Photo by Ella Olsson:

With a busy schedule, people are starting to make things simple and save up as much time as possible. This goes especially for preparing their food, and there are many interesting ways to save time, energy, and money while doing that, yet still end up having healthy and nutritious meals. Just like anything related to saving time, you’ll need to get ready first and learn how to prepare meals that are easy to finish or even cook in advance. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a pro in saving time and always having something up your sleeve for those busy days and crazy schedules.

Start with a plan

Every time you want to save something – whether it’s time, money, or energy – making a list will help you get organized. You’ll need to make a few different lists, but in the end, that will guide you through different tasks and shopping lists. Make a plan for your meals for the whole week and write down all the ingredients you’ll need so you can start cooking. If you want to cook half of a meal the night before and just finish it off once you come back home from work the next day, you need to have everything bought and stored in the fridge so you don’t have to spend too much time running to the store in the middle of cooking.

Essentials in the freezer

No matter how much time you have when you come back home from work, there are numerous healthy meals you can prepare. If you dedicate some time and spend it preparing some basic and helpful meal starters, you won’t have to do a lot when you’re in a need of a quick meal. Chopped vegetables are always good to have in a freezer because you can just stew them on some butter, mix them with some pasta, and add some pre-grated cheese you can also store in the fridge – and you’ll have a meal in no time at all! Also, if you stew vegetables – tomatoes, onions, garlic, and something more – and you’ll have a base for a quick stew, or just mix it with rice and sliced raw zucchini.

Check your inventory

You’ll need some things to be prepared for making meals and storing them the right way. Practical mason jars are a good option if you want to make breakfast – just take them out of the fridge, pack them, and go to work. In addition to that, some much-needed kitchen utensils are always handy and items like a practical OTF knife, a microwave, and a big chopping board are just some of the things you simply need to always have on board. In addition to that, practical and quality freezer-ready containers can be a great investment if you like to prep a whole meal in advance and just reheat it when needed.

Establish a routine

Based on your free time, make a schedule that works for you to find time for prepping the meals. If you want to cook a whole meal ahead, you’ll need more time and all the groceries. Find time to shop and buy everything you’ll need and make sure you have enough containers to make portions you can store in the freezer. You can include family members in this process and let them prepare your veggies because this will save you tons of time. This routine will help you learn how much time and how many groceries you’ll need, but also help you provide nutritious meals for you and your family.

Multi-task whenever you can

Once you learn how to prepare meals in advance, you’ll be able to multitask and cook more than one meal at once and not stress about it. When you learn how much time it needs for your oven to reach the right temperature or your kettle to give you some boiling water, you’ll be able to use them simultaneously. This will allow you to take full advantage of your kitchen and all the appliances, just make sure you have different timers for each of them.

There’s no need to think about meal preparation as something that will suck your energy and leave you tired. If you follow these simple rules, you can be done in no time at all and have more fun after coming home from work every single day!