Have you ever suddenly found yourself with free time? I know it doesn’t happen often if you have kids. But every once in awhile my youngest two will nap at the same time my eldest is at school, or she will ask to play on the computer while they’re napping… And have you ever felt panicked by this? “What should I be doing right now?! Should I finish the laundry, empty the dishwasher, sleep, shower, exercise, AHHHH!!!!” And then I have to admit… sometimes I start 3 of those things and get none of them finished because my brain keeps reminding me of things that need to get done. Been there? (I hope I’m not alone!)
One of the benefits of meal planning is that visualizing all your meals will help you see what has to be prepped pretty far in advance. So when you have those random pops of time, you will know exactly what has to get done.
For example, on school days the kids usually have waffles or cereal for breakfast. Tomorrow I’m giving them crepes for lunch though, so I’d prefer they have protein for breakfast. When I had a few free minutes, I beat the eggs, milk, parmesan, and S&P in a Tupperware and put it in the fridge. Now all I have to do in the morning is spray and heat the pan and pour the eggs in the pan.
Another way I’ll maximize my time is by prepping more than necessary for the meal at hand. For example: I needed some chopped peppers for the pasta I made the other night. But since I had them out, I cut ALL of them into strips and again, into the Tupperware they went. (by the way, the ABC check keeps capitalizing Tupperware. I don’t use ACTUAL brand ‘Tupperware’. Just thought you should know. 😉 ) Brendan loves raw peppers (hooray!) so now they are ready for snacking or for a side with lunch. AND they are easier to chop up next time I need them in a recipe.
See? A little thought goes a long way into saving time!