Organising dinners as a working mother

Being a working mother is full of challenges, especially when it comes to co-ordinating and juggling all the household chores that still need to be accomplished with less time. Here's how I do some pre-preparation in order to stay on top of cooking our family meals.

I have been a stay-at-home mum to my two beautiful children for over 3 years now and have recently decided to return to casual work (2 days a week plus work on this new business!). I did return to part-time work a year after the birth of my first child, but this is the first time I’ve returned since the birth of my second, who is now 14 months.

I have only done a few days back at work, but have already realised the necessity to be more organised when it comes to meal preparation! I usually like to make dinner in the morning, so then it’s out the way and come 'witching hour' (4.30-5.30) I don't have to think about preparing a meal!

But obviously this is not possible when I’m at work for the day, so I needed a new organisational plan. I always plan my meals for a month at a time, so the issue wasn’t in deciding what to cook, but more in the actual food preparation.

This week I decided to follow the lead of Katrina at The Organised Housewife and prepare all my fruit and veg for the week so that meal preparation would be quick and easy! I decided to go with these glasslock containers from Target. They seal at the sides to lock in the freshness, are oven and dishwasher safe, and are made from non-toxic BPA free tempered glass. I also like the clear lid, so you can see at a quick glance what is inside (this is my only gripe with Pyrex containers which have coloured lids!).

Target had a wide range of sizes, so I just grabbed a few rectangular and square ones (circular ones will take up more room). A good idea is to measure your fridge to see how many you will need, or just buy a few to start with to see if you like the process before launching in and buying too many!

After I completed the food shopping, I laid out all the fruit and veg on the bench, alongside the containers (I think I’ll be buying some more!), and started chopping. I referred to my meal plan as I went so I knew how to prepare the veg for the different meals e.g. chopped carrot as well as carrot sticks for snacking, grated zucchini, sliced leek etc. 

I submerged the carrots in water so they didn’t dry out. I left a few carrots whole (as I often add them to recipes to boost the veggies in a meal) and left the salad leaves in the bag.

Because I love to label (!!) I then labelled all the containers using washi tape, and made sure to record the date and how many of each item was in the container e.g. 3 leeks 2/8.

I have used this system for a few weeks now and am loving it so far! That half hour of preparation has helped enormously for quickly putting together meals for the week. I haven’t noticed a difference in the level of freshness, as the container really seals it in. 

Now I'd love to hear from you...

What do you do to be more organised with meals during a busy week?