Three tips for getting dinner on the table faster

I actually enjoy cooking. But only if I am in the mood to cook. And sometimes the mood for cooking strikes me. But more times than not I would rather do other things. Any thing. Like clean the shower... and by clean I mean take a shower. 

But I have some tips for making dinner time faster, smoother and easier. 

1. Prechop your vegetables. 

Okay, so I told you a few weeks ago I got a BUNCH of bell peppers for just $.10 each! I chopped them up and flash froze them. Then when I want to cook with them I just pull out as many as I need and I am good to go.  

2. Precook your meat. 

Have some meat already cooked and waiting in your freezer to be thawed and thrown in a dish. This is by far the best thing I could have done! On Saturday I picked up my Zaycon order, 80 pounds of ground beef (more on that another day) and I cooked some of it in the slow cooker. Then I stored it in 1/2-pound increments in the freezer. It takes little time to thaw.

Of course, this can also be done with chicken. I have cooked chicken in the slow cooker, shredded it and froze it for later use. 

3. Keep your basics on hand. 

Brown rice, a few cans of beans and some tomatoes in canned in my freezer. That's pretty much the basics to build about 20 different recipes that I already have in my brain. 

Of course the best thing to do is meal plan. But no one is perfect and a million things come up over the course of a day. So if you have a backup plan and know you can get dinner on the table in under 20 minutes you won't be hitting up the drive through. 

What tips do you have for making dinner easier?