An Organized Home –
Meal Preparation Included!

I love to cook and bake, but what can be done to aid having an organized home with all the time I spend in the kitchen? As a homeschooling mom, it seems like often simple and fast meal preparation is essential.

I believe that one of the key ingredients to having an organized home is this very thing: planning ahead. We need to prioritize, simplify, and plan!

Time Savers

*Shopping* Thinking ahead with planning your grocery lists is a valuable way to save time. Since I grew up in the country, and a quick trip to the grocery store was not a good option, my mom did very well at stocking foods so we had on hand what we needed.

Watch sale flyers for your local grocery stores and stock up when things are on sale. This is a great way to save money later on. 

little girl making cookies

*Menus* Plan in the morning what your meals will be for that day. Or, if you get really inspired, do it a day or more ahead of time!

Simple meals like soups that are great in the crock-pot are super time savers on extra busy days.

When I’m not stressing out about meals, it is a big step toward being able to have an organized home.

I enjoy making bread and often serve fresh bread for supper on the day I bake it. Served with sandwich fixings, butter, jam, or, a favorite of ours - Amish Peanut Butter Spread (see recipe at bottom of page for this yummy family favorite!), it becomes a nutritious, easy meal.

*Leftovers* Learn to use them well. Dress up leftovers with a topping of cheese or, if you have a lot left and it is something that freezes well (like lasagna), freeze it before serving again. Your family may not even recognize the meal as leftovers!

*Go Big* When you make a casserole for a meal, you might want to consider making a double batch and freezing one for a meal on an extra busy day. It is so nice to go to the freezer and pull out a ready-made meal!

Another time-saving tip from my mom: When you are browning hamburger or sausage, do a lot, and then package in small amounts (1 pound is often a handy amount) and freeze for use in the future. (Remember to carefully handle meat, cooking and freezing in the proper ways.)

*Entertaining* Do you have guests coming? Plan your menu well in advance and choose foods that can be made a day or two ahead of when your company arrives.

Entertaining with simple, delicious food cuts down on stress for you and makes you and your guests feel more at ease.

Cinnamon Roll Bread

Of course you can’t always plan ahead for guests, but try to be okay with serving simple things like good sandwiches, simple rice dishes, or adding a salad or applesauce to what you were already planning for your meal.

A gracious, welcoming hostess is more important than serving a perfect meal. If your guests feel loved, that is what matters the most!

Being A Blessing - From Home

Something that you can do as a busy mom to bless others is to make a meal or dish to give to them. My mom has given me the good example of doing this many times.

She finds it much easier to do something like this because she can do it at home rather than needing to go away to help someone. I have sure found that when I’m at home it is easier to keep an organized home than when I’m gone a lot.

Have Fun!

Enjoy your time in the kitchen, thanking the Lord for the opportunity to cook for your family.

Let your children help sometimes by giving them age-appropriate jobs like measuring ingredients, chopping simple vegetables, or washing potatoes.

Older children will love learning how to make cake, cookies, or a meal by themselves. It takes time to teach them, but think of the great return you'll eventually get - LOTS of great help in the kitchen!

Use these opportunities to teach your children how to be diligent and responsible.

Here is a simple recipe for Amish Peanut Butter. Enjoy!

Amish Peanut Butter Spread
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
18 oz. peanut butter (we prefer creamy, but crunchy would be fine)
7 oz. marshmallow crème

Combine brown sugar, water, and light corn syrup in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil. Remove syrup from heat. Cool completely. In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter and marshmallow crème with electric beater, then add cooled syrup and beat until smooth and creamy. If not used in a few days, store in refrigerator. Makes about 6 cups. Enjoy with bread, crackers, or pretzels!

Happy cooking,
Annette

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