How To Save Time Cooking for Your Family


November 11, 2022

Take this straightforward system and put it into action ASAP if you want to save time, money, and food when cooking for your family! Stop throwing away all the food you forgot was in your fridge and never got around to eating and start making the most of your groceries each week. I know you want to feed yourself and your family more nourishing meals, but do you have a system to support it? And let’s not even mention when the last time you cleaned out your fridge was, right?!

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

This is basically my 3 part system that I do 98-99% of the time in my home. This system is done 80-90% of the time by Monday and it is done 100% of the time every week.

This system I call my “fridge system” in order to keep everything organized so that I do not waste food, money, or time. These are the big things I know we all don’t want to waste. It also allows me to nourish my body, my children’s bodies, and my husband’s body as well.

Here is how this breaks down. On Saturday or Sunday, we need to reload. Why these days and not Monday? Well, Monday is the day when our children go back to school and our husbands are going back to work so we need to have things in the kitchen ready to use for Monday. This gives all of us the consistency we need.

Step 0: Implement the Menu Board Meal Planning System.

Go way back in the archives to Episode 8 to of the Systemize Your Life Podcase and learn all about my Menu Board Meal Planning System. I also have a guide for it in the Free Facebook Group under the units tab. There are meal cards, blog posts, and more linked inside for you to access and use.

Once you’ve set up your meal cards for the week, you are ready for Step 1 which is loading your fridge. Now, Loading your fridge and cleaning your fridge can flow together. As you continue to read, you will understand what I mean and decide what will work for you.

Meal planning is one of my eight fundamental needs. It gets done in our house every week, no buts about it!

Step #1: Unloading Your Fridge.

Once you have completed your meal plan and it is time to create your grocery list.

Before going to the grocery store, on Friday, I recommend pulling out all leftovers for you and your family to eat. This is how you make sure that the food you prepped for the week isn’t getting wasted or thrown away and you save money but not eating out when you have food at home.

Whatever you aren’t going to eat or if anything has gone bad, just throw it out. As you pull things out of the fridge, do an inventory of what you need based on what you know you need for the upcoming week’s meals. Do you have enough milk? Fruit, spinach? Do you need to rewrap your lettuce or transfer anything to the freezer in order for it to now go bad?

This is a hard reset of what’s in your fridge and making sure you have all that you need and nothing is being wasted. This literally takes me maybe 10-15 minutes to do. When you it becomes systemized in your routine you will be able to do a quick scan of every shelf and you know what to do.

You can either clean now or go to the grocery store. You decide based on what your preference is and what works for you.

I choose to go to the grocery store first to do my shopping. Once I get home, everybody helps me unload.

Side note: I love packing my own grocery bag because I pack the bag according to where the things will go in the fridge.

Step #2: Loading and Cleaning Your Fridge.

Once I get home, I immediately grab my All-Purpose spray and a rag. As everyone is unloading the grocery bags, I am cleaning the fridge. It’s usually 4 of us in the kitchen at this time. We usually have music on and we are having fun together.

If something needs to be deep cleaned, I’ll ask everyone to put away pantry items while I deep clean the fridge and put then put away items that need to be refrigerated once I’m done cleaning.

I also have a little hack I use to keep the drawers clean: I have stitched cloth-like napkins in the drawers that I can toss in the wash instead of taking out the entire drawer. This helps me to keep everything clean and organized.

Once I have cleaned my fridge, I am now ready to actually load the fridge with the groceries.

This may take you some time to do. This is not as simple as finding a cute pin on Pinterest and deciding to load your fridge that way. No. What if that photo of that organized refrigerator does not work for your family?

Here is where I suggest you start: Build your own system according to what your family needs. How?

Keep like items with like items.

Do not have all the things on all the shelves. Create a system of organization in your fridge keeping certain things on certain shelves, labelling what is what, and doing so according to your family’s needs. The problem will not be solved with cute containers.

However, it will be solved with the organization that can lead you to then invest in nice containers that are clear and easier on the eyes making a beautifully organized fridge. The containers do not keep your fridge organized, you do.

Ask yourself, what main categories do I have? Then organize your fridge accordingly. Have your meat section, veggie section, fruit section, snack section, etc.

Communicate With Your Family Your System

This will take very clear communication from you to your family, as you work hard on your organization, to remind them where to put things in order to help keep things organized. Do not harbor resentment towards your family, just communicate what you need to them so your fridge can stay organized.

This system I call my “fridge system” in order to keep everything organized so that I do not waste food, money, or time. It also allows me to nourish my body, my children’s bodies, and my husband’s body as well.

Step #3: Maintaining Your Fridge.

Show up to your specific time block to cook in order to keep your kitchen cleaned and organized. Make sure you are always putting things back as you go. Map out extra time in order to have what you need to produce what you desire to have in your home, kitchen, and more specifically your fridge. It does not have to be complicated, you just have to make time for it and do it.

That is it in a nutshell. You can do this and have a beautifully organized, cleaned, and a well-maintained fridge that encourages you to not waste food, save money and save time.

In order to tackle everything in your home and family, and still have time for you, you have to prioritize your home management system. That is the one thing that will make or break your ability to have a work time block. When a time block arrives where you will need to cook a meal have your menu board ready, and your fridge organized, so you can simply get in there with laser focus and get everyone fed and the kitchen clean. If you’re ready to get going with your home management system, join us in the Systemize Your Life Academy.

If you have any questions, please come and drop those questions in the Facebook Group.

How to save time cooking for your family

Frequently Asked Questions

Work life balance sounds great, but I need help. How can I get accountability?

That is my favorite thing in the whole wide world to give my community! I was a cheerleader all of my life and I never had a clue that it would manifest itself this way. My favorite resources for accountability here are the Systemize Your Life Facebook group and the Time Management Bootcamp Facebook group. I’ve got 5 people focused on investing in the women in this bootcamp and we are all in to bring you success!

Feed your family with no stress using these 3 steps
Get dinner on the table with less stress with three simple steps

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