Lack of time is the most common reason people report for not cooking at home. While this can be a legitimate reason, many people spend more time watching TV than they do preparing meals. Preparing meals at home can actually be a time savings over eating out or even waiting for a take-out order. Many meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. To maximize your time savings:
- Batch cook enough for at least 2 meals–grilled chicken breast and vegetable one night and salad with sliced chicken the next.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers for lunches or to keep on hand.
- Plan out your menu and shop once a week. You may want to try an online meal planning service that provides menu plans, recipes and a shopping list.
- Prep ahead as much as possible to make the final prep time shorter.
- Keep it simple—your family has some favorite meals, repeat these once a week. Look for simple recipes with a short ingredient list.
- Keep your kitchen stocked up with the basics.
- Slow cookers produce very tender meats and your meal is ready when you walk in the door.