Everyone knows the importance of having home-cooked meals every now and then, but finding the time to cook can seem like a hassle. However, that doesn’t have to stop you. There are still ways that you can prepare something even if you only have one day to do it. And whether you’re prepping for just you or your whole family, you’ll be sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.

Invest in 30-Minute Meals

A lot of people who don’t cook or don’t like to cook believe that they simply don’t have the time to create the meal they want. However, that isn’t exactly an excuse anymore. With frozen foods that you can make in your own oven, and a lot of ready-made meals that you can start cooking and leave alone for hours at a time, not having time is a pretty weak excuse. There is a big difference between packaged meals and fresh ones, but that one doesn’t hold a lot of water either. There are thousands of online resources with recipes that take thirty minutes or less to cook. That’s right, in the amount of time that it takes to have a pizza delivered, you can already be eating something much healthier. Everyone has time for that. And if you don’t want a heavy dinner, you can make dishes that come in at just over 500 calories. So there shouldn’t be any reason that you can’t cook a few healthy meals for yourself, even if you’re pressed for time.

Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

If you have time to cook at the start or end of your week, then maybe what you need to do is start preparing your meals ahead of time. There are several ways you can do this depending on what you’re looking to get out of it. For example, you can prepare a few different meals to portion for lunch and dinner. The meals don’t even have to be hard; you can cook two or three types of meat and vegetables and pair those together or mix and match as you see fit. You can also try looking into batch cooking, which involves cooking a few larger meals to spread out over several days. This can include big family type meals like casseroles, or simple things like burgers and salads. The basic idea of both processes is to set aside a few hours once a week or so to prepare a bunch of food so that you can store it and eat it later. And there are tons of online recipe guides if you decide you want to change it up. That way you know you’re eating healthy and home-cooked meals without the same amount of effort on your part.

Once a Month

If you like the idea of cooking once in a blue moon but still aren’t sure you have the time, that’s okay. Some people work really long hours and some just don’t have the resources to cook as often as others. That’s why there are meal-planning services. Most people know about the traditional once a week or every few days meal kits, but there is a specialty service for people who are too busy to cook regularly. Once a Month was originally designed for busy moms, but it’s started becoming more popular lately. Instead of cooking every few days or once a week, you only have to cook one day out of the month.

That’s right, you set aside one day a month to get ingredients and prep meals so that you’ll be set for the entire month. You have to be willing to set aside all your time on that one day and have plenty of storage for your meals, but it offers a lot of customization options for your service. They incorporate all sorts of diets aside from traditional, including vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. If you aren’t sure you’ll like it, they offer a free “mini” program where you get five recipes to start. It’s the best payoff for one day of cooking you’ll ever see, and it’s great if you want to make more home cooked meals.