Meal Planning: Homemade Convenience Foods

Basic Homemade Pizza

All  of a sudden, life seems to have imploded on me. My trip early last month took a week of planning and a week of recovery, and I’ve been racing to catch up ever since. But, time waits for no mom. Life continues: laundry piles up, schoolwork needs to be assigned and corrected, and my days are just chock full.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling overwhelmed. Thankfully, I have a husband who’s great at troubleshooting. We put our heads together and decided that adding some convenience items back into our life is a good thing for this season. Freezer meals, baking ahead of time, homemade baking mixessandwiches at lunchtime, and breakfast from a box have been ways we’ve chosen to lighten my load as a homemaker so I can spend time on other things.

And a few paper plates never hurt anybody either.

What’s cooking ’round here this week:

Chicken w/ Tomatoes and Feta Cheese Sauce (new recipe), steamed asparagus, brown rice
Grilled Tri-Tip, Mashed Potatoes, Veg
Chicken and Wild Rice Bake, Salad
Pasta w/ Red Sauce, Salad, Focaccia
PizzaChiChi’s Salad
BRC Burritos (beans, rice, and cheese)
Lasagna, Salad, Cornbread

How do you make life easier at your house?

For more meal planning ideas, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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Comments

  1. My family loves cereal and we have cereal and toast for breakfast about four times a week – makes life much simpler! When I’m up early, I will make some homemade muffins once or twice a week. On weekends, we usually make whole wheat pancakes. Otherwise, we’re a “Breakfast from a Box” kind of family too!
    Love your site – thanks!

  2. Today I added 2 homemade convenience foods to my list — pizza bagels and breakfast burritos. I’m adding the ingredients to my shopping list for Tuesday so I can make them a bit later this week and add them to my freezer stash. The pizza bagels will be a quick, easy and well-liked lunch for the girls while home on spring break and the burritos will be an easy breakfast for us whether we are on the way out the door or for the girls who will be sleeping late and lounging at home.

  3. Jenelle says:

    I think the one thing we do that helps the most is that we share dinner making responsibility. I meal plan and do as much prep on Sunday as I can but when 6:00 rolls around and it’s time to start dinner sometimes I’m just not up for it. Also sometime the girls want only mommy to help with homework that night. Hubs is an awesome cook and steps in to make dinner. We don’t really plan who will cook which nights, it is just what ever makes sense at the moment.

    We are also planning a freezer cooking day to stock up for those nights neither of us are up for it. I’ll let you know how that end up working out for us.

  4. One of the wonderful benefits of having had a big garden last year is all the ready-made side dishes I’ve got stored in my pantry and freezer. From applesauce to freezer sweet pickles, from canned pears to jars of homemade olallieberry syrup. It has been lovely this winter to simply peruse the shelves (pantry or freezer) and select something yummy. Now it’s on to planting the 2010 garden :)

  5. I am spending my spring break to get my freezer restocked and some convenience items made up. I took your idea and made up 2 brownie mixes and have my OAMC scheduled for this week. Breakfasts have been our hardest lately. I’ve cut back on boxed cereals but we do have some every now and then. I made up Nutrigrain bars and muffins over the weekend as well….still have a pancake mix to make plus some other breakfast goodies. Love your site!

  6. It is definitely a balancing act but I do believe in doing some things to make life a little easier for me. It makes for a happy mommy.

    Fast breakfast foods on school days–cereal, oatmeal and waffles
    Quick lunches–box mac and cheese, PB & J, turkey, grill cheese
    Paper plates, cups and napkins are a must in my house.

    On my husband’s days off we usually have a big breakfast–eggs, pancakes, french toast. All things that are more time consuming. One of us can take care of the little ones while the other cooks.

  7. The chicken w/feta & tomato sounds just like something my family would like. The rest of the menu looks yum too!

  8. I’d love for you to link this up to Make it Yourself Monday at my blog if you get a moment!! http://eatfromyourpantry.blogspot.com/2010/03/make-it-yourself-monday-bread-crumbs.html

  9. Oh, I understand about the feeling of being “overwhelmed” — such is my daily life. I hope that implemententing some of those things: freezer meal, mixes, etc. that you will be able to get back on track and relieve some stress.

    The CHI CHI salad looks great — I think we are going to have that with our pizza night on Friday as well! Mmmm.

    If you have a chance, my blog is having a giveaway! Hope you will stop by!
    Blessings,
    Bella
    http://lildaisies.blogspot.com/

  10. I’m using up from the freezer as much as I can right now in order to get ready for the spring and summer garden bounty…only it will be from someone else’s garden. I haven’t had a garden in two years now. I sure do miss it!

    I would love for you to join me for Crock Pot Wednesday this week at Dining With Debbie. Mister Linky will be up Tuesday evening for you to link up. Thanks for sharing your menu with all of us. Have a great week.

  11. I do all my cutting and prep work while my girls nap after the trip to the grocery store. The girls will sit and finish lunch at the table as I sort my groceries and pair cans/season packets/rice/ingredients (ex, for spaghetti I’ll shelf a can of veggies, sauce, noodles and garlic salt together so that it’s all in one spot, and I’ll prep the veggies I add to the sauce and put them all in the same baggie/container). While they nap, I’ll cut produce and meats and put them in the right locations in the fridge. I really feel like it helps!

    We also eat breakfast out of a box, and are prone to doing yogurt with granola about twice a week.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] because I love convenience items, especially when they’re homemade, I’ll be making several batches of baked goods, [...]

  2. [...] freezer cooking, or once-a-month cooking as it is often called, is that I can make a multitude of homemade convenience items that are less expensive and healthier for us than their storebought counterparts. Don’t get [...]

  3. [...] Fourteen years ago it was not uncommon for me to buy jarred sauces, baking mixes, sandwich bread, or special canned ingredients like olives and chiles. But as I learned to watch prices I saw the prices rise, I started making things from scratch. [...]

  4. [...] blog Good (Cheap) Eats.  Wow, what a wealth of information.  The healthy homemade pizza pictured here is what really drew me in though!  Talk about yummy-looking…my homemade pizzas never look [...]

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