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Working full time and cooking from scratch

Posted by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:33 PM
  • 29 Replies
1 mom liked this

 Does anyone else work full time and cook almost everything from scratch?  I've been trying to cook more and more at home.  It started with wanting us to be healthier, (which we are now), and snowballed when dh saw how much money we were saving.  But it seems like all I do now is work, cook, and clean up.  Does anyone have any tips?  I do use my crockpot a good bit, and I do try to do some prep work ahead of time.  Any other ideas?

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anniea90
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM

how much does Hubby help?

mewebb82
by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:41 PM
2 moms liked this

Make starters on the weekends. You can ground beef, bake some chicken breasts, cook a big pot of beans, make sauces, etc. in huge quantities and freeze them into family size portions. Also chop, blanch, and freeze veggies. That saves me a LOT of time. I just pull out a bag (or a few) and put it in the fridge in the morning so it's thawed when I get home.

specialwingz
by Corey on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM
3 moms liked this

I'm semi-retired now.  But, I was a full time working mom for years.  I would set up a meal plan for the next week and do my shopping on Saturday morning.  Then, I would prep for each meal.  I would cut the meat up for how I planned to cook it and place it in a gallon ziplock bag.  Then, I cut up the veggies I'm going to use and put in quart sized bags.  Then, I tuck the veggie bag in the appropriate meat bag.  I label the bag with what meal it is.  The hour it takes me to prep the meals all at once, saves me soooo much time on those busy nights.  Prep time is more than half the battle.  It'stime on a school/work evening that can be spent doing other things and still have a great home cooked meal.

If you're worried about the meat spoiling in the fridge waiting to be cooked, I never had an issue as long as I used good fresh meats.  However, if you feel mor comfortable with it, then place the portioned meat in the freezer and the prepped veggies in the fridge.  Just don't forget to take your meat out of the fridge in time for it to be thawed for dinner.  I'm notorious for forgetting!  LOL.  But, seriously!  It takes less time to do all the prep at once than it does to keep pulling out the equipment every single night.  Not to mention washing the same equipment every night, etc.

chicken13
by Silver Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM
3 moms liked this

I don't work full time...but I've found that doubling recipes helps tremendously and gives you a night off cooking.  Making chili...make twice as much and freeze half.  It doesn't even take twice the effort.  Same with lasagna (heck most Italian dishes), pie crusts, pizza doughs, Mexican dishes....

buy a bunch of aluminum pans...wrap tight and freeze.  Just thaw the night befo in the fridge, turn the oven on and you're good to go.

workoutmom2b1g
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Check Pinterest for make ahead meals, easy meals, crock pot ideas. They have great stuff. Also taking a few hours a week like said above to prep really helps. 

specialwingz
by Corey on Feb. 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Oh, yes! Definitely a crock pot too!  I used (and still do) my crock pot a LOT!!  It's so nice to plunk a meal it in, set it and come home to a ready-to-serve meal.  If you don't have one, it is WELL worth the expense.  It's an investiment in your time!

Quoting workoutmom2b1g:

Check Pinterest for make ahead meals, easy meals, crock pot ideas. They have great stuff. Also taking a few hours a week like said above to prep really helps. 


S_morgan09
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 5:02 PM
1 mom liked this

I work 40 hours a week and I cook everything from scratch. Bread, pasta and everything I can make I make at home. My routine is once a month I take two days off and make a grocery list and menu for the entire month, then I go and make/prep/divide everything I can for the month and put it in the freezer. Makes my life a lot easier and hubby can take stuff out before he goes to bed in the morning when he gets home from work.

workoutmom2b1g
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM

That's awesome!! 

Quoting S_morgan09:

I work 40 hours a week and I cook everything from scratch. Bread, pasta and everything I can make I make at home. My routine is once a month I take two days off and make a grocery list and menu for the entire month, then I go and make/prep/divide everything I can for the month and put it in the freezer. Makes my life a lot easier and hubby can take stuff out before he goes to bed in the morning when he gets home from work.


mybratsmom
by Silver Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 5:11 PM
This is what I did/still do. Chicken gets tossed in a pan with chicken birth, onion and garlic powder - I can chop it up or shred it, depending on what I'm planning. Ground beef gets separated - some for browning, and some I make hamburger patties with. Menu planning really helps, too.


Quoting mewebb82:

Make starters on the weekends. You can ground beef, bake some chicken breasts, cook a big pot of beans, make sauces, etc. in huge quantities and freeze them into family size portions. Also chop, blanch, and freeze veggies. That saves me a LOT of time. I just pull out a bag (or a few) and put it in the fridge in the morning so it's thawed when I get home.


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chrissysnow22
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 5:16 PM
1 mom liked this
Yep that's me. I cook at night for the following day so I'm almost always ahead because my dh works overnight. I meal plan so I'm not spending a ton of time trying to figure out meals.
I use my bread machine, crockpot, roaster, good processor, and blender to lighten my load.
When I buy produce I prep it before refrigerating. So I will dice my onions, rough chop my red chard etc.
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