I LOVE the convenience of a slow cooker! Don’t you? We are in serious baby prep mode around our house since our little lady is arriving next month. I am determined to make our transition to a two kid household as smooth as possible (even though I know it will be chaotic regardless of how well I prepare). So I recently scheduled a frozen slow cooker meal prep day with my mom while my awesome hubby watched the little guy.
Here are the steps I took getting prepared:
My first step was getting organized. A quick Pinterest search lead me to an abundance of results and I finally settled on this eCookbook from Mama & Baby Love. I love the variety of recipes it offers and the user-friendly organization. I selected 16 meals, made some notes on the instructions, and then created a shopping list. (We are fortunate to have an extra fridge in the garage, which allowed me room to store so many meals. If you’re lacking in storage, try making just a few meals at a time.)
My next step was heading to the grocery store…all by myself (a major component to successfully filling a huge list). My list was organized into four categories: meats, fruits/veggies, spices, other. This made the shopping much easier because I wasn’t running up and down the aisles grabbing things I missed the first time around. (Another tip: I typed up everything I needed and then went through the cupboard and crossed of what I already had. This allowed me to save a permanent list.)
Our meal prep day started bright and early at 9am. (I’d done the shopping the previous evening.) We began by cutting up all of the fruits and veggies and placing them in separate bags. While my mom started that, I pulled out the freezer bags and wrote on each one the recipe name and any items to add on cooking day. Then, we divided the kitchen into three stations: spices, fruits/veggies, and meat. My mom (I seriously could not have done this without her help!) mixed the spices and added the fruits and veggies while I took care of the meat.
Then it was a matter of going through each recipe and putting them together!
The organizing and grocery shopping took about two hours and the prep day took seven hours. That’s a little over 30 minutes per meal, which require no further preparation or grocery shopping time. I don’t even have to defrost them; just throw them in my slow cooker in the morning and eat up that night. Worth every minute!