Which do you find is more practical...

Spending one day cooking complete meals for the week, or spending that day prepping ingredients for the week and cooking every day?

  12 answers
  • Linda Abbott Linda Abbott on Sep 23, 2017
    You might consider making your menu and then spend a couple of hours doing things like pre-measuring spices, chopping stuff that won't go bad during the week, etc. Do all the prep work so all you have to do is put stuff together at the last minute. That way, all the meals will taste like they are fresh made and not reheated leftovers. It will save a ton of time each night, but the food will taste much better. This is what the boxes that you pay big bucks to have delivered do. I do it this way because I just hate leftovers. If you make everything on one day, then all you're doing is eating leftovers all week. Better to eat fresh.
  • I cook every day, but I am just feeding myself and a bunch of pets (I cook their food too.) When the house was full I honestly did not have time to do laundry, clean, shop, garden or "a day" to set aside and prep meals. Our schedules were too hectic and unpredictable no matter how much planning we did. Hubby had to work late, practice ran over, I had to work late or was stuck in traffic (that happens a lot with a 2+ hour commute each way), it was always something beyond our control. I always kept enough food in the house to throw together a good meal whether we were feeding 3 or a crowd of kids. To this day, I purchase what is on sale and fresh and just toss together something from what I have in the fridge. If preparing something from a specific recipe, I will be sure to pick up everything the recipe requires.
  • Dfm Dfm on Sep 23, 2017
    my fridge/ freezer says cook what you will eat 1 meal at a time. fresher is better, and really....who wants to wait and thaw a dish b/4 getting to eat it?
  • Inetia Inetia on Sep 23, 2017
    Some things, like spaghetti sauce, can be made in large batches. Cook the pasta fresh each night and if the pasta out lasts the sauce, make pasta salad. Soups and stews are good with reheating, but if you like stir fry it‘s better prepped and cooked daily. I cook large batches of hamburger and make spaghetti one night, tacos or burritos another, and then hamburger stroganoff. What you’re making determines the method.
  • Jaya Ghoorah Jaya Ghoorah on Sep 23, 2017
    Cook the meals in a day for the week.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Sep 23, 2017
    I have a slow cooker that sears and roasts. I make big chilis, soups, spaghetti sauces, etc.. We don't want to eat them all week, so we eat 1 supper meal, 1 lunch and freeze the rest in individual portions. Chicken, beef, pork or fish we eat fresh, but may reuse the leftovers in sauces. It is great to have these for work lunches. You thaw them in the fridge overnight, no waiting necessary.
    We add fresh veggies and/or salad everyday. I don't prepare these ahead to preserve their nutrients.
  • PJ Wise PJ Wise on Sep 23, 2017
    I figure out my grocery list/shopping but don't prepare any real meals ahead because I never really know what's happening in our lives. If I do a roast, I'll try to make enough for two meals but I usually cook each meal fresh daily.
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Sep 23, 2017
    Who has a full day to prepare a weeks worth of food? Also I usually just take out meat for about four days of meals and let family choose which I make that night from what is in the fridge. When I do spaghetti with meat sauce there is usually left over sauce and I put it in a quart freezer bag and freeze it until the next time we have it and put it in the pot.
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Sep 23, 2017
    My husband has taken over the cooking, and he is pretty bare bones. He can cook spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken spaghetti, crock pot roast or chicken breasts with canned soup. But these are for when he has lots of time and interest. Mostly he prefers to make hamburgers, meat loaf, hot dogs or a trip out for fast food. We don't cook with salt, but all the fast food burgers are loaded with salt. I'm supposed to be on a renal-cardiac diet, so he will open two cans of sodium-free vegetables and one can of fruit packed in its own juice or pear juice, not syrups. That gives me 2-3 vegetables and a fruit a day, plus oatmeal or shredded wheat and blueberries or blackberries. Add whichever protein he cooks, plus his Ranch Style beans and store-bought mashed potatoes, and rarely toast or cornbread muffins, and you have our weekday grocery list and menus. My insurance company is sending me ten days of cardiac-diet meals, so we will see how that works out. Saturday's depend on a lot of things, like today we went out for a country breakfast. The little grandchildren and I stayed home, and the rest of the family went to an air show. We had all eaten late, so the littles and I had peanut butter and crackers until they went home. Then hubby and I had Subway sandwiches. We need to eat better! I'm reading everybody else's answers for ideas. 😇
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Sep 29, 2017
      Jewell, if you have a freezer, the "newer" frozen vegetables are so much better than they were years ago. They are flash frozen, so they are fresher. We never eat canned veggies, due to the overcooking, and chemical-laden can liners. The nice thing is, you thaw only the amount you need in a colander under the tap. I especially like turnip this way, because it is a pain to peel and cut the fresh ones. We finally have avocado now. It is great, because we didn't eat enough of it, and ended up throwing it out.
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Oct 04, 2017
    I just had an avocado, a tomato, and 1/4 lime, chopped and stirred together for a wonderful lunch. I finished with a small, lowfat blueberry cereal bar to add just a bit of crunch and 80 calorie sweet. I drank my pure fruit lemonaid, and a pint (500 ml bottle) of water.
    I am eating the meals sent to me by my insurance company to try out, and I'm eating them for lunch most weekdays. I have eight left. One thing the meals are doing is showing my husband proper portions size for me. We are washing the trays to use again.
    I know Hometalk.com is not a diet site, but I have gotten some really good tips, recipes, advice and encouragement. I must get out of Morbid Obesity--or my weight will kill me. Thank you so sincerely. 😇
  • Ginny Ginny on Oct 04, 2017
    I cook meals for one and freeze by portions because I don't always know what vegetables I want that day. Don't forget the crock pot. Campbells, Betty Crocker and Hunts all have excellent crock pot recipes on their sites and you can join an e-mail group that sends you good ideas.
  • Emily Emily on Oct 04, 2017
    I like the idea of preparing all the ingredients separately for each meal, like they do on t.v.cooking shows but real life intervenes. I don't mind making a meat loaf for instance and freezing it in the casserole it will be cooked in, after all I would be freezing the ground beef for the meatloaf. I am married to a really fussy eater. We just came back from the store and I got haddock for chowder, clam cakes and crab cakes for two meals, a big chunk of ground beef which I freeze in 8 oz allotments, a can of clams to have over spaghetti, and two pork chops, large, and here is the very easy recipe but I guess not for those on a salt free diet. Trim the fat and put in pan on stove (don't brown) add 1/4 c of soy sauce and 1/2 C of water. Cook half an hour at moderate temp. Turn the chops, cook another half an hour, turn again for yet a third half hour. Eat. I worked with one woman who had a large family, she planned 6 meals and said one night always takes care of itself. Here is another buying hint I just thought of; buying things on the salad bar is actually at times cheaper than buying in the packages. For instance mushrooms were 3.99 for 8 oz so I got some greens and a small number of mushrooms for probably less that. This really works well for greens esp. Had my teeth cleaned today and hygienist works 7 to 5 has three kids, lives a distant and has to do dinner every night. Kudos to all young mothers who have that kind of schedule.