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It can be a joyful experience to prepare a delicious meal in a well-designed kitchen. But if you’re about to enter into a busy phase of life, you may see way too much pizza and fast food in your future. Whether you’re preparing to work longer hours on a big project at work, bringing home a new baby or continuing your education, you don’t have to write off cooking and live off of takeout for the next few months. With a little planning, you can prepare some meal kits that can help you enjoy your kitchen, even during this hectic time.

Set Up Your Garage or Basement for Storage

gladiator garage freezer can make it easy for you to store all of your meal kits in an organized fashion without overcrowding the freezer in your kitchen. While you do need to consider the available space in your garage or basement, an upright freezer may be your best option for keeping things orderly and easy to find. You’ll also need a sturdy storage shelf or cabinet for non-perishable ingredients. Remember to keep heavier items, such as canned goods, towards the bottom for added stability.

Plan a Menu and Shopping List

Create a menu that meets the needs of your family. While you’ll want to stick to wholesome and healthy ingredients, it’s also important to consider quality and flavor. You may want to test out some dishes to see if they freeze well before making several batches to store. Once you’ve decided which meals to prepare, go meal by meal to create a master shopping list. Take advantage of pickup or delivery options from your local grocery store to make this task less daunting.

Devise a Preparation Strategy

Instead of cooking/prepping one meal at a time, figure out which dishes you can tackle in groups. Chop and sort all of your vegetables in one session. Brown all of your ground beef today, then divide it between your spaghetti sauce and taco kits tomorrow. This can help you finish more kits in less time with fewer dirty dishes. Create a menu that lists all of your meals by cuisine and check each one off the list as you use it.

Once you’ve eliminated the stress of planning, shopping and prepping, you can use your time more efficiently while cooking dinner for yourself or your family. Don’t abandon your kitchen when life gets busy; set yourself up for success and keep cooking!