ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

No Time for Home Cooking? Think Again!

Updated on January 26, 2010

So many of us are over scheduled, our meals end up looking like a teen-agers dream come true. You know, greasy hamburgers, taco bell, everything that will help promote an early grave. But it doesn't have to be that way. Even the busiest of us can have home cooked meals, even if we only have a short amount of time to prepare them.

The Importance of Home Cooked Meals

  • They are healthier
  • They are more cost effective
  • They taste better
  • You know what you are truly eating
  • Did I say they are healthier? Much healthier

Pre-Plan Your Weekly Menu

If you aren't used to doing this, it will take some practice, but if you get used to pre-planning the meals for the following week you'll be assured of having all ingredients on hand and you'll also be able to strategize which nights are best for cooking what meals. Also, plan some last minute meals in there too. When there is a race for time, it takes five minutes to grill ham and cheese sandwiches and throw a can of soup on the stove. "Brinner" is also an excellent fall-back meal. You know, that's where you eat breakfast for dinner. Make some toast, scramble some eggs, and serve some fruit. Fast, healthy, easy and so much more cost effective than eating out.

I use an excel spreadsheet and have a folder for recipes that I don't know off the top of my head. When I'm getting ready to do my weekly shopping, I open the excel spreadsheet and it has a list of all the home cooked meals we like. I pick the ones we haven't had for awhile and we eat those. I also ask family members to add to the list too so we aren't eating the same things over and over.

Cook in Bulk and Freeze Dinner Size Portions

When you do have time to cook, cook extra and freeze the leftovers. Then, on your busy nights, take a meal out of the freezer, pop in the oven and you'll be eating a delicious home cooked meal in no time flat! Crock pot recipes, turkey, ham, larger meats are all perfect for this.

Here are a few fast meal ideas to give you some inspiration and get you started:

Put a pork roast in the crockpot first thing in the morning. Add one cup water and one packet onion soup mix. When you get home, heat up mashed potatoes. Real potatoes come all ready peeled and mashed at most grocers, all you have to do is heat them up. Add some pork gravy and you have a delicious meal. Make an extra large roast, freeze part of it so next time you can just heat and serve.

Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan

Four Breaded Chicken Patties
Two Jars of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
Shredded Mozarella Cheese
Rotini Noodles

Add the chicken patties and sauce into a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and cook at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Start the noodles, sprinkle the mozarella cheese over the chicken patties, leave uncovered and continue to cook until noodles are done. Serve noodles with chicken, sauce, and cheese on top. The total amount of time to prepare and cook is less than 45 minutes, and this is delicious!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • HappyHer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tracy Morrow 

      7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I agree with all your comments Springboard. I'll bet your pantry is to die for! I stay stocked up on the essentials and can usually whip something up out of nothing. I also go for the sales and will shop at two to three different places to capitalize on the savings. Unfortunately organic foods are always more expensive, so I really have to be careful as those are the ones I try to use the most often.

    • Springboard profile image


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'm such an advocate of cooking at home. Besides, when you DO decide to indulge yourself and eat out, you enjoy it more because it's more like a treat. As for planning? I think its essential. The only caution there, that I have, is to also plan your meals around sales. One thing I hate more than anything is to pay full price for anything. If it's not on sale, it doesn't go in my cart. So, that means, non-perishables especially get stocked up on, and I try to keep primary ingredients in good supply. Meats are especially important in this category, and I'll buy a couple extra packages of something that's on sale in a minute.

      Planning ahead, of course, also makes the whole cooking experience easier to swallow, pardon the pun. If you have to come up with new ideas every day for something to eat, it gets challenging. But if you spend one day once a week, or once a month really thinking about it, things just sort of fall into place, and the in-between time is much simpler.

      Great advice. Keep on hubbing.

    • HappyHer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tracy Morrow 

      8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      The veggie version sounds great, let me know how it works! The veggie "hamburger" patties might be good too, I think I'll give those a try sometime.

    • GPAGE profile image


      8 years ago from California

      GREAT advice! Like the Quick Chicken Parmesan....may try a vegetarian version and stick veggie patties in there (or veggie patties that taste like chicken! I may even get out my crock pot that I forgot about! Best, G


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)