Prep for meals ahead of time. Once you’ve done your grocery shopping for the week, it’s easiest to go ahead and carve out time before your week gets started to prep any fruit and vegetables that you may need for meals or snacks. With activities that can take up most of the weekend, this is easier said than done, but it is a time and money saver for once you get into your busy week. If I’m doing it by myself, I usually try to set aside one to two hours where I can just focus on food prep. This means washing fruit and cutting up vegetables that may be eaten by themselves or are needed as part of recipes. Even if I don’t have time to go ahead and prepare the full recipe, having the prep work done is often more than half the battle. We all know that when a recipe gives the prep time, it usually doesn’t take into account the time it takes to shred, cut up or mince whatever ingredients are needed.
Another way to get this done even faster and to start teaching your kids the skills they’ll need in the kitchen is to get the entire family involved. When I do this, I usually say that we’re going to set aside one hour, and we’re all going to pitch in and help. With everyone working, this is usually more than enough time needed for straightforward prep. Younger children can be in charge of washing fruits and vegetables, while older ones can learn to peel and cut them.