5 Foods to Prep In Advance and Freeze To Make Dinner Time Easier

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My Top 5 Foods To Prep For Easy Dinners Later

Why should you prep any food in advance when cooking is challenging enough?

Because doing the prepwork on a separate day removes a large portion of the stress and work on dinner night and can save time and money.

What if I can’t do this prep work by myself?

Enlist a teen, friend, husband, etc… and have a prep party.

You provide the house, dishes and supplies for your portion and they bring their own groceries and smiling faces then come over and help with prep and clean up.

It is a win-win situation AND you get to have fun doing it.

Do you  prep everything in one day?

Not usually.  I prep everything based on which items are on sale that week (if any).

How do I freeze my items?

We use DOUBLE bagged Ziploc freezer bags for most items because they lay flat and are easy to label.

Be sure to label EVERY bag with ingredients, and suggested use.

 

My Top 5 Prepped Foods

1.)  Onions

Our family does not consume a huge amount of onions so I found that we would purchase a bag of onions for .99 every few months and if I didn’t give them away they would spoil.  It was then I decided to begin prepping and freezing them because we like to toss them into cooked dishes in small amounts.

Peel then slice, shred, dice or chop.  Since our family consumes these in such small amounts I began flash freezing them in delegated ice cube trays then adding the cubes to a bag and freezing (depending on the ice cube tray each serving should be approx. 1 tsp to 1 tbsp.).  When we are ready we can add them to soup, tacos, spaghetti, freezer meals, or omelets we can grab the perfect serving with no prep work or cleanup.

2.)  Multi-Colored and Red Peppers

We buy these in bulk when on sale and slice, chop or dice then freeze for fajitas, omelets, stir-fry, pasta sauce, etc…  I find that if I have already prepped the meat (see below) and these veggies dinner becomes soooo much easier.

3.)  Hamburger

I truly despise touching raw meat so I use disposable gloves.  Prepping it in bulk saves both on the cost of gloves, washing dishes and I only have to handle it for a few hours.

It can be browned in bulk (with no seasonings) and separated to add to pasta, lasagna, stroganoff, hamburger helper or for a quick serving of iron.

It can be browned with spices and separated to add to tacos.

It be made into patties and frozen (with wax paper separating).

It can be mixed and shaped into meatloaf then frozen for a quick easy meal.  Pop it in the oven with some baked potatoes and dinner is ready.

4.)  Chicken

This past weekend is a perfect example.  We usually purchase the 3 lb bagged breasts and my family will eat the ENITRE bag at $5-6.99 a bag it gets expensive.  This weekend they were on sale for $3.99/bag.

We bought 6 since they are frozen I will toss 2 bags worth into the crockpot until cooked then shred and divide for tacos, fajitas, soup, chicken salad, etc…  It’s is cheaper than canned chicken and I am sure it is healthier.

If purchasing fresh chicken breast you can slice, chop, and/or marinade then freezer.  Add to the above veggies and a few extras, toss some rice in the slow cooker and dinner is ready.  No prep involved.

Whole Chicken can be precooked and divided up for dishes also.  I just prefer chicken breast and no bones.

5.)  Soup base

My family members are not big veggie eaters so we do not serve an abundance of veggie soups but the frugal part of me doesn’t like to waste (and if I toss some noodles in they will eat it better).  We keep an ice cream bucket in the freezer and add the chicken broth, small amounts of veggies (so many recipes call for 2 green onions but you have to buy the entire batch, etc… so rather than waste them we (usually) toss any unconsumed veggies into the bucket before they can spoil.  When it is full we add a few more veggies, some fresh meat and noodles and have an easy, quick, healthy in the crockpot soup.

For other kitchen time, energy and spoon saving ideas check out the following:

How To Make Grocery Shopping Easier When You Have Physical Limitations

How I Menu Plan To Save Time, Energy and Spoons

12 Kitchen Cleaning Time and Spoonsavers

January Zebra Kitchen Giveaway

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Other Links to this Post

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