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Back-to-School Meals: Mom's Dinner Helper

By Monica Bielanko |

Portioning my meat right after I buy it assures that none will go to waste.

My kids eat hamburgers once and sometimes twice a week for lunch or dinner.

Sometimes I cook them with a side dish of mac and cheese but mostly I serve them with a side of vegetables, usually peas and carrots. Both kids love the burgers which works out well.

Whether you’re dealing with two toddlers, like me, or you’ve got older children that will keep you running ragged once all the back-to-school madness hits, I’ve got a simple tip for keeping dinner easier than ever.

Because hamburger can be worked into just about any meal, I buy a pound weekly at the grocery store. You’re supposed to freeze hamburger within a couple days of purchase if you haven’t used it. I might use a little in a couple days but, of course I’ll never use the whole pound within a few days.

That’s where mom’s dinner helper comes in:

What would moms do without Ziploc baggies?

They help me portion out the meat into servings for my kids. That way I can pull only what we’ll eat for that day out to thaw and the other portions stay frozen until I’m ready to use them instead of pulling the whole pound of hamburger out, thawing it and then using only a little and leaving the rest in the fridge to go bad if I don’t use it.

Like so:

Ziploc Slider Bags are THE best. No fumbling with sealing and unsealing.

Divide the meat into portions.

Pop the baggies in the freezer. Look! They take up almost no space.

Now, when you know you’re gonna cook hamburgers for the day, just pull one baggie out of the fridge a couple hours earlier as they thaw in no time.

This works for all kinds of pre-made dinners as well. You can freeze virtually anything, even soup!


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About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Back-to-School Meals: Mom's Dinner Helper

  1. carol says:

    I have dinner for four — I’ll double up!

  2. Michelle says:

    This is so great! I also feel like doing this probably decreases your risk of food-bourne illness! So helpful

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