web analytics

Medium Sized Family uses affiliate links. If you click a link, we could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read more.

Share or Save This

These easy make ahead recipes can be done while you’re waiting on hold with the doctor’s office.

Getting ready to wash dishes?  Hey, if you’ve got 5 minutes to put a few ingredients together first, you can wash up while your homemade goodies bake in the oven.

On hold with the insurance company?  Throw together a mix while you wait.

This post makes it easy.

Each section here is broken down by the amount of time it takes to put the recipe together.

Glance through, pick a recipe, and save money in just a few minutes of your time.

Make Ahead Recipes That Fit Your Real Life

Yeah, you’re gonna want to pin this one.  😉

These easy make ahead recipes can help you save money on your grocery bill!

Before We Dive In…

If you hate constantly running to the store for that one ingredient you forgot…

Or you worry about storms or layoffs (or any number of things) that could leave your family hungry…

Maybe you just get tired of eating whatever the grocery store decides is on sale that week…

Then I have the perfect plan for you!  I can teach you exactly how I built a big stockpile of food…enough to take care of my family of 8 for two months or more…on one income.

Get the step by step directions here.  (At about the price of a fast food drive thru stop.)

5-10 Minute Recipes

These recipes can be done, start to finish, in about 5 or 10 minutes total.  Basically, these ideas can be used by pretty much everyone.  That takes away that “got no time for that” excuse!

Make a hot chocolate mix.

Put together a copycat Bisquick mix.

Try your hand at a homemade ranch dressing mix or taco seasoning.

Make a pot of hard boiled eggs.

Make a jar of homemade pizza sauce.  (Just stick it in the fridge…no canning required!)

5 Minute Make Ahead Meals

Throw together a batch of cocoa hazelnut energy bites.

Chop up veggies for easier grab and go.

Wash up fruits like berries and grapes.  Put them in a bowl so kids can easily get to them (before they go bad!)

Rip up bread ends or that dried piece of bread (just look out for any signs of mold!).  Place it in a ziplock bag in the freezer and use this for croutons, bread crumbs, or (when you have enough) bread pudding!

Related: Keep this list of snacks for trips on hand and you’ll save all that money you usually spend on convenience foods!!

Toss Together and Bake for ~30 Minutes

Let’s say you get home from a busy day.  You don’t want to stand in the kitchen for an hour. 

But you could handle having tomorrow’s breakfast or lunch taken care of already.

So put these ingredients together, and bake them for a while as you sit down with a good book!  You’ll have food in the house to eat without a lot of effort.

On the go Easy Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Easy make ahead meals and snacks

Roasted Chickpeas

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites don’t require baking time, but they do need to hang out in the fridge for 20 minutes before you roll into balls.

Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

Quick breads like banana or cranberry orange bread.

For even more make ahead ideas, try these cheap and easy freezer meals for large families.

More Time to Put Together, Plus Baking Time

If you’ve got a little more time and energy, these recipes will hit the spot!

Corndog Muffins:  I use this cornbread recipe.  Pour it into muffin tins.  Cut hot dogs into thirds and drop one piece on each muffin before baking.  (Bakes for about 25 minutes.)

Easy make ahead meals and snacks

Tuna Patties.  A little fussier to put together, but it cooks up in less than 10 minutes.

Freezer Salisbury Steak.  Whip the ingredients together and bake for just 10 minutes before you pop them in the freezer for later.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Muffin Cups.  Make them, bake them, and they’re ready to reheat!

Easy to Put Together, Takes A Little Longer To Bake

Simple recipes that take small spurts of effort over a longer time.  Totally doable for a lazy Saturday afternoon!

Famous Beer Bread  People will beg you for this recipe, it’s so good.  (No worries, the beer cooks off and it’s non-alcoholic.)

Chex Mix.  You have to stir it every 15 minutes while it bakes for 45 minutes.  Otherwise, pretty easy.

5 Minute Artisan Bread.  This bread is delicious and hardly any effort.  BUT, you do have to let it rise a couple of times.  If you plan to be home all day anyway, this simple recipe is an easy way to get delicious homemade bread.

The Best Simple Homemade Granola with Honey Recipe.  Whips up pretty quickly, bakes for a while, and makes the best, most filling breakfast around.

Crock Pot Love

Put the ingredients together in the freezer, ready to throw into the crock pot!  OR…use your crock pot to whip up a big batch of something you can use later.

Brown several pounds of ground beef right in your crock pot.  Add a few generic seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic so you can use it in a variety of recipes.

You can also cook a pork shoulder to use in recipes like pulled pork or carnitas.

Make ahead meals and snacks based on the time you have available.

Garlic Chipotle Lime Chicken.  Whip up the sauce in a few minutes.  Freeze it next to your bag of chicken breasts, ready to toss in the crock pot one morning.

Tons of easy budget meals for large families can be found right here!

Extra Effort Required – Deliciousness Is Your Reward

Yeah, these recipes will take you more time and energy.  You may have to dedicate a busy afternoon to the kitchen.

But you can fill the house with recipes your family will love!  That’s a fantastic way to avoid the fast food lane.

Instant Pot Refried Beans.  This will jazz up your next taco night!

Homemade pancakes or waffles.  Use your favorite recipe and keep a bag full in the freezer.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.  Drool!

Make ahead meals and snacks that fit your schedule!

Apple Oatmeal Bake  I can already smell it baking…

Homemade Soft Pretzels (Not as hard as you think!)

Two Ingredient Homemade Yogurt: This recipe is practically foolproof!

Burritos: So many options here!
Make ahead meals and snacks that fit your schedule!

Fun Money Mom

Fajita Breakfast Casserole With Sausage.  Put it together, stick it in the fridge or freezer, and it’s ready to bake fresh when you want it!

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole.  Yum!

Low Carb Italian Meatballs.  Bake ’em and freeze ’em!

These make ahead recipes will save you a ton of money without taking up all of your time!

Next up…don’t miss these ideas for make ahead cold lunches!

10 Easy Make Ahead Cold Lunches That Aren't Boring

What’s your favorite recipe for make ahead meals?

Easy things to make from scratch, homemade recipes that are simple fast and easy, make these foods at home from scratch in no time, have fun cooking recipes for your family in your own kitchen