We all like things done easy.

Especially when it comes to getting the family fed.

And the last thing you want to do after a long day,

either at home with the kids going crazy,

or at work when nothing seemed to go right,

is to come home and have to think about what to cook for the nights meal.

Then actually spend the time doing it.

So what I want to do today is give you some easy meal prep ideas that may help you.

This is stuff that we actually use at home, so it’s not pie in the sky stuff, or something I read online that sounds good in theory.

It’s real world, practical information from busy parents who just want to have a decent, healthy meal that their kids will eat and will benefit our bodies at the same time as much as it will theirs.

This might all well be common sense to you, but if you find something out of this, then it’s served its purpose.

* Make the most of a slow cooker:

If you don’t have one, buy one.

These things are awesome. As I’m sure you’ll agree if you’ve tried the Mexican and the Satay Chicken recipes in the DPM Quick, Healthy Meals Cookbook.

They also can make a big amount with minimal preparation. You just need to be home to start it off early enough. 

So if you’re out at work all day, get it done on the weekend and you’ve got a couple of meals ready to freeze for the week.

You just need to heat it up before hand and add in some veggies.

* And for when you just can’t be bothered:

Have your whatever nights:

Where you basically raid your fridge and put on the plate whatever you have in there.

It may be eggs that can be turned into an omelette with a tin of tuna thrown on top and a bit of greenery added to the side.

It may be a combo of leftovers from previous nights that weren’t exactly enough for one big meal, but enough to give everyone a bit of this and a bit of that.

* Buy your meat in bulk:

A wholesalers butcher is a great way to save a bit of cash and get some great quality meat without having to pay the supermarkets for inferior product.

The best part is you get your steak for example cut to your preferred thickness, and you can ration out enough meals that you only need to visit every so often, not every week.

Obviously, you just need the freezer space to store it but it’ll save you regular visits to the shops to buy your meat each week.

Two great quality ones I know of are the Australian Meat Emporium in Alexandria and Pendle Hill Meat Market, funnily enough in Pendle Hill.

* Make double:

Even if you’re not using a slow cooker, you can still cook more amounts on the days you have more times.

This is usually very doable if you’re doing a Bolognese cause you can always freeze half for the next time you use it. 

You just need a bigger pan obviously, but it’s worth it when you can just defrost it overnight in the fridge and then heat it up before you plan to use it again.

You just take the couple of mins to cook your pasta fresh, or if you want the real lazy guide, freeze your pasta with it too.

* Last one, make it fun:

Have a regular taco night or something where everyone can serve themselves.

The kids love it and it’s easy to whip up some mince in the frypan (or slow cooker) then shred some lettuce, cheese and mash up some avocado.

Add in some chilli or jalepenos for those who like it hot, add in some hot sauce and you’re good to go.

So what do you reckon?

Pick up anything of use?

This is stuff that we do all the time to make our life easier on the days when we know we’re going to be busier.

Every little bit helps and it definitely helps solve the ‘what on earth are we going to have for dinner tonight’ conversation.