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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Trading Early in the Week Evening Relaxing Time for Easier Supper Prep Later in the Week

Do you have a day of the week where you have more energy than the other days? I seem to have more energy on Mondays than any other day of the week. My energy quickly goes downhill as the work week progresses. Last week, instead of telling myself that I didn't have energy to cook on a Thursday or a Friday, I harnessed my Monday energy and prepared a couple of meals for the freezer, after everyone was done with dinner. When Thursday and Friday rolled around, I got the night off from cooking. Then this week, I continued with this program of late-evening cooking, and it looks like I will have another easy end of the week. The bonus was that I was able to use up more perishable ingredients before they expired.

I was thinking about what I would have done with my Monday evening. I likely would have read stuff online, played solitaire, or watched a show. I'll have other chances to do those kinds of activities later in the week. For now, I'm really glad that I spent my Monday evening cooking ahead. Curious what I made? I made a cheese, green pepper, and mushroom pizza and a rice, mushroom, and beef casserole.


  1. Mmmm, the pizza and casserole are yummy additions to your freezer! It sounds like using Monday evening to prep a couple of meals for later in the week works very well for your current situation.

    I was talking to my husband about this last week. With his current schedule, he's up and out the door for work very early Monday - Thursday. We both have Fridays off. I get up with him Monday - Thursday, even though it's much earlier than I need to get up. I like the quiet time to clean and cook ahead before I prepare to leave for work.

    For me, Monday morning I try to catch up on cleaning, and I have found I do not feel like dinner prep before work. So my husband and I decided that Monday evening is an 'everyone fends for themselves' meal. There are always leftovers from the weekend, or we even do toast with peanut butter. I've even got my 16 year old on board. I guess it's my way of easing into the work week.

    Now, Tuesday - Thursday morning I do more meal prep. I cook up batches of meat for the freezer, put meals in the slow cooker for the day, put a casserole together to put in the oven that night, etc. Then I can come home after work and supper is ready in the slow cooker, or only needing popped in the oven.

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday I find that my husband likes to take a more active role in the meal preparation. He loves to grill and use his outdoor smoker. I only need to prep side dishes.

    It's interesting how life evolves. Back when my husband worked a 9 - 5 day, I always cooked when I arrived home from work without much, if any prepping ahead. Now, I'm so used to rising really early and I have so much energy then, I don't want to think about meal prep in the evenings.

    And at some point, life will change again and I'll have to change as well. I usually need a few weeks to figure this out though. :)

    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Angie,
      It sounds like you have found what works for you. And I think that Monday, as an 'everyone fends for themselves' meal, is a wonderful idea for you and your family. It does seem that life changes on us, and we need to adapt to new circumstances.
      Have a wonderful day, Angie!

  2. Lili,
    I know what you mean. Early in the week, I feel ready to make meals, etc. but as the week progresses I'm feeling less "on the ball". But it gets busier around the house as the week progresses because that's when my son leaves for his weekend work away. I need to always have three supper meals for him (frozen is fine) and three lunches and three breakfasts (he takes care of these). So, I tend to get very busy either Tues. night or Wed. night getting 2 to 3 meals prepared at once. Last night I got a turkey roast cooked, a pork stir fry with noodles and rice, and then a tater tot casserole ready to go. These are used for meals and freezer meals. We love leftovers for those freezer meals so I do make more than we need. At least I know my son isn't buying fast food.

    I also like making breakfast burritos on weekends and I make about 20 at a time. I like to make copycat starbucks quinoa, black bean, and corn wraps for the freezer as well. My son makes waffles to freeze for quick and easy breakfasts. Sadly, all that food gets eaten up fairly quickly since there are three of us. 20 burritos might last less than a week.


    1. Hi Alice,
      You are so organized! Your family is lucky to have you. I understand exactly what you mean by everything gets gobbled up quickly. I seems like a lot of time goes into preparing food, but it takes little time for it to get eaten. Your tater tot casserole sounds yummy. What all goes into it?

  3. I agree with adapting as life responsibilities fluctuate. I have been doing a lot of crockpot meals lately because I can prep them earlier and I don't have much to do when time is short in the evening. My husband frequently grills extra food on the weekends and we use those leftovers to get us through extra-busy evenings. I enjoy reading about how others handle similar situations. Great for ideas!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I like that about crockpot meals, too. Getting them in the pot early in the day means I don't have to shift my attention in the late afternoon, when I'm more likely to be tired of engrossed in something else. Great idea to grill extras for the week.

  4. We tend to cook big batch meals here that we eat for a couple of days and freeze some for other days when time or energy is not available for cooking. We don't have a set schedule. It all depends on the outside work and activity schedules of everyone. Sounds like you've come with a good schedule for you and your family.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Your big-batch cooking sounds like it works well for you. Years ago, I did once-a-month cooking and froze enough meals to get through about 3 weeks at a time. The only drawback I found was that a large amount of cooking like that was exhausting for me. I may give it a try again, though.

  5. Wednesday to me is Monday for you. I cook hard to produce and/or prep as much as I can. Really makes the rest of the week easier. On really tough weeks, when I can’t cook hard, I feel it. Makes the rest of the week’s meals more challenging. However, it does occur from time to time.

  6. Last month I went back to something I haven’t done a lot of since my children were young and I was homeschooling — I prepped as much as I reasonably could for the month. It seemed to really work well for us again now that we are all but an empty nest. Took a lot of the daily mental effort out of it for me and our budget (even with some unexpected events because life does happen) reaped the benefits. More importantly it just made life feel like it went a little smoother.


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