Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maximizing your Sewing Time: Tip #32 - Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

I've been thinking about starting a blog segment on "Tips to Maximize your Sewing Time" for several months now. It seems appropriate since my entire blog is centered around accumulating sewing time to accomplish specific sewing goals. As you all know, this is a difficult task for us all. There's only 24 hours in the day so it takes a bit of discipline and sometimes sacrifice in other areas of our lives to make this possible.

These are some of the tips I've discovered in my quest to try to balance life as first a Wife, Mom, Full Time Employee, Business Owner, and Seamstress.  I plan to post a tip weekly or biweekly and feel free to chime in with your thoughts. Here goes for the first one.......BTW they're not in chronological order--it just feel more fun this way! LOL!

Maximizing your Sewing Time:  Tip #32- Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

I love home cooked meals but I don't necessarily like to come home after working 8 or so hours and cook a healthy meal from scratch every single day. A couple nights a week is one thing but just not every single night. For the night that I can't cook, I rely on meals that I've prepared ahead of time and put in the know, "freezer meals".

Several year ago I began to notice how much time I was investing in making meals and searched for an idea that would allow me to provide my family with some "Home Cookin' " and at the same time free up some extra time----time that could be spent SEWING!!! Fortunately, I ran across the idea of making meals ahead of time and freezing them several years back. I bought a sizable chest freezer and a few great cookbooks with freezer compatible recipes and tips. I eventually settled on the idea of cooking one to 2 weeks in advance (planning a month ahead was just a little too much work for me).

I have to admit that this method really has revolutionized how I prepare meals for my family. Now I don't stress out as much about what we're going to eat. I also discovered that it has saved me a good bit of money as well. Planning my meals and making them ahead of time have helped prevent buying last minute take-out that wasn't factored into our budget! And it has indeed freed up extra sewing time for me which is definitely a plus. Now I can usually come home, spend time with my family, and then hide out in my sewing room for a few hours:)

Here are a few of the books I use and recommend. The recipes in these are amazing and I usually will always make a double batch of anything I cook. I'll make some to eat for the night and some to freeze for next time. You can go to to check get a sneak peak into a few of things and check out the recipes for yourself:

What meal preparation tips do you have to share???


  1. I wish I did this - but not enough to actually do it :-) One of my quick meal tips is eggs (in many forms), with a veg and a carb. You can put together this meal in 10 minutes. One example: hard boiled eggs, tomatoes and feta, toast with butter. Voila!

  2. I love this idea of sewing tips! What a great tip to start with!!! I've often thought about planning meals ahead of time and freezing them, but I didn't know there were books w/ freezer-ready recipes! That really makes sense! One thing that I often do is buy one or two extra loaves of bread, and when I get home I make a bunch of PB&J sandwiches and some lunchmeat sandwiches (w/out mayo) with the extra loaves. That way I always have sandwiches ready for lunches or snacks or whatever. Oh, and I always have a bunch of hardboiled eggs in the fridge, too...

  3. Thank you so much for the book recommendation, just what I am looking for. I am with you when it comes to preparing a healthy yet not-so-time-consuming meals. I have been relying on Everyday Food magazine from Martha Stewart. It is published monthly and I tried almost all recipes for the last 6 months and they are good. Their specialities are recipes with 6 ingredients or less that can be prepared ahead of time or in a short time. I highly recommend it

  4. I read the Taylor-Hough book and tried to make ahead meals but that didn't quite work for me. I came up with a modified approach.

    I pack serving sizes of plain meats, veggies, etc, into small bags. Then I look at my array and start packing up my own "meal packs" in the larger bags: a meat, 2 veggies and any seasoning packets I throw in. I try and make sure that I vary it up as I pack the chest freezer so no one kind of pack gets repeated too often.

    This has worked well for me in times of stress when I can't even come up with a menu or weekly meal plan: then the meal plan is - whatever is on top in the freezer, that's what we are going to work with. This approach has taken a load off of my mind because I tend to be lax in the meal planning department, but if my family has a real meal then they don't feel like I gave them short shrift so I could go and sew.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and for following me on my 10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge:)


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