It happens to all of us sooner or later. And for most of us, we all had that moment last year. That overwhelming feeling can come on at any time, and honestly, we all could do with a little less stress, wouldn't you agree?
That being said, it's tough to find the motivation to cook when you feel overwhelmed. On those busy nights when you're running late, and your schedule is way too far off track, the last thing you want to do is head to the kitchen to cook a meal.
You'll be more prone to heading to that drive-thru or ordering some takeout. But there's a foolproof way to a delicious, top-quality, chef-like meal any night of the week without sacrificing your time.
Start Your Frozen Dinner Stockpile
By frozen dinner, I don't mean those Jimmy Dean pre-packaged meals in the frozen section. Instead, I'm talking about some epic homemade meals you can make in your downtime and freeze for a later date.
Investing a little bit of time into these freezer meals will save you so much time, energy, and money on those busy nights. So the next time you're evening is jam-packed with helping your kid finish their science project, you can rest assured your dinner is already taken care of.
Some tips for making that happen:
- Get in the habit of freezing leftovers and freezing them well. Not everything will be a candidate for freezing for later, but it can surely help.
- Use the right kind of storage, whether it's freezer bags or airtight containers. This can help alleviate freezer burn and helping to keep your foods as fresh as possible.
- Batch-cook some hearty and soothing options like chili, veggie and lentil soup, and healthy casseroles.
- Avoid freezing crispy foods. These don't reheat well.
- Pasta never freezes well except in something like a lasagna.
- The golden rule of freezing meals for later is that they should be cooked in liquids. This will help them maintain the same texture and flavor when you heat them again.
Now that you know what to do to lessen that stress, work on your freezer stockpile. Don't forget to label your containers or bags with what's inside and the date and move older items to the front of the freezer so you'll choose them before they're past their prime.
Whenever you have a few minutes to spare, search "Freezer Meals" on Pinterest and save several that look tasty to you. Many of these also come with very detailed plans and grocery lists so that you can know precisely what is needed and what to do, step-by-step. If you commit to adding one new freezer meal to your stockpile every week for a month or two, you should have a nice stash ready and waiting for you when you need it.