Welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast. Do you dread hearing the question? What’s for dinner? Whether you spend your days, keeping up with toddlers, running kids to after-school, activities are juggling, a career and family getting dinner on the table. Can be a struggle for us all. I don’t Rafi box. A business owner wife and mom of four. I’m on a mission to build stronger families. One dinner at a time. And I’m here with tips, tricks and inspiration. You need to feed your family tonight. Hello, friends, welcome to the Future family tonight, podcast episode 175. I’m your host, marifi box, and I am so happy to be here with you today. And they were going to talk about preparing for a hectic or busy or demanding season of Life were all busy. But there are times where we know we’re going to be hitting an extra hectic or an extra busy season. I feel like December and may just always qualify as extra hectic, or busy season, but there’s other times where it may be, you’re going to have a baby or you’re going to be moving or you’re hiding a remodeling project done in your home. Or it’s going to be a sports season where you know that your kids going to be doing a lot of extra Sports lessons or Sports practices for a small season or might be something that’s happening at work. I’m looking at you accountants during tax season. There are dozens of reasons why we may be anticipating a super busy C. And today, I have six tips to help you prepare your kitchen and prepare food for an extra busy season, please podcast is really kind of personal to me because I noticed on Facebook a few weeks ago that I am going back to work full time and I haven’t had like an 8 to 5 job in like 20 years ago. So I have personally, Been in a time where I am going to be facing a busy season, you know, a few weeks ago. I bumped into a friend at Target and three weeks later. I accepted a full-time position. Going from a work-at-home mom to a work out of the home. Mom with a side business working from home means that there’s going to be a lot of changes in our family and I had a couple of weeks to prepare and some of the things that I did. We’re going to talk about because they will work for any time. You are going to be facing a busy season. Okay. Tip number one, clean out your freezer and your pantry. It’s helpful to do this at least a couple of times of year anyway, but if you got a deep freeze, that is not frost-free, you need to go and defrost it once a year. I have a couple of freezers. I have one that is in my basement. That is not frost-free for a deep freeze, which I highly recommend. I have to podcast on spring cleaning out your freezer in your pantry, episode number 70 and episode 128. If you’re interested in like some of the nitty-gritty is on how to clean out your freezer and Pantry, those episodes will go deep into it. But the thing is, when you clean out your freezer and Pantry, it is much easier to get control of what is coming in and out of your home when you start with a clean and organize freezer and pantry. Tip number two is you want to take an inventory of everything? That is in your freezer, your pantry and your linen closet. Know this is not have to be like a big drill checklist. Things can be just kind of a mental thing. But what things do you have on hand? What things do, you anticipate needing in the next couple of months? What are you buying too much of? Apparently, I have a incredible need for OxiClean because when I cleaned out my pantry, I saw three unopened tubs of OxiClean that are spare ribs, in my pantry. I just keep thinking that I need to buy OxiClean. I keep buying OxiClean over and over again. So, I bet in your pantry, my friend very big hair. She did the same thing with croutons 12 bags in her pantry. We all have things that we think we are always going to run out of the. We keep keep keep buying over and over and over again and then we get into our pantry, like, oh my gosh. I already have so many of those. So when you Natural. Pantry, take inventory, was in there. Look at what you need to supplement. What’s there? And take note of the things that you are buying over and over again. That you haven’t gone through some things to consider when you are taking inventory of what’s, in your freezer and your pantry and your linen. Closet is what season are you in now? And what season are you going to be moving into it? When I talk to you, then I’m talking like spring winter, fall summer because there are different items that you need in those different season. When we talked about linen closet in the summer. I got to make sure that I’ve got sunscreen and in the winter, I usually like to have some type of a Mucinex or decongestant or something, you know, there’s different medicines, but I need in the fall and in the summer in the spring. I’ve got to make sure that I’ve got some allergy medicine for my kid, that Scott, seasonal allergies. So looking at what you need in the different seasons, not only with food but also in your linen, closet will help. If you are heading into a specific, see that make sure that you’re getting those items that you need seasonally as well, which leads us to tip number 3, which is to make a list of the basic items. You will need during this busy season. And plan a deep dive grocery shopping trip. I have an entire podcast on Deep dive, grocery shopping. And I like to do it all in kind of one morning and hit three or four different stores. And I’m stocking up my freezer, my pantry in my linen closet, with all the basic items that I’m going to need for about 3 months. We’re talking everything from like deodorant and toothpaste to can tomatoes and pasta. I have a sheet for tracking that in the future family. Tonight holiday planning guide, you’re interested in that. You can get that if he’s your family tonight. Calm shop because actually has like a list where you can like kind of make a check mark off. Things that you are going to need. Usually. Again, I do this on one morning, but this past week is I’m preparing to start my full-time job. I just didn’t have a four-hour block of time because I had lots of loose ends that I was tying up before I go back to work. So I actually kind of did like 30 minutes shopping here. When our shopping there. I did it all in the course of like three or four days. So if you can’t do a full Deep dive shopping trip, think about getting your pantry stocked in your kitchen stocked and do it in just smaller little increments, but I highly highly prefer doing it into a deep dive, grocery shopping trip. Tip number for is make a list of backup and basic meals and get those ingredients in your house. Now. I’ve talked before that. Everybody needs two or three back at me out because we’re all going to have days when the wheels fall off. And when you are anticipating going into an extra busy season, you need to plan to use some of those backup meals and you might even put those back up Meals on your meal plan on purpose because there’s going to be days where that is. The only amount of time that you are going to have it. So stocking up your freezer and your pantry with basic ingredients for backup meals, will help you so much during this busy season. You want to think about what kind of a busy season you’re going into? If it’s a sports season, you may need meals that you can eat at the Ballpark things that you can take along with you. So you want to make sure that your house is stocked with frozen burritos that you can quickly put into the oven, and heat up and take and eat in the car on your way. If you are looking at going into a kitchen remodel and that’s what you’re busy season is. I have a whole podcast on kitchen remodels, by the way, then you need to look at things that can be made in your instant pot or made in a microwave with minimal number of dishes because it’s going to be hard to do your dishes. So the kind of busy season that you are heading into is going to dictate the kind of backup meals that you need to stock up and get ready for Tip number 5 is do a little freezer prep. If you can. I have said before that, I tend to do like meal components rather than full on freezer meals. If you want full on freezer meals, go to thriving homestore.com and use the code Mari 20. And look at their one hour, freezer prep session that my code gives you 20% off and they have like full meals for you. Can make six meals in one hour and a half. It all planned out. I tend to not do. Meals, but I like to make meal components. So I will make my big batch Taco me a link to that recipe in the show notes because it is one of my favorites. I will make 12 pounds of taco meat, put it in meal, size portions for my family, and then we can quickly, have tacos any day. I also like to do some precooked chicken and I will do roast chicken or I will do my instant pot lemony chicken, thighs, and Take that chicken and then I will cook it. Cool it down and put it into meal, size baggies for my family, so that I can quickly. Pull out that chicken and I can use it in chicken noodle soup. I can use it in chicken and rice. I can put it in chicken casserole. I can use that chicken a hundred different ways, and having that protein, precooked can save me so much time, but I am fixing dinner during a busy season. You can also just go in by 10 lb of hamburger and cook up 10. Lb of hamburger, add some salt, and pepper and some pureed onions. If you want. I got a recipe for cheeseburger baked potatoes, that teaches you, how to cook that hamburger with salt and pepper and onions. And you can use that in spaghetti, and you can use it in Chile, and you could turn it into tacos and you can put it on top of baked potatoes, for cheeseburger, bake potatoes, but having 10, lb of hamburger cooked and in your freezer is awesome. I tell you, one of the best things that you could do, when you got a family in need, like someone who’s had a baby or someone who’s got an illness. Just pick up a bunch of ground beef and just take them cooked ground beef for their freezer that they can turn into whatever they want for meals for their family. Think about breakfast to when you’re a busy season breakfast often become nothing but cereal in my family kind of gets tired of that and likes to have a hearty breakfast, every now and then I in preparation for this busy time that I’m going to be heading into. I made 8 lb, maybe 9, lb of my homemade turkey sausage patties. And instead of putting it in a log. I actually formed into patties, like I do for my mega hat, hamburger, patties, and I froze it in the freezer. And now I have just individual patties of turkey, sausage that I can quickly pull out and I can cook 1256. However, many, I need to make. I got a recipe for make-ahead. Breakfast sandwiches, or you can make ahead breakfast sandwiches with eggs and cheese and spinach and then wrap them in parchment paper and pull them out for quick and easy. Office or lunches. The main idea is that if you can do just a little bit of freezer prep to get ready for the busy season, whether it’s full meals like Polly and Rachel at the driving home or meal components. It’s going to make getting food on the table faster and easier during your busy time. My final tip for preparing for a busy season, is to be realistic with yourself during busy Seasons. It’s okay to be boring. If you need to pick seven meals and have the same thing every day of the week, for a month, then do it. Your family will be okay. If you have the same seven meals over and over again for 4 weeks. If you need to rely on some grocery store, shortcut by the rotisserie chicken Friends, by the frozen veggies, by the pre cut mushrooms, you’re still going to be saving money and eating healthier, but go ahead and get a few grocery store shortcut. Busy seasons are the time in your life where you use grocery pickup, grocery delivery, it is okay to buy the baby carrots when you are facing a busy or stressful season in your life. You want to be kind and do not expect. Talk too much of yourself. You don’t have to have Pinterest, perfect meals. You don’t have to have it all together and I said this over and over again, friends, but I want to say it again. Because you are far enough. And if it is chicken nuggets or box, macaroni and cheese for a couple of days or cereal for dinner. Your family’s going to be. Okay. And in a busy season surviving is sometimes all we can do. And so if you got a little bit of time to prepare follow those six steps that I had, you’ll get your freezer cleaned out, do an inventory of what you need to do. A deep dive grocery shopping trip, think about the seasons that you’re in, and make sure that you’re getting the things for the season. But most importantly, Be realistic with yourself and don’t expect too much of yourself during a busy season friends. I will be reporting back on how things are going in a few episodes with me personally. So you can kind of hear how this has worked in my life, but I can’t wait to hear what you guys like to do to prepare for busy season to join you. Over in the siege of Hitler’s tonight face to droop. We’ll talk about that over there. As soon as I hope you’re doing well, take it.