Jess standing in front of the water at the beach, stretching her arms and looking out at the ocean, with her back to the camera in a light blue activewear outfit,

How to make cooking simple and stress-free

Make cooking easy (and delicious)

Have you ever heard the phrase “cook like a Mum”?

Well, it refers to how us Mums make cooking simple and stress free!

When you have kids, time is precious, and if you’re also super lazy like me, cooking is the last thing you want to spend hours doing every day.

We Mums are forever searching for, and creating, the holy-grail recipes. Yummy, nutritious food that the kids will actually eat. But more importantly, meals that are quick and easy to make.

On that note, here are my 5 tips to making cooking more efficient:

1. Purchase double the ingredients and cook double portions

Heck, cook triple if you have the freezer space! Leftovers are incredibly useful and there is NO shame in eating the same meal several times per week. Dinner for lunch is delicious!

Things that are easy to make in bulk and transport to work include:

  • Roast meat and veggies
  • Curry and rice
  • Bolognese / pasta dishes
Leftovers are my favourite lunches!

2. Create foods that can easily be frozen in portions

Foods like:

  • casseroles
  • lasagne
  • bolognese
  • soups.

Choose foods that everyone enjoys, make them in bulk and freeze them in single portions so you can defrost as needed.

These are especially helpful in times of unexpected circumstances, such as when you or the kids get sick, a last-minute work trip, working overtime and all the other curve balls life likes to throw at us!

3. Store frozen veggies and an extra loaf of bread in the freezer

Snap-frozen veggies are super cheap and have a really high nutrient content because they have’t undergone hours (or days) of transportation.

Having these small things in the freezer means less dashes to the supermarket, and less excuses to skip the side of veggies with your meals at the end of the week before you do the shopping (for more tips on meal planning see this blog post).

4. Prepare the main elements of a dish at the start of the week, when you have more energy

Preparing some elements of a dish is a huge time saver

Coming back to weekly habits here, doing a small amount of prep on the weekends (or any day you have more time than others), means you’ll spend less time in the kitchen through the week when you also have work, school runs, bath & story time, etc.

As an example, I often cook up enchilada filling and put it in the fridge. Then on the day I planned to eat enchiladas, all I need to do is whack the filling into the quesadillas, top with cheese and bake them in the oven. So, so easy!

I find tonnes of my favourite recipes at, and simply adapt them to accomodate my sons allergies, or add in more legumes and vegetables.

5. Plan all meals and do your shopping in advance

Meal plan for success

Trying to work out what to eat mid-week is a recipe for “let’s just get takeaway” and “oh no, look at all this leftover food we have to throw out of the fridge this week

Planning is efficient, saves money and saves time. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong.

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Jess Neill

Jess Neill

I'm a Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Pre and Post Natal Training specialist. I'm also a mother of two, and I live on the beautiful Northern beaches of Sydney. If you liked this post, don't forget to leave a comment and share! Subscribe to my monthly newsletter for the latest health and fitness news.

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