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It’s the end of the day and you’ve just arrived home. You and your husband's 9-5 job may be done, but the family work never ends. Kids are picked up, homework has been helped, but then come the grumbling tummies. For a busy family, this is the crossroad between a home cooked meal or a venture to the nearest fast food restaurant.

It can be tempting to pick up dinner from the drive-thru or grab something to reheat once everyone gets home, but then there is the pull of wanting your family to have that home cooked meal. The answer is to find ways to cut down on meal prep time.

Here are some time-saving cooking tips that help you create heart-warming meals and still leave plenty of family time.

Planning Ahead


Planning and creating pre-prepared meals will cutdown on kitchen time. So many recipes can be made ahead then popped in the oven and ready to serve. These make-ahead meals can have all the flavor and feel of a fresher cooked meal, like this pizza meatloaf recipe. Not only is it quick and easy to make but you can put it all together up to three days before dinner. All of the pizza flavors will be a big hit with your kids.


Mess-Free Cheese 

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Save on the mess when grating cheese by freezing the block of cheese for 20 minutes before grating. Another great tip: spray your cheese grater with nonstick spray and the cheese will slide right off. Try this trick when making this Spaghetti Pie recipe. You won't have a mess before enjoying this delicious cheesy pie!

Easy Slicing Meat


When it comes to meat-night in the weekly dinner rotation, try this trick. Nothing is more of a time waster than cutting rough meat. Not only is it tiring and sometimes frustrating, it distracts from cooking the rest of the meal. Save time and energy by freezing meat for a few minutes before slicing. It helps the knife glide easily through and allows everyone to get to the table faster.

Soupy Gravy

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Is your gravy a little runny? Don't start over! There is still a way to save it. Pour in a little baking soda to thicken it up. Use a whisk while heating the gravy to get all of those lumps out. For those wanting to save even more time and avoid the risk of watery or over-seasoned sauces, we suggest buying canned sauces to avoid playing the flavor guessing game. 

A New Way To Prep


Not so sharp on your cutting skills? Don’t worry, there is a plethora of ways to easily peel vegetables.

Garlic? Peel a whole head of garlic by placing it between two bowls and shaking.

An ear of corn? Put it in the microwave for eight minutes.

Potatoes? Grab your apple cutter to make those perfect wedges.

Time is of the essence when it comes to cooking a vibrant family meal during the week. Now that you have some great tips, and some great recipes, there’s much more time to spend with the family eating.

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