hunting. A lot of time and a lot of gas later (not too mention a fair bit of tears in the car), I decided to just stick to only ever going to 3 stores near my home. On any given week, I’ll only go to 1 or 2 of them.  

My advice? Pick 2-3 stores where you can meet about 95% of your shopping needs. For the rest, use Amazon and the occasional special store run.

3) Be careful with YOUR screen time.

We get concerned about our kid’s screen time, but what about our own. Between binge-watching Netflix or Hulu and scrolling through social media feeds, a lot of our day can get sucked away in the snap of a finger.

Don’t get me wrong. I 100% believe in having relaxing time everyday. And if that means scrolling instagram or watching a late night show with your husband, then so be it. Just make sure it’s intentional time and not a mindless endeavor. 

14 brilliant time saving tips for moms #timesavingtips #momhacks

4) Let go of the unimportant.

Okay, I’m probably going to get hate mail for this but I think that spending a lot of time on your kid’s hair is a complete waste of time (and I’m saying this as the mother of 4 little girls). I mean, if you get serious joy and satisfaction out of creating complex hairstyles on your kid’s heads, then knock yourself out.

But if you don’t. If you feel like you’re just trying to fulfil some outside expectation. Just stop.

This principle applies to anything you feel like you should be doing to meet outside expectations, but doesn’t actually get you anywhere. Maybe it’s needing spend an hour getting ready in order to let people see you. Or getting involved with projects with your kid’s school or at your church when you really don’t have the time. 

Decide what’s really important to you and let go of the rest.

5) Plan your meals ahead of time.

Do you ever get to dinnertime with no dinner planned and your brain simply refuses to think clearly for long enough to come up with something?

Mom brain at dinner time is the worst. But it can be easily avoided.

Simply jotting down your meals for the week is going to save you so much mental energy and time during the week (you can use these free printables).

First off, planning in advance means you can be sure to get all the ingredients you’ll need on your grocery lists, avoiding unnecessary trips to the store. Secondly, you won’t have to try and scramble to put something together for dinner when you’re exhausted and your kids are lying on the floor acting as though you haven’t fed them this week.

Tip: Have a routine weekly planning session over the weekend where you sit and plan your meals for the next week. I plan my entire week every Sunday afternoon including meals, workouts, appointments, grocery lists, and top priorities.

6) Stock your freezer with meal prep.

Engaging in any degree of meal prep during your week is going to save you time. Whether you make a big batch of muffins or waffles to freeze and pull out for breakfasts or you triple your batch of spaghetti and freeze the extra, you are saving oodles of time down the road.

Meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 5 easy ways to fill your freezer with meals.

7) Keep running grocery lists.

You know those times when it suddenly pops into your brain that you are low on toilet paper or milk or body wash? Do ever then completely forget about it until after you’ve gone to the store? 

It happens to the best of us.

To avoid this, you need to have one central location that you keep your running shopping lists of everything you need. That way, when you run to the store you can see the list and know everything you need.

This could be using:

  • A list app on your phone
  • Your planner
  • A list on your fridge

Personally, I keep a running list for the 3 main stores I go to on our big family calendar. I’ve learned that if I don’t immediately run and put it on the list, I’ll probably forget and I’ll end up having to make a special trip to the store because we are down to 10 sheets of toilet paper.

Time Saving Tips for Moms

8) Use timers.

Setting timers is a wonderful way to keep both you and your kids accountable. Only want to browse Facebook for 10 minutes? Set a timer or it might end up being more like 45. 

Buried in laundry? Set a timer and do what you can in 15 minutes (and trust me, all you need is 15 minutes a day to stay up on laundry).

Want your kids to clean up? Put on some greats music and set a timer.

Timers can be a major time saver. We set a timer every evening with our girls. Before bed, they have to have the playroom and their bedrooms picked up. We set a timer for between 5-10 minutes, depending on the mess.

It used to take 40 minutes of us repeatedly nagging them to stop playing and clean before we started setting the timers on our phones. Now, if their messes aren’t clean before the timer goes off, they lose a bedtime story and song (our girls will do anything to make sure their get their story and song).

Now the messes vanish in minutes and our bedtime routine takes almost half the time. Timers for the win!

9) Make use of grocery pickup.

When I did grocery pickup for the first time (i.e. you order groceries online and then park at the store where somebody brings it all out to you) I swear the heavens opened and choirs of angels were singing.

Within minutes of arriving, everything on my lists was packed neatly into the back of my van. No dragging my kids up and down a store over the course of an hour with them begging to buy toys or candy. No tantrums mid-store where kindly passersby comment that my hands “sure are full” while my children cry and I fantasize about eating an entire box of Milkduds alone in my room.

Instead, with grocery pickup, shopping with kids is quick and easy.

I use Walmart’s free grocery pickup and it has been a game changer. You order the day before and schedule pickup (i always schedule the mornings because that’s when it’s the least busy in my area). You drive over, someone comes out and puts everything in your car, and you are on your way. I highly recommend it.

See if Walmart pickup is in your area. Follow this link and get $10 off your first purchase. You’re gonna love the convenience.   

10) Let your kids dress themselves.

This is one of those win-win scenarios. your learn independence and are thrilled to have control over their clothes and you don’t have to spend any time dressing them. Concerned about what people think? Review tip #4.

I adopted this more out of necessity than choice. Before I knew it, I was a mom of 4 girls 4 and under teaching college history classes part time. I couldn’t have dressed me kids if I’d wanted to. But once my girls hit 2, they’ve all shown a big interest in dressing themselves. So I’ve let them. They get to develop their own sense of style, learn responsibility, and also exert some control in their lives. All while I don’t have to do anything

11) Keep consistent routines.

When something becomes routine, it means it’s something that you automatically do and don’t have to think about it. If you don’t have a set routine to workout each week, then every day it’s a time-wasting battle to decided whether you will or won’t. Without set routines, you end up stumbling through your day and wasting time.

Routines are the key to a smooth and organized mom life. Everything you want to accomplish daily and weekly should be built into a routine to make sure it gets done whether it’s grocery shopping, self care, cleaning, laundry, reading, or working out.

12) Declutter. 

The fewer things you have, the less time you spend cleaning and organizing your home. While there are many methods to do this, I highly recommend Mari Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Before the birth of my fourth kid, I felt like I was drowning in stuff. How on earth was I going to fit another human in our house when it felt like we were about to spill out the windows and doors? Then a friend recommended this book. I devoured it within a couple days and immediately started implementing her strategies.

The result? We were able to clear out at least ⅓ of our belongings, make over $600 through Craigslist and a garage sale, and our home felt spacious and uncluttered. I spent far less time cleaning, while my house consistently looked and felt better.

Declutter your house. Donate your junk. And spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your life.

time saving tips for moms

13) Start your day with a plan.

Failure to plan wastes on average about 2 hours of time a day. That means if you just spend 15 minutes of your morning planning out your day, you’ll end up saving an hour and 45 minutes.

Things to consider when planning your day:

  • Your top priorities for the day. What are the most important thing you need to accomplish.
  • Meal plan
  • Scheduled appointments
  • Scheduled down time

I promise you, scheduling your day (and week) will save you so much time. Need more help? Download these free planning printables.

14) Use Amazon Prime.

You can get just about anything on Amazon. And usually within just a day or two. For the 5% of the stuff I can’t get at the 3 stores I typically visit, I go to Amazon for the rest. I can simply order online, and a day or two later it’s at my doorstep without having to drag kids around town and into a store where they will inevitably need to go pee as I’m waiting in a long checkout line.

Additionally, with their subscribe and save, a lot of household items are not only cheaper than many stores, but will come to you on a schedule so you don’t have to think about it. I love it!

SMALL STEPS LEAD TO BIG CHANGES

Even just implementing a few of these time saving tips for moms is going to make your life easier and give you more space for peace and well being. Saving time in your day will reduce overwhelm and give you time to practice self care and connect with your spouse and kids. Cut the wasted time out of your day so that you can enjoy the things in life that really matter.

You’ve got this, mama!

 

Save Money With These 9 Costco Hacks

Save Money With These 9 Costco Hacks

SAVE MONEY WITH THESE 9 COSTCO HACKS

While Costco is home to some truly spectacular deals, it’s easy to let the bargains and bulk packaging seduce you into spending far too much. It’s hard to walk out under $200 if you’ve got kids. How often do you get to the cash register and find that your total is waaay more than you expected?

It used to happen to me. A lot.

When we first got a Costco membership years ago, I was in bargain heaven buying all the things we needed (and some we didn’t need) in glorious bulk packaging.

Money flowed from our bank account to Costco like water from a sieve. With dreams of bulk discounts, I was sure Costco was going to be super cost-saving. But instead, I found that we started spending far more money on groceries and household items.

But Costco can be genuinely cost-saving. And in order to tap into that cost-saving action, I had to figure out how to avoid the danger zones and find the genuine bargains.

And thus were born my 9 Commandments of Costco. These are the 9 Costco hacks that I follow to make Costco a true baragin.

1) DON’T GO WHEN HUNGRY 

While dangerous doing any grocery shopping, doing it at Costco can be downright catastrophic to your bank account. You’ll be a the mercy of every single snack cart scattered throughout the store.

Since every item is in bulk, each impulse buy is that much more expensive. And there’s a decent chance you’re going to buy something you don’t even like (like Red Vines which usually taste like wax and the color red–one or two is fine, but a jumbo bucket will make you hate yourself).

2) DON’T BUY ANYTHING YOU HAVEN’T TRIED BEFORE

Buying something at Costco that you’ve never used can be a massive waste on money. Doesn’t matter how good a deal it is. I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought something (usually a snack food) that looks delicious and then NO ONE eats any of it.

Instead, buy a small portion at your local grocery store and see if you and your family really like it. If yes, throw it on your list for the next Costco trip.

Save money with these 9 Costco Hacks #costco #budget #savemoneytips

3) MAKE A LIST AND STICK TO IT

It’s so easy to get sidetracked at Costco with all the fun stuff. Especially if there’s a charismatic huckster doing a demonstration. But unless you walk in planning to buy a $350 blender, do not walk out with one.

Even smaller items that catch your eye add up very fast. Walk in with a shopping list and don’t buy anything else.  Demand a second trip on any purchases not on your list.

4) GET THE EXECUTIVE MEMBERSHIP

Though it costs twice as much, if you shop at Costco regularly it’s well worth it. Considering you get 2% in all purchases, you have a good chance of having the card pay for itself. And if not, they will refund you the difference between that and a basic membership at the end of the year.

Can’t lose with the executive membership.

5) PRICE CHECK

Just because it’s at Costco, don’t assume it’s the best price. Price check with your other local stores to make sure who has the best price per unit/gram.

And even if they do have the best price, if it’s something you rarely use you’re ultimately going to save money buying it in much smaller quantities.

6) GET THE CHICKEN ROTISSERIE

A whole roast chicken for $4.99 is an incredible steal. The trick, of course, is walking out with just the chicken rotisserie (a feat I’ve never witnessed). That’s why it’s in the back of the store. Gotta walk past all the fun stuff to get to it.

A chicken rotisserie is not only cheap, but it can provide enough chicken for a few meals.

In my house, the day I buy it we’ll have it for dinner with veggies. I’ll then debone it and use the rest in enchiladas, chicken soup, salads, stuffed quesadillas, pasta etc. If I’m feeling particularly on top of it, I’ll make broth from the carcass and make a killer chicken soup. 

Several delicious meals for $5. Can’t beat that.

7) BUY IN BULK, DIVIDE, & FREEZE

For items you use often, this strategy cuts down on frequent trips. And it’s especially great for shredded cheese, fresh meats, and breads. I’ll buy the bags of mozzarella cheese and divided it into quart freezer bags. I also regularly get flank steak and other meats and do the same.

8) USE THE RETURN POLICY

Costco has an incredibly generous return policy. If something isn’t working for you, do not hesitate to take it back. The brie cheese looks funny? Take it back. (Yes, I’ve done that)

You can also return and get cash back on previous purchases if the item has since gone on sale.

9) FUEL UP YOUR CAR

Most Costcos have an attached gas station in which you can save around $.20 a gallon. Considering the average American consumes 500 gallons a year, that’s a savings of $100 a year. That’s some serious money, if you ask me.

Even though I may have to wait a few minutes to get a pump, with fueling 2 cars we save a ton. 

USE THESE COSTCO HACKS & SAVE

Costco is honestly one of my favorite places. Between all the samples and bulk bargains (and the refrigerated rooms when I’m pregnant), it’s heaven for this mom of 4. I mean, where else could I feed my family for under $10 than the Costco food court?

But without following these 9 hacks to save money at Costco, Costco can be a place where your money rapidly vanishes. Make sure that Costco is working for you. 

For more tips on saving on groceries, check out How I Cut My Grocery Bill in Half While Still Eating Healthy.

 

Quick and Easy Kid Food: Yummy Black Bean Dip

Quick and Easy Kid Food: Yummy Black Bean Dip

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Quick & Easy Kid Food: Yummy Black Bean Dip

With 4 little mouths to feed and very little time, quick and easy kid food is my jam. Especially when its healthy and my kids will actually eat it.

This black bean dip fits the bill on all counts.

Nothing is quicker to make and it involved zero cooking. It takes less than 5 minutes and is packed with protein and fiber. Plus, my kids absolutely gobble it up!

I created it during an afternoon of desperation. You know, when you’ve gone a bit too long between trips to the grocery store and your kids are starving.

While my kids were requesting bean burritos (their favorite food) one afternoon, we didn’t have either refried beans or tortillas. In fact, we were out of most everything. But the thought of dragging all 4 of my kids to the grocery store put my brain into survival mode.

The choice was get creative or make the haul to the store.

I chose to get creative.

So I found a can of black beans and decided I’d make some bean dip. (Close to bean burritos, right?)

I threw the beans into my trusty mini food processor with some plain greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, salt, and this spice (optional, but way good). I blended it up and within minutes served it with some multigrain chips and fresh fruit, not sure what my picky little eaters would think. I was just hoping we wouldn’t have any major food freakouts. 

To my surprise, they absolutely loved it and it was immediately added to our meal rotation. It’s an easy staple that I return to again and again. Just a few minutes to whip up and then throw some tortilla chips, fruit, and veggies with it and it’s a quick and balanced meal 

Here it is!

Quick, easy and healthy kid food #healthy #easykidfood #momhacks

Kid-Friendly Black Bean Dip

This dip is quick, easy, & packed with protein and fiber! Makes a great meal served with multigrain chips and fresh fruit. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp no-salt seasoning optional

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse black beans.

  2. Add all ingredients to mini food processor and blend thoroughly.

  3. Serve with chips and fresh fruit.

You can’t beat how easy this is.

And it’s a great way to get some healthy protein into picky eaters (to help picky eaters develop healthy eating habits, check out my post here). My pickiest eater requests this almost every day. Quick and easy kid food for the win!

If you try it, let me know what you (and your kids) think!

 

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3 Brilliant Laundry Folding Hacks (Never Get Behind Again!)

3 Brilliant Laundry Folding Hacks (Never Get Behind Again!)

NEVER GET BEHIND AGAIN: 3 SIMPLE LAUNDRY FOLDING HACKS

Never fall behind on folding again with these simple folding laundry folding hacks! #laundryhacks #momhacks #laundryroutine

Do you hate folding laundry? Or is it just so hard to get to with all the other million things on your to-do list? Oh man, I feel ya sooooo much.

Having 4 kids in less than 5 years meant that laundry very quickly became the bane of my existence. Oh my gosh, it was insane. It felt like I blinked and suddenly went from doing a couple of loads a laundry a week to the seventh circle of laundry hell. 

I was drowning in the laundry of a tiny crew of dirt magnets.

Dirt magnets who routinely used their clothes as napkins. 

It was as baffling as it was depressing. I mean, how do tiny little bodies produce sooooo much laundry? Absolutely mindboggling.

And while washing laundry never seemed to be too big of a problem (because it takes like 2 seconds to start the washing machine), folding it was an another matter entirely.

While it weighed on me, it just never seemed like a pressing matter. After all, the clothes are clean.

“Do I know where that shirt is? No. But it’s clean…somewhere in these 4 overflowing baskets of clean clothes.”

Folding clothes that I’d just have to wash and fold again a week later just never got me super motivated. It felt like a waste of time.

But if I can be honest, living out of clean laundry baskets is an even greater waste of time. Not only did it take 15 minutes to find that one article of clothing my kid was searching for, but she left a mess of clothes in her wake.

That’s when I realized that the biggest waste of time was not staying on top of my folding. So I set out to figure out how I (someone who hates folding clothes with the fire of a thousand suns) could create a routine that makes it easy to keep up.

Hate folding laundry? Never fall behind again with these simple folding laundry folding hacks! #laundryhacks #momhacks #laundryroutine

And I did. I first figured our my 15 minute a day laundry hack and then discovered 3 fabulous folding laundry hacks to motivate me to do the dreaded task of folding clothes.

Here they are:

1) Use pairing

Pairing is one of the best ways to get yourself to do basically anything that you regularly put off, be it folding clothes or exercising.

Here’s what you do: you pair up an enjoyable task with the loathed task. You ONLY can do the fun thing if you are doing the unpleasant thing. This uses your desire to do the pleasurable task to get yourself to do the not-so-pleasurable task.

Things you can pair with folding clothes:

  • Listening to podcasts
  • Watching a specific TV show
  • Watching a movie
  • Listening to audiobooks
  • Listening to music
  • Movie date night with your husband (where you both fold together)

Honestly, the possibilities are endless!

The key is that you’ve got to be folding clothes in order to allow yourself to engage in the fun activity.

Like you can only watch your Netflix show when you fold laundry. It also has the added benefit of getting the joy of watching your show and not feeling guilty. All while getting your folding done.

2) Set an alarm and just do it just a few minutes a day. 

I had friend in college who absolutely hated goodbyes. So he would either just suddenly leave without saying a word or would give a quick, unexpected hug and take off without warning.

In his words, he was “ripping it off like a band-aid.” In other words, doing something painful really fast makes it less awful.

This is the rip-the-bandaid-off-fast method of folding clothes.

Set an alarm for 10 minutes and just fold whatever you can in that time. This makes folding quick and relatively painless. You can do anything for 10 minutes. And you may be surprised what you get done. This method works extremely well with my 15-minute a day philosophy to laundry.

3) Enlist your kids.

I’m constantly amazed as a parent how often my children learn things well before I think they’ll be able to. After introducing folding laundry to my older kids at 4 and 5 years old, they enthusiastically began to help me.

And not only are they more meticulous than I (which is not hard, I’ll admit), they actually love it. So I gotta tap into that while I can!

I started by giving them easy rectangular items, like wash clothes, dish towels, and baby blankets. They then happily moved on to their own clothes.

This is an especially great hack because not only does it take the pressure off of you, it teaches your children a new skill and gives them an important responsibility. So you’re just winning all over the place.

The key is to make it a routine and habit your kids are used to. Make them expect to help with folding each week or however it works for you.

Use the folding laundry hacks to get our laundry hell.

No matter how much you loathe folding, using these folding laundry hacks will make keeping up with your laundry painless...and maybe even enjoyable. Pick one or do as I do and use a combination of all of them. I fold for about 10 minutes a day, while listening to podcasts and enlist my children in folding towels, blankets, and most of their own clothes.

You’ve got this, mama!

 

The Laundry Hack that Will Change Your Life

The Laundry Hack that Will Change Your Life

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Laundry Hack that Will Change Your Life

We’ve all done it. We’ve all gone through periods of time where life is crazy and laundry is too overwhelming. So we end digging through piles of clean laundry every time we need something.

Or wearing a swim suit because there is no clean underwear.

No one could be more guilty than me. With 4 kids, laundry has straight up been the bane of my very existence. No matter what I did, I could never escape the piles that seemed to grow like mold throughout my house. 

(Seriously, how do little bodies make sooooooo much laundry?!?!)

And while I could usually stay up on cleaning laundry, folding it was and entirely different battle altogether. So my house would be full of disorganized baskets of clean laundry.

How many hours of my life I’ve spent digging through those baskets looking for specific items and praying for a laundry fairy, I’ll never know. Laundry has been crazy overwhelming until I discovered this simple laundry hack that has turned it all around.

The simple laundry hack that will change your life.

It’s crazy simple: Spend 15 minutes a day on laundry.

I know, you’re skeptical. How could you not be? I mean, it seems like it would have to defy the laws of nature for 15 minutes a day to actually tackle your laundry.

But here’s the thing: it does. It absolutely works. My formerly skeptical friends now rock their laundry i just a few minutes a day. 

A truth I’ve come to understand more and more is this: small and consistent efforts FAR outweigh the impact of massive and sporadic efforts. And this could be no more true than in the magic of 15 minutes a day on laundry. Here’s all you do during your 15 minutes:

  • Gather up your laundry
  • Throw a load in the washer
  • Fold the load in the dryer from yesterday
  • Then at some point in the day you take 10 seconds to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer

So easy, right? It is. And it has been that magic sauce I needed to completely destroy those laundry piles. I’ll throw a podcast on my bluetooth speaker (which follows me around the house as I clean) and in no time I’m done.

Even if I skip a day, I can usually get away just picking up the next day. Worst case scenario, I run two loads the following day.

And best of all, it saves sooooo much time in the end. You’ll actually spend way less time dealing with laundry with this strategy. Here’s why.

How it saves time:

  • No more searching through piles of clean clothes
  • No more clean clothes mixing with dirty clothes as one searches wildly through baskets of clean clothes (which results in having to rewash everything because you don’t know what’s clean. Or did that just happen to me a million times?)
  • No full days of having to wash load after load after load because there is nothing clean in your house
  • No waiting around for needed clothes to come out

Do you see!?! NOT tackling laundry is actually super time consuming. Which is why this little 15 minutes a day works. You stop wasting your valuable time.

A little bit everyday = no buildup and no stress

This laundry hack has absolutely changed my life. And it can change yours too.

By biting off a little every single day, you will never let piles add up. You will always have plenty of clean items, and clean clothes will get put away quickly. As much as I hate folding clothes, if I just have to do a little bit I just rip it off like a bandaid and get it done!

With this insanely simple and doable laundry hack, you’ll totally be able to stay up with your laundry.

Don’t let piles of laundry destroy your will to live. By building 15 minutes of laundry into your daily routine you can not only stay up on laundry, but save so much time doing so. Skeptical? Just try it for a few day and see what happens.

Let me know how it goes!

 

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5 Easy Meal Prep Ideas

5 Easy Meal Prep Ideas

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

5 EASY MEAL PREP IDEAS 

There are few things that are as satisfying as a freezer stocked full of meals. But you, my friend, are seriously busy. And while you are sure of the life-changing magic of meal prep, you can’t exactly block out 10 hours to make a truckload of meals.

Luckily, getting started with meal prep can be SUPER quick and easy. Franky, you don’t have time to NOT be doing these things. With a little effort here and there, you can build up a freezer full of meals with these insanely easy meal prep ideas

Try as I might, I can rarely bust out a major meal prepping session these days with 4 little kids and a jam-packed schedule. Which is why I rely on these crazy easy methods to fill up my freezer with easy-to-prepare meals.

5 insanely easy meal prep ideas #mealprep #momhacks

1) MARINATED CHICKEN BREASTS 

When suddenly dinner time hits and you’re scouring the internet for recipes, do you ever run into recipes that sounds amazing but involve chicken marinating all day? Ooof. That’s the worst.

Then the pictures taunt you saying “Hey mama, if you could just be a little more on top of it, you could be having a tasty dinner.”

That’s is why this strategy is one of my favorites. In mere minutes, you can create delicious marinated chicken for several meals that can be easily thawed and prepared. You get all the flavor of chicken marinating all day, but with very little effort and planning. It makes throwing together a dinner quick and easy.

Here’s what I do:

When there’s a good sale on chicken breasts or tenders, I LOAD up. Like awkward-looks-from-everyone load up. I then take them home, divide them into quart freezer bags (which I label before filling).

Then in each bag, I throw in some marinade. It can be as easy as bottled BBQ sauce or another store bought marinade.

Or, if you have a few extra minutes, you can make your own in just a couple of minutes. This is one of my go-to marinades:

Tasty Asian Marinade (for about 1-2 lbs chicken)

  • ⅓ c. soy sauce
  • ⅓ c. oil
  • ⅓ c. honey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pepper to taste

I literally throw all the ingredients in to this amazing little processor (which I use almost daily), blend, and then pour them into the bags of chicken.

But you can use ANY marinade that your family loves. Here are some other marinade recipes with ingredients I simply throw into my mini food processor (no need to chop, slice, mince or whatever!).

Once you’ve got your chicken and marinade into bags, seal trying to get all the air out. Then lay flat in the freezer. Just pull out what you want and thaw before cooking it up.

So stinkin’ easy.

Crazy easy meal prep ideas for beginners

2) SPAGHETTI SAUCE 

Spaghetti sauce is super easy to make, freezes like a champ, and defrosts quickly. Which means that you can throw a dinner together in mere minutes. (Here’s a easy and yummy recipe)

On a night I plan to make spaghetti, I’ll triple or quadruple my favorite spaghetti sauce in my electric skillet, let it simmer, and then divide them into quart freezer bags. Once completely cool, I seal the bags and lay them flat in the freezer.

When I need a meal in a hurry, this is perfect. I can defrost a bag of sauce under running water in minutes and then heat it up in a saucepan while I cook up some pasta. And BOOM: a homemade meal in just minutes.

3) SHREDDED BEEF

If your family likes Mexican food (mine does), getting a big roast and making a crockpot full of shredded beef is the way to go. Divide into quart freezer bags and freeze. When you’re ready to use it, you can then throw it in burritos, on rice bowls, in quesadillas, or on top of nachos.

We love this Barbacoa Beef recipe from The Recipe Critic.

4) MUFFINS

Don’t underestimate the power of a muffin to change your mornings.

Sounds extreme? Well, having them for breakfast for my kids has literally saved my sanity in daily chaos of my mornings. Feeding 4 kids 6 and under is no joke. And they need to be fed. All. The. Time.

Thus enters The Miraculous Muffin.

Muffins are quick and easy to make and freeze perfectly in gallon freezer bags. Plus you can stuff them full of whole grains and your kids won’t be the wiser.

You can then just pop them out of the freezer, one-by-one and stick ‘em in the microwave for 30 seconds. And BOOM, you’ve got an instant breakfast or snack.

These Healthy Pumpkin Muffins from Cookie & Kate are our current family favorite.  Need some more healthy muffin ideas? Check out these easy recipes that simplify our mornings.

Meal prep muffins

5) WAFFLES

If you’ve ever been seduced by the convenience of an Eggo waffle, then you’ll want to try this out. It’s infinitely cheaper and a waaaay healthier option.

On a morning you’re making waffles anyways (usually weekends at our house), double or triple (or more) the recipe.

Cook up all the waffles and stack the remainder in gallon freezer bags. To avoid sticking to each other, you can place a small piece of parchment paper between each waffle.

When you’re ready to eat, just pull them out and either microwave for 30 seconds or stick in the toaster. (I also do the exact same thing with pancakes.)

Also works as an AMAZING breakfast-for-dinner! 

EASY MEAL PREP IDEAS = STOCKED FREEZER

Filling your freezer full of meals doesn’t have to be some overwhelming endeavor. But it WILL make your life so much easier and reduce your stress level. With these simple strategies, no matter how busy you are, you can create a regular routine of meal prep. With a few minutes here and there, you can create a freezer meal stash that will save you time, money, and fill you with deep satisfaction.

You’ve got this!