When someone followed me to our warehouse, we were amazed by the canned and ready-made food. “How do you find the time?” Inevitably a surprise. In fact, I’ve found that it saves me a lot of time and money. Here are some tips to make it more efficient and practical. Don’t be afraid of the size of recipes. Most of them are convenient for the freezer. Remember, duplicating or tripling a recipe takes as much work as creating a batch. Wash the same dishes, clean the same kitchen and use the same heat. Prepared food is a great addition to busy, low-budget families. Divide related recipes into steps. For example, you can make the sauce on Monday, fill it on Tuesday and put everything in the freezer the next night. Dividing these steps ensures that tasks are aligned with tight schedules and that recipes can be followed.
Keep all bags of removable foil and buy a few so you always have a few at hand. Also, if possible, store plastic packaging containers for berries, salads, sweets, etc. There are also large bags that can be resealed in one or two boxes or a cleaner, reusable bag of bread. All these bags and containers can be washed and reused dozens of times and can be recycled after the expiration date.
Make at least one great recipe each week during the harvest season in your garden. For example, you can make 8 small lasagna, one plate served that day and the rest the next day, but the other 7 can be cooked in the freezer. Before you know it, you’ve prepared dozens of dishes, from a variety of pasta and lasagna to enchiladas and chili. Many desserts are pre-baked, stored in the freezer and served or taken out when you need something to take with you on the trip. We like different types of frozen cookies, some buns, rolls, flatbread and cupcakes, so each of us in the freezer has a choice of desserts and snacks. Hand snacks and ready-to-eat meals make cooking at home easier and reduce the need to buy fast food.