Putting together menus for a week, two weeks or even a month will save a lot of time. Your meal plans should include family favorites, as well as quick alternatives. Post the menu so your older children can start preparation when they get home from school.
Planning will allow you to shop just once a week, rather than making multiple trips to pick up missing ingredients. Put a list together based on your meal plan and post it on the refrigerator so everyone can add needed items. If you have extra storage space, consider buying staples in bulk from a warehouse store to save trips and money.
Save time by cooking double recipes or preparing all of your meals for the week at once and freezing them in single meal containers. Investing a few hours on Sunday will give you extra time during the week. But beware: Not all foods freeze well. Experiment with smaller quantities to make sure your time-saving measures don't add cost.
To make large quantity food preparation easier, try using a measuring pitcher, which allows you to measure eight cups at once. Super-size your slow cooker and use a double griddle for pancakes and burgers.