I know what its like to be on the go all the time. With two small businesses, 3 kids, and a husband who works multiple contracts at a time my life can get turned upside down at a moments notice.
One of the things I really try to keep in check through all of our business is my family's diet. While I do allow my kids to indulge in the occasional McDonalds and Chick-fil-a ( our family favorite) I am a huge proponent of cooking on a daily basis, yes even weekends!
Now most of you maybe saying now that's crazy I have absolutely zero time for cooking. Let me be the first to tell you, you CAN cook everyday! There are just a few guidelines I follow that I think will be helpful for you, but for even the busiest of moms it is possible. Even if you can't make it everyday of the week cooking 2/3 times a week is a much better option on your wallet and your health. Here are some great guidelines for meals for busy moms on the go:
1. 30 minute prep- This for me is a general rule. Most of my meals take no more than 30 minutes to prep and most times that includes cooking time! Now when I said I cook everyday I didn't mean gourmet meals, no I'm talking about quick, healthy meals that don't take much time but taste oh so good! A few examples: tacos, quesadillas, soups (homemade), salads, sliders, pizza, burgers, and the list goes on and on.
2. Buy prepackaged - Let me be clear hear, I am not talking about prepackaged meals, again my meals are healthy and prepared by me. I am simply referring to anything prepackaged that will help with you staying within your 30 min meal prep. Fresh veggies that are already sliced, cut onions,fresh pasta fixings that are prepackaged etc. These little packages can save you considerable amounts of time when you consider all the cutting and slicing that takes place with fresh veggies in meal prep. I also purchase frozen prepackaged veggies that can be steamed in the microwave. Steamfresh is one of my personal favorites, fresh steamed veggies in 5-10 minutes.
3. Create a menu- Not only does this save you time, but most people who create a weekly menu will tell you this saves money. If you go to the grocery store to purchase only the items you need versus the items you want you are more focused. This will also give you an opportunity to involve your kids, let them give you menu items for the week or at least once a week cook one of their favorites. This gives them more reasons to want to eat at home!
4. Invest in a crockpot - I love my crockpot! You can make anything and I do mean anything in a crockpot! These are the only meals that are generally over 30 mins BUT I don't have to do anything, just add ingredients turn it on and walk away. In a matter of hours I can have any meal I want all without a third of the work. Not to mention clean up is a breeze. Your crockpot is your friend!
5. Get free resources - There are tons of cookbooks on the shelves in every library and bookstore in the nation. I have used some but a quick online recipe or video can really help when you are in a pinch. Pinterest, Allrecipes.com, and Foodnetwork.com are all a click away! They are oftentimes categorized, therefore you can simply search for 30 min. meals and there you go. Check out your recipes at the same time you create your menu this way you purchase all of your ingredients at the store. Oh and substitute, substitute, substitute. Make each recipe what you want it to be!
There you have it! Making meals for busy moms on the go is simple. Every mom on any budget can do it. You just have to devise a plan and put it into action. Not only are these options so much better for your family, with all the money you will save you can go and buy a new cute pair of pumps! To reward yourself for all your hard work of course, no better incentive than that.
Make it a great Mommy day and visit me online at @tiffulcher on twitter, www.tiffanyfulcher.org, facebook.com/tiffanyfulcher