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Prepare Dinner for Later

Updated on November 7, 2019
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I have had to cook for six people through the last few years, and that was on one income. Doing this you learn to make a dollar stretch!

Preparing Your Meals for Later

In addition to being a single mom, I take care of my nieces and nephew. Having a fresh dinner every is an important family event to us, but it is so time consuming. There are great ways for you to prepare your meals prior to the night you would like, or you can even cook items to freeze for later. These things can save you so much time during the week, and it will save you money having home cooked meals rather than take out.

Beef Stew is Perfect for Serving Later

Beef Stew is a great meal for you to actually make and freeze. Preparing a great beef stew does take a little time, but you can make a large pot of beef stew, allow to cool, then put in freezer safe containers. When you are ready to serve the beef stew all you have to do is heat it up. This is a beef stew recipe that I use, and I love it.

Nona's Beef Stew:

You will need

2 Pounds of Stew Meat. You can use the pre-cut or cut your own. Compare prices to see what is better for you.

1 Cup of all purpose flour

2 One Pound Bags of Frozen Veggies (I prefer the corn and pees, but you can choose your favorite)

1 Small package of fresh baby carrots (washed and cut)

1 Small package of fresh mushrooms (Washed and cut)

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 cup of ketchup

4 Large potatoes pealed and washed

1/2 Cup of vegetable oil

Salt, Pepper and garlic powder.

Get a large stew pot on a large burner set at medium heat. Pour the vegetable oil in and allow to get hot.

While the oil is warming, place the flour and some seasoning in a large bowl. Mix them together well.

Place the meat in the bowl with the flour and seasoning, coat the meat very well, then place in the stew pot to cook. You should also include the remainder of the flour.

When the meat is crusted very well, then you will add water slowly. Be sure to stir well while you are adding the water. I fill the large stew pot about half full. I have never actually measured it, but it is approximately five to six cups of water.

Add the potatoes, season to taste, then cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes you can put the remainder of the ingredients into the stew pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and allow to cook for about an hour. Stir regularly.

After the stew is prepared you can either serve it for your meal or allow to cool and freeze. When you are ready you can place the container in boiling water to get the stew to come out. Then place it in a small pot to heat. This method keeps the veggies from becoming mushy.

Prep Veggies for the Week

If you are a veggie eater you can prepare your veggies in advance for the week. Cut and prepare all of your veggies then place in containers to keep them fresh for the week. This actually works very well with almost all veggies as long as you will be preparing them during that week. You can even make your salads for the week, just do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve them. Preparing your veggies once a week can truly save a lot of time on those nights when you get off work late, and just want to hurry up and cook.

Italian Roast Beef

I use this recipe mostly for camping, but it is also a great thing that you can prepare and cook later. It is a great roast beef recipe that you can throw together, put into a container, and cook when you are ready.

You will need:

1 small to medium sized roast beef

4 small potatoes (peeled and washed)

1 bag of baby carrots ready to cook

1 bottle of Italian dressing

1 tablespoon of garlic

Salt and Pepper


Get a glass pan that is large enough to hold all of your ingredients.

Place a large piece of foil over the bottom of the glass pan.

Place your roast beef in the pan after washing it.

Cut slits in the top of the roast beef.

Place the potatoes and carrots around the roast beef

Mix the salt, pepper, garlic, and Italian dressing together in a small bowl.

Pour the mixture on top of the roast beef, potatoes and carrots. Rub it into the slits of the roast beef.

Cover and it is ready to cook when you are. You can leave this in your refrigerator for as many as 4 days and it will taste delicious. If the Italian dressing gives your roast beef too intense of a flavor you can leave it off until the day you are ready to cook.

Soups and Sauces

All soups and sauce can be made and frozen for later. This means anything from chicken soup, stocks, bisque's, creole, and other foods such as these can be made weeks in advance and frozen. There are a lot of great recipes online, and most of these recipes are pretty easy. You can take one day to make 3-4 different dishes, freeze them, then have them on hand when you are ready. You can even put these into individual containers for your kids to have for lunch or a quick snack.

Something that stores your prep work

[48 Sets - 8 oz.] Plastic Containers with Lids - Slime Containers 8 oz - Small Containers with Lids
[48 Sets - 8 oz.] Plastic Containers with Lids - Slime Containers 8 oz - Small Containers with Lids
These containers work great to cut up items and store in the refrigerator or even the freezer. Great for preparing food.

Save Time and Money by Preparing Food for later

I do blog posts about saving money and home finances. These are important when making dinner for your family. I am going to share a couple of the posts and I do hope it helps another parent out there save. My mission in life is to show other people that saving money is not impossible for anyone.

How to Feed a Large Family on a Budget

Feeding a large family can be a task in itself, but it is even harder when you have to feed a large family on a budget. There are a lot of ways for you to cut your grocery bill, and save money. Here are a few things that you can do to feed a large family on a budget.

Continue reading here

Saving money by knowing what you have in your pantry

Well up until I had surgery a few weeks ago I am usually not home until late, so I have not looked through my pantry or refrigerator for a while. Usually my mom, who stays home with the kids, tells me what we need or goes grocery shopping with me. Well since I was wanting to be productive, and can only use one hand, I decided to go through everything and I was surprised.

I went through the pantry, which I through a lot of stuff away. We also had multiples of items that there is no way we will use before it expires. Some of the items that I purchased on my last shopping trip was not really needed. The refrigerator

Continue reading


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