Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The best thing I ever did to save time.

Okay, So granted, I may be slightly obsessive compulsive, And I like clean and neat. But this is really a huge huge time saver. all together it takes about 30 minutes to prep all the food from my once a week grocery trip and it's ready to go. I mentioned this in a previous post, But thought that I'd elaborate. This especially makes meals super duper fast and easy. And the kids can snack on their own.
I just use the plastic containers that the food comes in. For the carrots {Since they come in a bag} I just use an extra strawberry container. I wash the containers out, line them with a {reusable} paper towel and cut off the plastic lid, so just the bottom is there.
I peel all the carrots, take the gross stringy part from the middle of the snap peas, cut the broccoli, ETC. While the grapes, apples, stawberries, blackberries, cherries, whatever other fruits we have that week, sit and rinse in a {clean} sink full of of ten parts water and one part vinegar. Okay, I don't really measure it out. I just fill the sink up and pour a cup of vinegar in. It works. I don't rinse my vinegar off. You can't taste it. The vinegar keeps mold spores from growing and keeps the fruits and especially the berries firm and not soft and mushy, they last WAY WAY longer this way.

For the grapes, I cut the stems into smaller clumps with the kitchen shears. Okay, sometimes if I can't find those, I use my kids safety scissors. 
And those carrot peels... Don't worry those don't get wasted, I blanch those and then throw them in the blender with some cooked rice and chicken and make baby food. And no, I don't always make ALL of Brent's baby food. I'm not that awesome. I buy some too.

Oh shootsky, I forgot to take a picture of the meat. {I know you all love my iphone pictures because they are so awesome!} We only have chicken breasts once or maybe twice a week. So when I get home I clean the entire package {I buy the fresh organic packs at Costco} And cut them into meal sized portions {I slice the chicken breast in half so they aren't so thick}, and put them in two bags of marinade. Half goes into a salsa marinade and the other goes into an herb seasoning. That way all I have to do for dinner is throw some rice into the rice cooker and just throw those on to cook. This saves SO much time. Especially snacking and lunches. For lunch I just tell the kids to put whatever they want on their plate from the fridge and then I add a sandwich. They love that because they get to pick! I love it because they can't pick anything unhealthy! Breakfast is super easy, A few waffles and throw some fruit on top and voila! 5 second breakfast. I hate when people say "My kids don't eat fruits and veggies..." Well, That's because you haven't given them the chance. If you put processed brightly packaged crap in your pantry, you've chosen for them. If you don't buy that, One, it's cheaper, two its healthier, and three, They won't have a choice but to eat what you buy. My kids will almost always pick fruits and veggies over chips or snack cracker. Why? Because that is what they are used to. Their pallets aren't junked up by all that sodium and crap, so they crave good whole, natural foods. So, Let's recap... I don't do processed food because A) unhealthy B) Cheaper... WAY cheaper. C) when I do it this way, by talking just 30 minutes when I come in from the grocery store, It is JUST AS FAST as all those pre packaged meals. I bet I could actually get this (A healthy lunch) on the table faster than someone could cook that box of mac n cheese. with half the effort. So, Do yourself a favor and just try it. I promise you'll like it!


  1. This is pretty genius. I've never heard of the vinegar thing before. Though, I will say, that some kids don't eat fruits and veggies regardless of how exposed they've been... sometimes it's something else at play, but generally... I completely agree... though I'm not AS good as you... my kids do occasionally get processed stuff... Man. I can't wait to try this prep ahead thing... you're the bees knees.

  2. Let me clarify... Not all my kids eat every fruit and veggie. And occasionally they get junk food, but it's not a regular thing.

  3. I really enjoy your blog & your Facebook posts Kyrsten! While I am not physically up to doing that stuff anymore, I can barely get through the shopping & need someone else to pack & haul it, I'm lucky if I can still walk by the time I get through the tiny grocery store I prefer- Aldi's. WalMart is TOO BIG! Their carts help, but they don't always have the lowest prices, either. Anyway- I love the way you do your prep work- when my kids were young I did that too, although they each choose what they prefer to eat, and I could not always afford fresh fruits & vegetables- we didn't have Walmart & the other stores we all have now. I used to even make our own mixes for baking, and learned I could use things like carrots, pumpkin or applesauce to replace shortening or fat in recipes like cookies & even brownies.

    A little obsessive compulsive is what makes the world go around, and keeps at last some of it clean & organized! Without OCD we wouldn't have doctors, nurses, schools, etc., so I don't think you need to worry about it! I used to be like that when I was able to do more, but I've had to give up that level of organization, but I LOVE to see it still! Thank you for sharing!
    love Auntie Becky