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Meal Planning Tips for Busy Homeschool Moms

As a busy homeschool mom, meal planning is an invaluable strategy to keep your family fed, costs low, and reduce daily stress in the kitchen. But finding time to plan multiple meals every week can feel daunting on top of teaching, parenting, and managing a household. That’s why savvy meal planning tips are essential knowledge for homeschool parents.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll share nearly 40 meal planning tips, tricks and hacks for streamlining the process. With a strategic approach, you’ll save time and money while serving up family-pleasing meals even on your busiest days. Let’s get started!

Meal Planning

Meal Planning Basics

Before diving into pro tips, here are some meal planning basics to have in place:

Schedule Time to Meal Plan

  • Set aside 30-60 minutes each week to brainstorm meal ideas, write your plan, grocery shop and do any prep. Sunday afternoons or Monday mornings tend to work well.

Involve the Family

  • Ask for input from kids on favorite meals. Having them pitch-in makes picky eaters more excited to eat the planned meals.
Meal Planning

Know Dietary Needs and Allergies

  • Factor in any dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences in the family before planning weekly menus. Accommodate all needs.

Create a Planning System

  • Use a printable template, whiteboard, notebook or app to write down meal plans for the week in one organized spot.

When the foundation is set, it’s time to unlock tips and hacks to make weekly meal planning as simple and streamlined as possible for busy homeschool families.

Meal Planning Tips and Tricks

Plan in Advance

  • Take time on the weekend to plan all breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for the upcoming week.

Prep Ahead

  • Get a head start by prepping ingredients like washed and chopped veggies so weeknight cooking is fast.

Mix Up Meal Types

  • Alternate between casseroles, slow cooker, one-pot, and 30-minute meals for variety.
Meal Planning

Here are 5 common meal types to consider incorporating into weekly meal plans:

  • Slow Cooker Meals

Slow cooker recipes like stews, chilis, roast, and shredded meat are easy – just prep and pop into the cooker in the morning. Great for busy days.

  • Sheet Pan/One Pan Meals

Sheet pan dinners with everything roasted on one pan are simple and minimize cleanup. Try salmon, chicken thighs, sausages with veggies.

  • Freezer/Prepared Meals

Keep premade frozen meals like casseroles, lasagnas, and soups on hand for nights when you can’t cook.

  • 30-Minute Meals

For nights when you need dinner FAST, choose quick recipes you can whip up in 30 minutes or less. Examples are stir frys, omelets, salmon etc.

  • Plant-Based Meals

Incorporate some meatless meals built around veggies, beans, lentils etc. for variety. Options are veggie curries, pasta primavera, tofu stir fry.

Mixing up meal types keeps your plan interesting while also giving you options for more hands-off cooking some nights and ultra-quick meals other nights. Let me know if you need any examples of recipes for these meal types!

Incorporate Leftovers

  • Factor leftovers from dinner into next day lunches. For example, leftover taco night fixings make tasty taco salads.

Here are 5 creative ways to reuse leftovers in your weekly meal plans:

Leftover Meat in Salads

Chicken, beef, pork all make tasty new salads when tossed with greens, veggies, beans, grains etc.

Leftover Veggies in Frittatas or Quiches

Bake leftover broccoli, peppers, spinach etc. into a crustless quiche or frittata. Great breakfast option.

Leftover Chicken in Soups or Casseroles

Shred leftover chicken and add to pasta bakes, enchiladas, homemade soups, etc. for a new meal.

Meal Planning

Leftover Grains in Stir Fries

Toss cold rice or quinoa into a veggie + protein stir fry for a fast weeknight meal.

Leftover Baked Goods into Bread Pudding

Stale bread, muffins or rolls can be blended into a creamy bread pudding dessert.

Planning ahead to reuse leftovers saves money, reduces food waste, and leads to creative recipes! Let me know if you need any specific recipe ideas for repurposing various leftovers into new family meals.

Freeze for Later

  • Cook double batches of meals like chili or casseroles to freeze for quick lunches or dinners later.

Here are 5 different meal types that freeze well for easy future meals:

Meal Planning

Casseroles – Assemble casseroles up to a month in advance and freeze unbaked. Thaw and cook when ready to serve.

Soups – Make a double batch of soup like veggie, bean, chili and freeze in portions to quickly reheat.

Lasagnas or Bakes – Assemble layered lasagnas ahead and freeze unbaked. Thaw overnight and bake when needed.

Burgers or Meatballs – Form beef or turkey into patties or balls and freeze in a single layer with parchment between. Pull out portions as needed.

Breakfast Burritos – Fill tortillas with eggs, potatoes, cheese and freeze individually wrapped. Reheat in the microwave for a fast breakfast.

Having homemade frozen meals ready cuts down on takeout meals! Let me know if you need any specific freeze-ahead recipes I can recommend. Happy to help with more freezable meal ideas.

Reuse Ingredients

  • Find ways to reuse ingredients across multiple recipes to save money. For example, leftover chicken in salads, pastas, soup etc.

Here are 5 creative ways to reuse ingredients in multiple meals for efficient meal planning:

Roast Chicken – Use leftover meat in salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, soup. Boil the bones into broth.

Fresh Herbs – Use extra chopped herbs to make herb butters, herbed oils, compound butters, herb salts, herb pestos to use all week.

Citrus Juice – Leftover lemon, lime, orange juice can be frozen in ice cube trays to flavor future recipes. Adds flavor to roast chicken or fish.

Stale Bread – Transform leftover bread into breadcrumbs, croutons, bread pudding, or blend into bread dough for rolls.

Veggie Scraps – Any unused veggie bits and ends can be tossed into a freezer bag and used to make vegetable broth/stock.

Planning around reusing ingredients will help cut food waste and save money in the grocery budget.

Big Batch Cooking

  • Tackle time-consuming recipes when you have more time like roasts, lasagnas, or soups to reheat all week.
Meal Planning

Here are 5 big batch meals you can cook in large quantities for efficient meal planning:

Chili – Make a giant pot of beef or turkey chili to portion out for lunches and quick dinners all week long.

Lasagna – Assemble a huge lasagna in a roasting pan that can feed your family for a couple nights and provide leftovers.

Chicken Soup – Poach a whole chicken and use the meat and broth for chicken noodle soup meals throughout the week.

Burritos – Cook up a beef or bean filling and assemble 2 dozen burritos at once to stock the freezer.

Meatballs – Form a couple pounds of turkey or beef meatballs to freeze raw and bake in meals over time as needed.

Other good big batch options are enchiladas, baked pasta dishes like ziti, casseroles, roasted veggies, and grains like rice or quinoa. Getting key components done ahead of time makes it simple to throw together meals later. 

Recipe ideas for the big batch cooking options:

Chili – Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes

1 lb ground turkey, 1 chopped onion, 3 cans beans, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 chopped sweet potato, chili powder, cumin, garlic. Simmer for 30 mins.

Lasagna – Easy Vegetable Lasagna

Meal Planning

Jar of marinara, lasagna noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, sliced zucchini, spinach. Layer and bake for 40 mins.

Chicken Soup – Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Poach 2 chicken breasts. Shred meat, sauté carrots/celery, add broth, chicken, noodles. Simmer for 20 mins.

Burritos – Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Cook sausage and potatoes. Wrap with eggs, cheese, and salsa in tortillas. Freeze.

Meatballs – Oven Baked Turkey Meatballs

Ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, oregano. Form balls and bake at 400 F 15 minutes.

(A more detailed recipe for the Chicken soup will be at the bottom of the post.)

Premake Freezer Meals

  • Dedicate a day to assembling ready-to-bake casseroles, soups etc. to stock the freezer with homemade TV dinners.

One-Pan Wonders:

Create simple sheet pan meals with a mix of protein and veggies. For example, toss chicken thighs with your favorite seasonings and roast alongside a medley of chopped vegetables. Divide into portions for easy reheating.

Wrap-and-Roll Burritos:

Prepare a batch of hearty burritos with seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken, rice, beans, and cheese. Wrap them individually for a grab-and-go Tex-Mex delight.

Soup in a Snap:

Craft easy-to-freeze soups like tomato basil, chicken noodle, or minestrone. Portion them into single servings, so all you need to do is heat and serve.

Pasta Galore:

Make pasta bakes with different sauces and proteins. Examples include baked ziti, chicken Alfredo pasta bake, or a classic spaghetti casserole. Divide into family-sized portions.

DIY Pizza Kits:

Prepare pizza dough and portion it with an array of toppings. Kids can have fun customizing their own mini pizzas for a hassle-free pizza night. (The recipe for this is at the bottom of this post).

Stir-Fry Packets:

Chop and marinate your favorite stir-fry ingredients—chicken, beef, or tofu, along with veggies. Freeze them in individual portions, and you can have a quick stir-fry ready in minutes.

Crockpot Classics:

Opt for slow-cooker recipes like chili, pulled pork, or beef stew. Freeze them in meal-sized portions, and all you have to do is dump them in the slow cooker in the morning for a delicious dinner.

Breakfast Muffins:

Bake a batch of savory muffins with eggs, cheese, and veggies. They can serve as a quick and nutritious breakfast or lunch option.

Instant Pot Wonders:

Utilize the Instant Pot for quick meals like chicken curry, beef stew, or even risotto. Portion and freeze for a stress-free dinner.

Healthy Freezer Smoothie Packs:

Pre-pack smoothie ingredients in individual bags, including fruits, greens, and any add-ins. Just blend with liquid for a quick and nutritious breakfast or snack.

Plan Multiple Meals From One Main

  • Get more mileage from ingredients like rotisserie chicken. Use it for salads, sandwiches, pastas, soups and more all week.

Classic Chicken Salad:

Shred the rotisserie chicken and mix it with mayonnaise, celery, grapes, and a touch of Dijon mustard. Serve it on a bed of greens or between slices of whole grain bread for a refreshing chicken salad.

Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Pasta:

Use the shredded chicken in a hearty pasta dish. Sauté vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Toss in the chicken and mix it with your favorite pasta and a light olive oil or tomato-based sauce.

Chicken Caesar Wrap:

Create a quick and easy wrap with romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, and rotisserie chicken. Roll it up in a whole wheat tortilla for a satisfying and portable lunch.

Chicken and Rice Casserole:

Mix shredded chicken with cooked rice, vegetables, and a creamy sauce. Bake it in the oven for a comforting and nourishing casserole that can last for multiple meals.

Cheesy Beef Quesadillas:

Layer leftover ground beef between tortillas with shredded cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown. Serve with salsa and guacamole for a tasty Mexican-inspired snack or meal.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps:

Reheat the ground beef with a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and minced garlic. Spoon the savory mixture into crisp lettuce leaves, and top with shredded carrots and green onions for a light and flavorful meal.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry:

Combine leftover ground beef with broccoli florets and a stir-fry sauce made from soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Serve over rice or noodles for a quick and satisfying Asian-inspired dish.

Beef and Bean Burrito Bowls:

Reheat the ground beef and mix it with black beans, corn, and your favorite salsa. Serve over a bed of rice and top with shredded cheese, lettuce, and diced tomatoes for a delicious burrito bowl.

Beefy Tomato Soup:

Turn leftover ground beef into a hearty tomato soup. Combine it with crushed tomatoes, broth, vegetables, and your favorite herbs. Simmer until flavors meld, and serve with crusty bread for a comforting meal.

Shop Multiple Stores

  • Save money by only buying certain ingredients at the cheapest grocery store. Get produce at farmer’s markets.

Shopping multiple stores strategically can help you save money and meal plan more efficiently. 

Here are some ideas to make the most of your shopping trips:

Price Comparison Apps:

Use price comparison apps to check and compare prices across different stores. Apps like Flipp or Price Cruncher can help you identify the best deals on your grocery list.

Weekly Circulars:

Review weekly circulars from various grocery stores in your area. Plan your meals based on the items that are on sale, and focus your shopping around those discounts.

Meal Planning

Bulk Buying at Warehouse Stores:

Consider purchasing non-perishable items and items with a longer shelf life in bulk from warehouse stores. This can often save you money in the long run.

Farmers’ Markets and Local Produce Stands:

Explore farmers’ markets and local produce stands for fresh and often more affordable fruits and vegetables. You may find unique items and support local farmers.

Discount Stores for Pantry Staples:

Check discount stores or dollar stores for pantry staples like canned goods, pasta, and condiments. These items are often priced lower than at traditional grocery stores.

Specialty Stores for Specific Items:

Visit specialty stores for specific items that might be more expensive at regular grocery stores. For example, bulk spices, international foods, or specialty cheeses can often be found at better prices in specialty stores.

Shop Online for Bulk Purchases:

Utilize online platforms for bulk purchases, especially for items like grains, rice, and snacks. Online retailers often offer discounts for buying in larger quantities.

Meal Planning

Utilize Loyalty Programs:

Join loyalty programs at your preferred grocery stores. These programs often provide discounts, exclusive deals, and coupons that can help you save on your shopping.

Clearance Sections and Manager’s Specials:

Explore clearance sections and manager’s specials for discounted items that are still within their expiration date. Be flexible with your meal planning based on what you find in these sections.

Plan Meals Around Sales:

Look at the sales cycles of different stores and plan your meals based on what’s on sale. This allows you to take advantage of discounts and helps you create a cost-effective meal plan.

Rotate Stores for Regular Purchases:

Identify which stores consistently have better prices for specific items and rotate your regular purchases accordingly. This way, you can maximize savings on items you buy frequently.

Remember to be mindful of your time and transportation costs when planning multiple-store shopping trips. Finding the right balance that works for your schedule and budget is key. Which of these strategies are you excited to try?

Price Match

  • Use apps like Flipp to price match items on sale at different stores when making your weekly grocery list.

Price matching can be a great way to ensure you get the best deals without having to visit multiple stores. Here are some ideas for effective price matching:

Bring Ads or Online Listings:

Many stores offer price matching policies. Bring printed ads or have digital copies of competitor prices to show at the checkout. Some stores even accept prices from online retailers.

Use Price Matching Apps:

Use apps like ShopSavvy or PriceGrabber, which allow you to scan barcodes and compare prices across different retailers. Show the app at the checkout to request a price match.

Know Store Policies:

Familiarize yourself with the price matching policies of your preferred stores. Some stores have specific guidelines regarding which competitors they match and the conditions for price matching.

Check for Price Matching Guarantees:

Certain retailers offer price matching guarantees where they refund the difference if you find the same product at a lower price within a specified time frame. Keep an eye out for such guarantees.

Utilize Store Apps:

Some stores have their own apps that include features for price comparison and matching. Check if your favorite stores have apps that can help you find and match lower prices.

Online Price Matching:

For online purchases, many retailers offer price matching within a certain time frame after your purchase. Keep an eye on the prices, and if you find a lower one, contact customer service to request a refund of the difference.

Membership Programs:

Some stores offer price matching as part of their loyalty or membership programs. Join these programs to take advantage of price matching benefits.

Check for Seasonal Sales or Promotions:

Some stores may have seasonal sales or promotions where they match or beat competitors’ prices. Keep an eye on these events to maximize your savings.

Monitor Price Drops After Purchase:

After making a purchase, continue to monitor the prices of the items you bought. If the price drops within the store’s specified time frame, inquire about a price adjustment.

Bundle Deals:

Some stores offer bundle deals where they match the total price if you buy a combination of items. This can be a great way to maximize savings on related products.

Be Polite and Informed:

Approach the customer service or cashier desk politely and confidently. Be well-informed about the competitor prices, and present your request in a friendly manner.

Remember, the key is to be aware of the policies and to communicate effectively with store personnel. Which of these strategies do you think would work best for your shopping habits?

Stick to a Grocery Budget

  • Determine a weekly grocery budget and stick to it when doing meal plan shopping.
Meal Planning

Sticking to a grocery budget while meal planning requires a combination of strategic planning, smart shopping habits, and flexibility. Here are some suggestions to help you stay within your budget:

Set a Realistic Budget:

Begin by establishing a realistic and achievable grocery budget based on your family’s needs, income, and spending habits. Having a clear budget in mind will guide your meal planning decisions.

Plan Meals in Advance:

Plan your meals for the week ahead of time. This allows you to create a shopping list with specific ingredients, reducing the chances of impulse purchases and ensuring you only buy what you need.

Check Your Pantry:

Before making your shopping list, take inventory of what you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. This prevents duplicate purchases and ensures you use up existing items.

Buy in Bulk for Staples:

Purchase non-perishable items, such as rice, pasta, and canned goods, in bulk. This often comes with a lower unit cost and reduces the frequency of these items appearing on your shopping list.

Embrace Seasonal Produce:

Plan your meals around seasonal fruits and vegetables. In-season produce tends to be fresher and more affordable. Visit local farmers’ markets for better deals on fresh, seasonal items.

Utilize Frozen Produce:

Opt for frozen fruits and vegetables, especially when certain items are out of season. Frozen produce is often more budget-friendly and has a longer shelf life.

Explore Discount Stores:

Consider shopping at discount stores or supermarkets that offer lower prices on generic or store-brand products. These stores often provide good deals on everyday items.

Clip Coupons and Use Discounts:

Look for coupons in newspapers, online platforms, or store apps. Take advantage of discounts and promotions to save money on both staple and specialty items.

Limit Impulse Purchases:

Stick to your shopping list and avoid impulsive buying. If you come across tempting items, pause and consider whether they are essential to your meal plan.

Buy in Season and Freeze:

Take advantage of sales on seasonal fruits, vegetables, and meats. Buy in bulk during sales and freeze portions for later use, ensuring you have cost-effective options in the future.

Consider Meat Alternatives:

Explore plant-based protein sources, like beans, lentils, and tofu. These options are often more budget-friendly than meat and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Be Flexible with Brands:

Opt for generic or store-brand products rather than name brands. In many cases, the quality is comparable, and you can save money without sacrificing taste.

Meal Prep in Batches:

Cook in batches and freeze portions for later. This reduces the need for last-minute grocery trips and helps you resist the temptation of takeout on busy days.

Shop with Cash:

Consider using cash instead of cards to pay for groceries. Having a physical limit can make you more conscious of your spending and help you stay within your budget.

Track Your Expenses:

Keep a record of your grocery expenses and review it regularly. This helps you identify areas where you can cut back and stay accountable to your budget.

Remember, sticking to a grocery budget is about making informed choices and being mindful of your spending habits. Which of these strategies are you planning to incorporate into your grocery routine?

Shop Sales and Seasonally

  • Plan recipes around what’s on sale or in season for maximum value. Check weekly flyers.

Shopping sales and seasonally can be a great way to save money and take advantage of fresh, in-season produce.

Here’s a list of strategies to help you shop more economically:

Shopping Sales:

Weekly Flyers and Circulars:

Regularly check the weekly flyers and circulars of your local grocery stores to stay informed about ongoing sales and promotions.

Store Apps and Websites:

Download store apps or visit their websites to access exclusive deals, digital coupons, and notifications about upcoming sales.

Loyalty Programs:

Join store loyalty programs to receive discounts and special offers. Many stores provide additional savings to loyal customers.

Bulk Purchases:

Take advantage of bulk purchase discounts, especially for non-perishable items and household essentials.

Clearance Sections:

Explore clearance sections for discounted items nearing their expiration dates or seasonal items that are being phased out.

Double Coupon Days:

If your grocery store offers double coupon days, plan your shopping on those days to maximize your savings.

Flash Sales:

Keep an eye out for flash sales or one-day promotions. These events can offer significant discounts on various products.

Stock Up During Sales:

When non-perishable items or household essentials are on sale, consider stocking up to save money in the long run.

Online Shopping Deals:

Meal Planning

Explore online grocery shopping options and take advantage of exclusive online deals and discounts.

Compare Prices:

Compare prices across different stores to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Use price comparison apps or websites to streamline the process.

Shopping Seasonally:

Visit Farmers’ Markets:

Explore local farmers’ markets for fresh, seasonal produce. Prices are often competitive, and you’re supporting local farmers.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):

Join a CSA program to receive a regular supply of fresh, locally grown produce directly from farmers in your area.

Pick-Your-Own Farms:

Visit pick-your-own farms for a fun and cost-effective way to get fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Join a Co-op:

Consider joining a food co-op where members collectively purchase and share in-season produce at reduced prices.

Preserve Seasonal Items:

Buy in bulk during peak seasons and preserve items through freezing, canning, or drying to enjoy them throughout the year.

Plan Meals Around Seasonal Produce:

Meal Planning

Base your weekly meal plans on what’s in season. Seasonal items are often more affordable and taste better.

Shop Local:

Support local businesses and markets that prioritize sourcing fresh, seasonal products from nearby farms.

Be Flexible with Recipes:

Adjust your recipes based on what’s in season. Being flexible with your meal planning allows you to take advantage of lower prices.

Know the Seasonal Calendar:

Familiarize yourself with the seasonal calendar for fruits, vegetables, and other products in your region to plan your purchases accordingly.

Here’s an extended list of fresh foods, including nuts and beans, categorized by the typical seasons when they are readily available:

Spring:

Meal Planning

Fruits:

Strawberries

Cherries

Apricots

Pineapple

Mangoes

Oranges

Rhubarb

Vegetables:

Asparagus

Artichokes

Peas

Radishes

Spinach

Lettuce

Other:

Fresh Herbs (Basil, Mint, Cilantro)

Spring Onions

Nuts and Beans:

Almonds

Chickpeas

Summer:

Fruits:

Watermelon

Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries)

Peaches

Plums

Nectarines

Grapes

Melons (Cantaloupe, Honeydew)

Tomatoes

Avocados

Vegetables:

Meal Planning

Bell Peppers

Zucchini

Cucumbers

Corn

Green Beans

Squash

Eggplant

Other:

Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano)

Garlic

Nuts and Beans:

Walnuts

Pecans

Kidney Beans

Black Beans

Fall:

Fruits:

Apples

Pears

Cranberries

Grapes

Persimmons

Pomegranates

Pumpkins

Vegetables:

Squash

Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes

Carrots

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Beets

Other:

Chestnuts

Meal Planning

Nuts and Beans:

Hazelnuts

Chickpeas

Pinto Beans

Winter:

Fruits:

Citrus (Oranges, Grapefruits, Clementines)

Pears

Apples

Kiwi

Pineapple

Vegetables:

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Kale

Leeks

Potatoes

Carrots

Turnips

Winter Squash (Butternut, Acorn)

Other:

Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Sage)

Chestnuts

Nuts and Beans:

Almonds

Walnuts

Pecans

Chickpeas

Year-Round:

Fruits:

Bananas

Vegetables:

Onions

Garlic

Nuts and Beans:

Almonds

Walnuts

Pecans

Chickpeas

Meal Planning

This comprehensive list includes a variety of fresh foods, nuts, and beans across different seasons. As always, consider checking local markets and grocery stores for the most accurate and region-specific information. Enjoy the seasonal and nutritious variety throughout the year!

Frozen and Canned Options:

Purchase extra quantities of seasonal items when they are abundant and freeze or can them for later use.

By combining these strategies, you can make the most of sales and seasonal offerings, saving money and enjoying the freshest produce available. 

Here are general instructions to get you started with canning fresh foods using the water bath method:

Materials Needed:

Fresh Foods:

Choose high-quality, fresh fruits, vegetables, or jams for canning.

Canning Jars:

Use glass canning jars with new lids and bands. Ensure they are free from cracks or chips.

Meal Planning

Canning Equipment:

  • Water bath canner with a lid and rack.
  • Jar lifter.
  • Canning funnel.
  • Lid lifter/magnetic wand.
  • Bubble remover/headspace tool.
  • Clean dish towels or paper towels.

Ingredients:

  • Follow a tested canning recipe for your chosen food item.
  • Acids (lemon juice, vinegar) may be needed for certain foods.

Basic Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting board, knife, and peeler.
  • Large pot for blanching (if required).
  • Ladle and large spoon.
  • Measuring cups and spoons.

Optional:

  • Pectin or fruit preservatives for jams.
  • Thermometer for checking canning temperatures.

Instructions:

1. Prepare Jars and Lids:

  • Wash jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well.
  • Sterilize jars by placing them in the canner, covering them with water, and boiling for 10 minutes.
  • Keep lids and bands in hot (not boiling) water to soften the rubber seal.

2. Prepare Fresh Foods:

  • Wash and prepare fresh foods according to your chosen recipe.
  • Blanch certain fruits or vegetables if the recipe calls for it.

3. Fill Jars:

  • Use a canning funnel to fill jars, leaving the recommended headspace as per your recipe.
  • Remove air bubbles using a bubble remover or headspace tool.

4. Apply Lids and Bands:

  • Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.
  • Place lids on jars and screw on bands until fingertip-tight. Do not overtighten.

5. Process Jars in the Water Bath Canner:

  • Place filled jars on the canner rack and lower them into the simmering water.
  • Ensure jars are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil and process for the time specified in your recipe.

6. Remove Jars and Cool:

  • Using a jar lifter, carefully remove jars from the canner.
  • Place jars on a clean, dry towel, leaving space between them to cool.

7. Check Seals:

  • After cooling (12-24 hours), press down on the center of each lid to ensure it doesn’t pop back.
  • If the lid is firm and doesn’t move, the jar is sealed.

8. Store Jars:

  • Label sealed jars with the contents and date.
  • Store jars in a cool, dark place. Check for any signs of spoilage before consuming.

Tips and Notes:

  • Always follow tested canning recipes to ensure safety.
  • Adjust processing times for altitude if necessary.
  • Keep the canning process clean and sanitary.
  • Use only undamaged jars, lids, and bands.

Remember, the water bath canning method is suitable for high-acid foods like fruits, jams, and pickles. For low-acid foods, like vegetables or meats, a pressure canner is recommended. Happy canning!

Buy Store Brands

  • Opt for generic or store brand staples like spices, oils, grains, and canned goods to pinch pennies.
Meal Planning

Here is a list of tips for buying store brands and opting for generic or store-brand staples to save money:

Compare Prices:

Compare the prices of name brands and store brands to identify potential savings. Often, store brands are more budget-friendly.

Quality Check:

Don’t assume that store brands are lower in quality. Many store brands offer products of similar or even better quality than their name-brand counterparts.

Start with Staples:

Begin by trying store brands for staple items like spices, oils, grains, and canned goods. These are often identical in quality but come with a lower price tag.

Read Labels:

Read ingredient lists and nutritional information to ensure the store brand meets your standards. In many cases, you’ll find comparable or identical ingredients.

Look Beyond Packaging:

Sometimes, the difference between store brands and name brands is in the packaging. Look beyond the label, and you might discover similar or identical products inside.

Meal Planning

Explore Different Aisles:

Don’t limit yourself to the most obvious store brand options. Explore different sections of the store to find generic alternatives for various products.

Try a Test Run:

Conduct a test run by purchasing a small quantity of the store brand. If you’re satisfied with the quality, consider making it a regular part of your shopping list.

Bulk Buying:

Consider buying store brand items in bulk if possible. This can lead to additional savings over time.

Check for Sales and Promotions:

Keep an eye out for sales and promotions on store brand items. Just like name brands, store brands often go on sale, offering even more significant savings.

Generic Spices and Seasonings:

Opt for store brands for basic spices and seasonings. These are often just as flavorful as their more expensive counterparts.

Switch Gradually:

If you’re hesitant about switching entirely to store brands, consider making the transition gradually. Start with a few items and expand as you gain confidence.

Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs:

Some stores have loyalty programs that offer additional discounts on their store brands. Take advantage of these programs to maximize savings.

Be Open-Minded:

Approach store brands with an open mind. You might discover new favorites while saving money.

Check Online Reviews:

Before trying a new store brand, check online reviews to see what other consumers are saying about the product. This can provide valuable insights into quality.

Be Flexible:

Be willing to switch between name brands and store brands based on pricing and sales. Flexibility in your choices can lead to significant savings.

Remember that the goal is to find a balance between quality and affordability. Store brands can be an excellent way to save money without sacrificing the quality of your everyday staples.

Buy in Bulk

  • For shelf-stable items you use frequently like rice, stock up at warehouse stores for the best price per pound.
Meal Planning

Buying in bulk can be a cost-effective way to save money on groceries and household items. Here are some tips to help you make the most of bulk buying:

Make a Shopping List:

Before heading to the store, create a list of items you regularly use and that have a longer shelf life. This prevents impulse purchases and ensures you buy what you need.

Check Unit Prices:

Compare unit prices to determine the cost per ounce or unit. Bulk items are typically priced lower, but it’s essential to confirm the savings.

Invest in a Membership:

Consider joining a warehouse club or bulk buying store. These often require a membership fee, but the discounts and savings on bulk items can outweigh the cost.

Understand Storage Needs:

Ensure you have adequate storage space for bulk purchases. Consider investing in proper containers or storage bins to keep items fresh and organized.

Check Expiration Dates:

Pay attention to expiration dates, especially for perishable items. While many bulk items have a longer shelf life, it’s crucial to use them before they expire.

Start with Staples:

Begin by buying bulk staples like rice, pasta, beans, and grains. These items are versatile and have a long shelf life.

Buy Non-Perishables in Bulk:

Focus on non-perishable items like canned goods, cleaning supplies, and toiletries when buying in bulk. These won’t spoil and can be stored for an extended period.

Consider Freezer Space:

If you have freezer space, buy bulk quantities of frozen fruits, vegetables, and meats. Portion and freeze these items to extend their usability.

Meal Planning

Split Purchases with Others:

Consider sharing bulk purchases with friends or family, especially for items like large packs of meat or oversized containers of condiments.

Look for Sales and Discounts:

Keep an eye out for sales and discounts on bulk items. Warehouse stores often have special promotions, and buying during these times can lead to additional savings.

Bring Reusable Containers:

Bring your reusable containers to stores that allow it. This can be especially useful for items like grains, nuts, or dried fruits.

Bulk Buy Cleaning Supplies:

Purchase cleaning supplies in bulk to save money over time. Items like laundry detergent, dish soap, and paper towels are often available in larger quantities.

Check Online Retailers:

Explore online retailers for bulk purchases. Some platforms offer discounts or subscription services for recurring bulk orders.

Plan Your Meals:

Plan your meals around bulk items to ensure you use them efficiently and reduce food waste.

Be Mindful of Perishables:

Only buy perishable items in bulk if you can consume them before they spoil. Consider freezing items to extend their freshness.

Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs:

Some stores offer loyalty programs that provide additional discounts on bulk items. Joining these programs can enhance your savings.

Compare Prices at Different Stores:

Check prices at various stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your bulk purchases.

Budget Wisely:

Meal Planning

While bulk buying can save money in the long run, be mindful of your budget and avoid overbuying items that may go to waste.

By following these tips, you can make informed decisions when buying in bulk, maximizing savings while minimizing waste.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

  • Cook a double batch, enjoy one dish for dinner, repurpose leftovers into a new dish.

Here are some suggestions on how to implement this approach:

Grilled Chicken:

Cook a double batch of grilled chicken for dinner.

Repurpose leftovers into a Chicken Caesar Salad the next day.

Spaghetti Bolognese:

Make a large pot of spaghetti Bolognese for dinner.

Use the leftover sauce to make Stuffed Bell Peppers the following day.

Roast Vegetables:

Roast a variety of vegetables for a side dish.

Turn the leftovers into a Vegetable Frittata or add them to a Quinoa Salad.

Slow Cooker Chili:

Prepare a hearty slow cooker chili for dinner.

Transform the leftovers into Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes the next day.

Beef Stir-Fry:

Cook a double portion of beef stir-fry for dinner.

Use the leftover stir-fry to fill Lettuce Wraps or make a Beef Fried Rice the following day.

Baked Salmon:

Bake extra salmon fillets for dinner.

Create a Salmon Nicoise Salad with the leftover salmon for a refreshing lunch.

Pasta Primavera:

Make a large batch of Pasta Primavera for dinner.

Turn the leftovers into a Pasta Salad with added protein and veggies for the next day.

Vegetarian Curry:

Prepare a flavorful vegetarian curry for dinner.

Repurpose the leftovers into Curry-Stuffed Peppers or wrap it in tortillas for Curry Burritos the next day.

Quinoa Bowl:

Cook a big batch of quinoa and roast assorted vegetables.

Use the quinoa and veggies to make Buddha Bowls or Quinoa-stuffed Peppers the next day.

Taco Night:

Enjoy a taco night with all the fixings.

Utilize the leftover taco meat to make Taco Salad or Quesadillas the following day.

Roast Chicken:

Roast a whole chicken for a hearty dinner.

Use the leftover chicken to make Chicken Wraps, sandwiches, or a Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry the next day.

Bean Soup:

Prepare a large pot of bean soup.

Transform the soup into a hearty Minestrone or add broth to make a Bean and Vegetable Stew the following day.

Fajitas:

Cook extra fajita fillings for dinner.

Create Fajita Bowls with rice or use the leftovers to make Fajita Quesadillas the next day.

Shrimp Stir-Fry:

Whip up a quick shrimp stir-fry for dinner.

Repurpose the stir-fry into a Shrimp and Veggie Wrap or a Shrimp Fried Rice the next day.

Mashed Potatoes and Meatloaf:

Make a classic dinner with mashed potatoes and meatloaf.

Use the mashed potatoes to top a Shepherd’s Pie with leftover meatloaf the next day.

Remember to store leftovers properly in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and consider adding fresh elements to the second-day meal to keep it exciting. This strategy not only saves time but also adds variety to your meals.

Repurpose Leftovers

  • Shred leftover chicken into wraps, toss extras into pasta, turn leftovers into creative casseroles.

Repurposing leftovers can be a creative and efficient way to enjoy different meals without feeling like you’re eating the same thing every day. Here are some ideas on how to repurpose common leftovers:

Meal Planning

Roast Chicken:

Leftover roasted chicken can be used to make Chicken Salad Wraps, Chicken Quesadillas, or Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry.

Grilled Vegetables:

Transform grilled vegetables into a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich, Vegetable Quesadillas, or add them to a Pasta Salad.

Spaghetti Bolognese:

Use leftover spaghetti Bolognese sauce to make Stuffed Bell Peppers, Sloppy Joes, or as a topping for a Baked Potato.

Rice and Stir-Fry:

Repurpose rice and stir-fried vegetables into Fried Rice, Rice and Veggie Stuffed Peppers, or Veggie Spring Rolls.

Baked Salmon:

Make a Salmon Caesar Salad or Salmon Wrap with leftover baked salmon. Alternatively, flake the salmon into a creamy pasta dish.

Pasta Primavera:

Turn pasta primavera into a cold Pasta Salad by adding some extra veggies and a tangy dressing. It can also be used as a filling for Stuffed Mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Chili:

Transform chili into Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Chili Nachos, or use it as a base for a Taco Salad.

Meatloaf:

Slice leftover meatloaf for Meatloaf Sandwiches or Meatloaf Sliders. Crumble it into a pasta sauce for a unique twist.

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables:

Repurpose quinoa and roasted vegetables into Quinoa Bowls, Vegetarian Burritos, or mix them into a hearty soup.

Mashed Potatoes:

Turn mashed potatoes into Cheesy Potato Pancakes, Potato Croquettes, or use them as a topping for Shepherd’s Pie.

Taco Night Leftovers:

Create a Taco Salad with leftover taco toppings, make a Quesadilla with extra fillings, or use the taco meat in a Burrito Bowl.

Stew or Soup:

Blend leftover vegetable soup into a smooth vegetable puree or use it as a base for a savory sauce. Leftover stew can be turned into a pot pie or used as a filling for empanadas.

Fajitas:

Use leftover fajita fillings to make Fajita Bowls with rice, Fajita Pizza, or stir them into scrambled eggs for a flavorful breakfast.

Shrimp Stir-Fry:

Repurpose shrimp stir-fry into Shrimp Fried Rice, Shrimp and Veggie Wraps, or add it to a cold noodle salad.

Bean Soup:

Transform bean soup into a hearty Minestrone, blend it into a creamy bean dip, or use it as a filling for stuffed peppers.

Remember to get creative with seasonings and additional ingredients to give your leftovers a fresh and exciting twist. The key is to look at your leftovers as versatile ingredients that can be combined in different ways to create new, delicious meals.

Embrace Slow Cooker Meals

  • Toss ingredients into a crockpot in the morning for stew, pot roast, chili and more ready at dinner.

Slow cooker meals are not only convenient but can also result in flavorful and tender dishes. Here are some tips to make the most out of your slow cooker:

Prep Ingredients Ahead of Time:

Chop vegetables, trim meat, and measure out ingredients the night before. This saves time in the morning when you’re getting ready to start the slow cooker.

Sear Meat Before Slow Cooking:

For an extra depth of flavor, consider searing meat in a hot skillet before placing it in the slow cooker. This step adds a rich, caramelized exterior to the meat.

Meal Planning

Layer Ingredients Properly:

Place denser, slow-cooking vegetables (like potatoes or carrots) at the bottom of the slow cooker, with meat on top. This ensures even cooking.

Use the Right Size Slow Cooker:

Fill the slow cooker between half and two-thirds full for the best results. Overfilling or under-filling can affect the cooking time and result in unevenly cooked food.

Choose the Right Cut of Meat:

Opt for tougher cuts of meat like chuck roast or pork shoulder. The slow cooking process breaks down collagen, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.

Add Dairy Products Towards the End:

Dairy products such as milk or cream can curdle if cooked for too long. Add them in the last hour of cooking for creamy dishes.

Adjust Seasoning at the End:

Herbs and spices can intensify during long cooking times. Adjust seasoning, especially salt and herbs, in the last hour of cooking.

Don’t Overdo the Liquid:

Slow cookers retain moisture, so you usually need less liquid than traditional cooking methods. Reduce the amount of liquid in your recipes to avoid overly watery dishes.

Consider Using a Slow Cooker Liner:

Slow cooker liners make cleanup a breeze. They are heat-resistant and make for easy disposal of any stuck-on food.

Add Fresh Herbs and Aromatics at the End:

Fresh herbs and aromatic ingredients like garlic or fresh parsley lose their flavor over extended cooking times. Add them in the last 30 minutes for a burst of freshness.

Thicken Sauces If Necessary:

If your dish has too much liquid, you can thicken the sauce with a mixture of cornstarch and water in the last hour of cooking.

Avoid Overcooking Vegetables:

If possible, add delicate vegetables like peas or spinach towards the end of the cooking time to prevent them from becoming mushy.

Use the Right Temperature Setting:

Choose the low setting for recipes that require longer cooking times and higher settings for quicker meals. Be aware that the high setting may cook faster than the low setting but could result in slightly different textures.

Let it Rest:

After cooking, let your dish rest with the slow cooker turned off for about 10-15 minutes. This helps the flavors meld and the dish to set.

Experiment and Adapt Recipes:

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite recipes. Slow cookers are versatile, and you can adapt many dishes to this cooking method.

Remember that slow cooking is forgiving, so feel free to customize recipes to suit your preferences. Enjoy the convenience and delicious results of your slow cooker meals!

Meal Planning

Keep a Running Grocery List

  • Have an ongoing notepad on the fridge to jot down items you need to restock so you always have essentials.

Shop With a Plan

  • Stick to your grocery list to avoid impulse buys and straying over budget.

Set a Prep Day

  • Dedicate time one day a week to washing produce, prepping ingredients, and doing batch cooking.

Do Chopping in Front of the TV

  • Multitask during kids’ favorite shows by prepping ingredients for upcoming meals.

Cook Once, Eat For Days

  • Roasts, whole chickens, big batches of chili, soup and pasta sauce yield multiple meals throughout the week.

Mix and Match Ingredients

  • Get creative stretching proteins, produce, grains etc. into new dishes later in the week.

Utilize Your Freezer

  • Freeze chopped aromatics, shredded meat, and broths in portions to throw into weeknight meals.

Make Big Batch Breakfasts

  • Assemble multiple breakfast burritos, frittatas, or casseroles to heat up on busy mornings.

Hard Boil Eggs

  • Make a dozen hard boiled eggs at once to use in breakfasts, salads, snacks and egg salad.

Think Like a Restaurant

  • Mimic combo meals by pairing protein, produce and grains for balanced plates with leftovers.

Cook Extra Rice or Grains

  • Make extra grains to use in fried rice, soup, salad and more recipes later in the week.

Roast Extra Veggies

  • Toss extra veggies in the oven while roasting your main to use as sides and meal prep additions.

Prep Produce When You Get Home

  • As soon as you return from the store, wash, dry, chop and store fruits and veggies for the week ahead.

Designate Leftover Containers

  • Have dedicated reusable containers for packing up extras immediately after cooking to prevent waste.

Do a Mini Chop Session

  • Spend 15 minutes chopping onions, peppers, carrots etc. to have on hand to cook with all week.

Stock Up on Staples

  • Keep your pantry loaded with versatile ingredients like broth, rice, pasta, beans, spices and sauces.
  • A well-stocked pantry is the foundation of a versatile efficient kitchen.
Meal Planning

Here are the top 7 staple items that every household should consider having in their pantry:

Grains and Pasta:

Rice: A versatile and nutritious staple.

Pasta: Choose a variety of shapes for different dishes.

Quinoa: A protein-rich alternative to rice or pasta.

Canned Goods:

Canned Tomatoes: Use for sauces, soups, and stews.

Beans (Canned or Dried): A great source of protein and fiber.

Canned Tuna or Salmon: Quick protein for salads or sandwiches.

Baking Essentials:

Flour (All-Purpose): Essential for baking and cooking.

Sugar (White and Brown): Sweeten both sweet and savory dishes.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Leavening agents for baking.

Cooking Oils and Vinegars:

Olive Oil: Versatile for cooking and dressings.

Vegetable or Canola Oil: Ideal for high-heat cooking.

Vinegar (White and Apple Cider): Adds acidity to dishes and dressings.

Spices and Seasonings:

Salt and Pepper: Fundamentals for seasoning.

Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: Adds flavor without chopping.

Mixed Herbs and Spices (Italian Blend, Curry Powder): Enhances various dishes.

Condiments and Sauces:

Soy Sauce: Adds depth to savory dishes.

Tomato Sauce or Paste: Base for many sauces and stews.

Mustard and Ketchup: Classic condiments for various uses.

Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruits:

Almonds or Walnuts: Add crunch and nutrition to dishes.

Chia Seeds or Flaxseeds: Boost fiber and omega-3s.

Dried Fruits (Raisins, Cranberries): Sweet additions to cereals and snacks.

Having these staples on hand provides the foundation for a wide range of meals and allows for flexibility in your cooking. Adjust the quantities based on your household’s preferences and dietary needs. Additionally, consider any specific dietary restrictions or preferences when stocking your pantry.

Make Your Own Convenience Foods

  • DIY freezer items like pizza dough, bread, pie crust, meatballs etc. to make from scratch faster.

Meal Planning Templates and Apps

  • To make meal planning even more efficient for time-strapped homeschool parents, take advantage of handy meal planning templates, printables and apps.

Meal Planning Templates

  • Search for “family meal planning templates” online to find weekly, monthly and shopping list templates to print.

Here are a few that I have found helpful:

Daily Meal Planner

Meal planner from Live Craft Eat

Weekly Meal plan download

  • Use templates with built-in grocery lists, recipe idea boxes and calendars to organize meal plans.

Meal Planning Apps

Mealime: Mealime is free to download and use. If you choose to upgrade to Mealime Meal Planner Pro, they offer an auto-renewing subscription option at a price of $2.99 a month.

Mealboard: (iphone app) $3.99

Plan to Eat: Only $5.95/mo or $49/year if you choose to subscribe.

  • Many apps sync across devices and integrate grocery pickup/delivery services for ultimate convenience.

Online Meal Planners

  • Websites like Menu Planner, Meal Planner Pro, and The Dinner Solution allow you to create, organize and share meal plans.
  • Many sites offer recipe archives, shopping list builders, nutrition info, and other meal planning tools.

The Dinner Solution is the best online meal planning helper that I have found!

From the website:

“Your Subscription includes 

  • Unlimited access for one user from your computer, mobile phone, and tablet.  (Requires internet access)
  • All features of The Dinner Solution, including Meal Planning Calendar, Favorite Menus, Recipe Organizer, Freezer Meal Prep Organizer,  Freezer Inventory Tracker, Custom Grocery Lists and more.
  • Bonus Pack of Family Friendly Recipes
  • Bonus Pack of Freezer Meal Recipes
  • Support from the TDS team
  • Support from other members in our private Facebook group
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* “

Price: $14/month or $89/year (if you choose yearly it is a savings of $79)

Family Organization Apps

  • Apps like Cozi and AnyList allow multiple family members to collaborate on grocery lists and schedules.
  • Share meal plan details, assign recipe tasks, sync calendars and more to coordinate family tasks.

The right templates and tools can save you time creating plans, remind you what’s for dinner, and keep your whole family in sync. Find a meal planning system that works seamlessly for your homeschool household.

Meal Planning

Sample Weekly Meal Plan

To pull everything together, here is what a sample weekly meal plan might look like using time and money-saving strategies:

Monday

Leftover Baked Ziti

Side Salad

Tuesday

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Cornbread

Wednesday

Chicken Caesar Salad (leftover chicken)

Crusty Bread

Thursday

Veggie Fried Rice (leftover rice)

Eggrolls

Friday

Takeout Pizza Night!

Saturday

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

Baked Beans

Sunday

Roast Chicken

Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Veggies

Breakfasts

Overnight Oats

Hard Boiled Eggs

Breakfast Burritos

Lunches

Leftovers

Grilled Cheese & Soup

Veggies & Hummus

Get creative mixing and matching from your existing meal plan templates to build menus tailored to your family’s preferences each week!

Meal Planning Tips Summary

Feeding a family while homeschooling is no easy task. But implementing some of these nearly 40 meal planning tips and hacks will help tremendously with saving time and money in the kitchen.

Some top strategies include prepping ingredients in advance, cooking large batches to use in multiple meals, repurposing leftovers in creative ways, and taking advantage of slow cooker and freezer meals.

With a streamlined planning system using templates, apps and printables, you’ll be ready to tackle meal planning like a pro! Use these meal planning tips to reduce stress while serving up nutritious and budget-friendly dinners your family will love even on your busiest homeschooling days.

Meal Planning

Here is a detailed recipe for a big batch Classic Chicken Noodle Soup perfect for meal prepping:

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup egg noodles or pasta
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
Instructions:
  • Add chicken breasts to a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken breasts from the pot and set aside. Reserve broth in pot.
  • When cool, shred or dice chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.
  • To the reserved chicken broth, add the carrots, celery, onion, extra broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer the soup base for 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add shredded chicken back to pot along with egg noodles and continue simmering 10 minutes until pasta is cooked through.
  • Remove bay leaves. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.
  • Makes 6-8 servings. Can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Enjoy this hearty chicken noodle soup!

DIY Pizza Kits

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pizza Sauce:

1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni slices

Sliced bell peppers

Sliced mushrooms

Sliced olives

Any other desired toppings

Assembly Materials:

Plastic wrap

Freezer-safe ziplock bags

Instructions:

Pizza Dough:

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.

Mix until the dough comes together. Knead on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until smooth.

Divide the dough into individual pizza-sized portions and shape into balls.

Place each dough ball on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it tightly, and store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Label the bag with the date and “Pizza Dough.”

Pizza Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.

Divide the sauce into portions and store in freezer-safe ziplock bags. Label the bags with the date and “Pizza Sauce.”

Toppings:

Prepare all your desired pizza toppings and store each topping in separate labeled ziplock bags.

Assembling Pizza Kits:

Take a pizza dough ball from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into your desired pizza shape.

Spread a portion of the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a small border for the crust.

Add your preferred toppings and finish with a generous sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Once assembled, wrap the pizza in plastic wrap and place it in a labeled freezer-safe ziplock bag.

To Cook:

Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).

Unwrap the frozen pizza and place it on a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Enjoy your homemade pizza with the convenience of a pre-prepared pizza kit! How does that sound?



Check out my other blog post: Empower Stay-at-Home Moms: A Comprehensive Guide To Home Essentials

Written by

Kristen

Hi, I'm a 40-year-old stay-at-home mom who is passionate about my family, my hobbies, and my dreams. My daughter, who is 9 years old, is the light of my life, and I've made the choice to homeschool her to ensure she receives a customized education that aligns with our family values.
As a hopeful small business owner, I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities to turn my interests into a profitable venture. I've found my spot in the world of online resale, using platforms like eBay and Poshmark to sell carefully curated items. My business sense and eye for unique pieces have helped me begin to turn my hobby into a thriving enterprise.

Crafting is another passion of mine, and I enjoy spending my time creating beautiful items with my hands. I'm always looking for new techniques and materials to experiment with, and my creativity and attention to detail are evident in every project I undertake.

Along with my love of crafting, I'm also a blogger. I share my experiences and insights on motherhood, entrepreneurship, homeschooling and creativity with my readers. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, and I love being able to connect with others who share similar interests and experiences.
Overall, I'm proud of the life I've built for myself and my family. I'm committed to following my passions and turning my dreams into a reality. I hope to inspire others to do the same and live a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.