Meal times at a home daycare can be hectic! Here are some meal prep tips for home daycares to help you get ahead and make mealtime run smoothly. With a little bit of preparation, you can have healthy, hot meals on the table with minimal stress. Let’s get started!
Planning Ahead Is Key.
Shopping for groceries can be a time-consuming and often stressful activity. Many of us have been in the situation of standing in line, realizing that half of what we’ve chosen is not what we came into the store for. To help make sure you stay within your budget, it is essential to plan ahead and make a grocery list. Writing down what you need beforehand allows you to shop with purpose rather than impulse buying items that may not be necessary.
Make A Grocery List And Stick To It.
By starting with a list, you can prioritize the essential items and discard those that aren’t. Additionally, having a written list can help you save spending money on things you may not need or didn’t intend on buying in the first place. Planning ahead also saves valuable time by ensuring that all you need is inside your cart when you reach the checkout line—no having to go back for missing items.
Making a grocery list also allows you to explore different stores and prices, as certain foods might cost more at some stores than others. Ultimately, creating and sticking to a shopping list can be an effective way to ensure that your shopping experience is more efficient and cost-effective, allowing more time to focus on other tasks. Planning ahead for groceries with intention can go a long way towards saving money and successfully navigating the cart-filling process.
Cook In Bulk
Daycare providers, parents, and home cooks can all benefit from cooking in bulk. Not only does it take some of the burdens off of meal planning and preparation, but it can also save money on grocery bills over time. When shopping for ingredients, it is typically much more cost-effective to buy large quantities when possible. Then, you can cook meals that will last multiple days or even weeks in advance if well-prepped and stored.
Shop In Bulk
It is also helpful to look for deals on ingredients like meat and vegetables in bulk packages. This way, you get a ton of food at a discounted price. Finally, stocking up on frozen fruits and veggies is another great way to save time and money while providing healthy options for the daycare.
Whatever your strategy, never underestimate the power of cooking and shopping in bulk! It offers an efficient and economical solution to busy lifestyles while ensuring that everyone stays fed with nutritious meals.
Utilize Your Freezer
It’s easy to make large batches of cooked meals that can be portioned off and frozen for future use. All it takes is a little extra time up front that will pay off in money and time savings later.
- Cook a favorite dish according to recipe instructions, but double the portion size or even triple it if needed.
- Allow the food to cool slightly before portioning it into smaller portions for freezing.
- Label and date each package for easy identification when you want to reheat it later.
Reheating Is Simple
- Place the meal on a plate.
- Cover it loosely with a lid or paper towel.
- Warm it in the microwave until heated thoroughly.
Freezing cooked meals ahead of time helps save busy daycare providers from having to plan, grocery shop, and prepare meals every week. So next time you’re in the kitchen, remember that your freezer is your friend.
Following these meal prep tips for home daycares can save time and money on your grocery bill each month. Do you have any other suggestions for budget-friendly meal planning? Please share them in the comments below!