Now that back-to-school season is here, you may be wondering how to save time in the kitchen. Between after-school activities and homework, there’s far less time to make dinner during the school year. I don’t want to sacrifice quality when it comes to what I serve my family, but there isn’t time to prepare a complicated meal. Here are a few tips for how to save time in the kitchen on busy weeknights.

Use a Slow Cooker

I love my slow cooker, and it’s a great way to save time in meal preparation. You can cook standbys like beef stew and pot roast, but don’t be afraid to experiment. I made macaroni and cheese in my slow cooker and my children raved about it! You can also purchase inserts that allow you to bake yeast bread and quick bread as well. Perfect for breakfast.

Cook Extra for Leftovers

When you can, make extra batches of your family’s favorite meals. Serve one meal that evening and freeze the second to serve the next week. This gives you an evening free of preparation and you can just put your meal in the oven to warm.

Advance Meal Prep

If you have extra time on the weekend, do some food prep for the week ahead. Plan the week’s meals and buy the ingredients you’ll need. Chop vegetables and store them in containers. Precook meats and store them in disposable baking dishes. With everything ready to cook,  you’ll slash the time it takes put dinner on the table every night.

Use a Delivery Service

If you can, treat yourself to a subscription meal delivery service. There are a number of these services available online. You’ll receive a box containing all the ingredients you need for the meal, and easy cooking instructions. Most services offer a variety of different types of meals including gluten free, vegetarian, and kid friendly–all made from fresh, healthy ingredients.

Getting a nutritious dinner on the table quickly doesn’t have to mean fast food if you follow these easy tips!