It’s hard enough coming up with ideas on what to serve during mealtime, but what’s even more difficult and time-consuming is preparing the ingredients for your chosen recipe.

Prepping ahead is ideal, especially for busy moms, because it enables you to save time and organize your weekly menu well,” says Aileen Anastacio, author of Home Café: 100 Recipes for Irresistible Coffees and Delectable Desserts and chef-instructor at the Heny Sison Culinary School. So if you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, you can head to the kitchen and see which of the following you can do:

(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Your Good House Guide section as “Prep Ahead” in April 2010; adapted for use in Female Network)

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