large family meal prep in as little as 1 hour a day

How to meal plan and prep in 1 hour a day

Preparing food for my army

When I worked outside the home I would try and take a whole day, sometime during the month, and prep as much as I could to make cooking for the rest of the month easier.  It worked for a long time, but it was hard to carve out the time with my overnight work schedule and my husband’s college schedule after our 5th and 6th children were born.

When I got the opportunity to become a stay at home mom again, I was excited to finally get back into the groove with my meal prep, but I discovered I could only make room in our fridge and deep freezer for about 2 weeks with how our family was growing.

I still really love once a month meal planning, but I do not have the space I need to accomplish as much as I need to.

Introducing 1-hour meal prep!

I still plan our meals a month in advance, using my Pinterest account and other resources.  I just don’t buy everything all at the same time.  You can Pin these instructions Here.

Canned goods are not the problem, it’s fresh and frozen for this family of 8.  We have one fridge with the tiny freezer, and a 1/4 size chest freezer.

With gluten allergies, we have to make most of our foods from scratch unless we can be sure of the manufacturing and processing, so I season all the food ourselves, and I cannot buy sauces premixed.

My goal, Monday through Friday, is to set aside 1 hour after I homeschool the oldest children, to prep and cook.

What does this look like?

**Putting dried beans to soak, in preparation for cooking the following day.

**Batch cooking defrosted ground meat for multiple meals.

Batch cooking ground meat to freeze for use throughout the month
10lbs of ground meat cooking for the freezer

**Oven roasting chicken breasts and cubing them.

**Chopping veggies and putting them in containers for fresh eating or recipes.

A tower of gluten free pancakes for the freezer.  A quick meal on a busy morning.
16x batch of gluten-free pancakes

**Mixing bits of ingredients for that day’s lunch and dinner.

**Baking gluten-free eats for breakfasts, snacks, and dessert night.

Gluten free, dairy free baked oatmeal prepped for the freezer
Double batch of gluten free baked oatmeal for the freezer.

**Cleaning out the fridge on Leftover Day so that it is ready for all the prepped ingredients and leftovers until the next one.

Where do I start?

Carve out the time!

I watched a movie with my husband last night and the line that stuck with me was, “The only thing that has value for everyone is TIME.”

I am a busy mom of 6 with a disabled husband.  I had to learn to delegate some things to my husband that he was capable of in our homeschool so that I could have this meal planning time.  So, far, everyone is succeeding for the hour and Momma has her prep time handled!

Then, make a list of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners for a week.  Then, prep what you can.  set the timer, and keep yourself busy.  When the timer goes off, clean up and stop working.

Mark off what you accomplished, and know that you accomplished something, and something is always better than nothing!

I put my leftovers in mason jar with plastic lids
Leftovers in mason jars

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