Making The Most of My Busy Schedule: Meal Prep

Thursday August 27, 2015

That is the date that the fall semester begins here at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

2:30 PM

That is the time that my first class of the semester begins on the date listed above.

This semester I will be taking 7 credit hours. That is 2 3 credit hour classes and a lab.

This semester I will be taking the Ministry of Education and Special Topics in Homemaking:Clothing Construction.

I am really excited about both of these classes this semester. I have the syllabus for both classes in my possession and I have to say that I was taken a bit off guard. I know that I shouldn’t be surprised by the amount of work that I will be doing (I am in grad school after all) but I get taken off guard EVERY SINGLE TIME. So when I got my book list and I say that I have 5 required readings for my Ministry of Education class I was taken a back. And then to see that I had a required text book for the Clothing construction course again caught me off guard a bit.

My six text books for the semester.
Tack on writing assignments to go with all this reading, not to mention the hands on element of the clothing construction lab and I will be a busy lady when it comes to school this semester.
Add to all of that homeschooling my 2 kiddos, homemaking responsibilities, church responsibilities, and anything else that comes my way and I will really need to be doing something to keep myself organized and on top of things. 
One of the things I have decided to do to keep things running a bit more smoothly during the coming weeks is freezer cooking.

I have done this in the past using a few different recipes and plans so it wasn’t a new concept to me. Mostly I haven’t had the capability to get the groceries all at one time. (It isn’t cheap up front but saves SO much money in the long run)

However, when I was trolling Pinterest I found a pin for a slow cooker meal plan that should only cost roughly $150 when shopping at Costco. Since we made the decision to get the Costco membership last year I have been looking for ways to make the investment worth it. (Although the foot long hot dog and 20 oz. drink meal deal for $1.50 in the little snack bar area is almost worth it.)

Upon clicking on the link I found out this was a website that provides complete meal plans. This site has everything you need to get your freezer cooking going. I purchased the “Costco Meal Plan # 4”

This meal plan came with a complete shopping list, an assembly line list, recipe cards, and labels to put on the ziplock bags.

Once we got home with all the groceries I took some time to organize everything and begin defrosting the meat.

Lots of slicing, chopping, and dicing.

I then moved on to the produce preparation. By following the assembly line instructions I sliced, diced, and chopped onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and apples.

Once that was done I opened several cans of black beans, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes.
It was then time to assemble.

After stuffing ziplock baggies this is what I ended up with:

This is 16 of the 20 meals I put together.

And after 6 or so hours I now have meals dinner all ready for the rest of the weeknights this month and into the middle of next month. Now all I have to do is defrost, dump in the crock pot, and let it cook. 

Today’s dinner: Pork Chops with Apples and Sweet Potatoes.
Family dinner tonight!
The plan is that I use this as a tool to keep my family fed home cooked nutritional meals. I am really bad about wanting to just jump in the car and head to the Chinese Buffet down the road or the nearest Chick-Fil-A for a quick and easy dinner when my days have been long. I am looking forward to this being the norm in our family from now on:

And when I remember to buy and use the Slow Cooker liners clean up is a snap!

Do you like to meal prep ahead? What types of things do you like to get ready? Am I crazy for jumping into another semester of grad school? (HAHA of course I am!)

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