How a Weekly Baking Day Can Save You a Ton of Time

I believe that a routine is crucial for your housework. I want to share a habit of mine that I have found really useful, which I call a baking day. Let’s talk about what that is.

What is a baking day?

Every week when you make dinner, you do things like chop up lettuce for a salad or chicken for a taco filling, and then two days later, you take out a brand new head of lettuce, the same salad spinner, cutting board, and knife, and do it all again.

Instead, I suggest you do that one day a week; chop twice the lettuce and chicken, and the dinner prep will become so much easier.

A baking day is a day of the week that you set aside to work in your kitchen and do a little bit of pre-cooking and pre-baking.

Perhaps you think you're too busy for a baking day. However, it's just a way of condensing what you're already doing into one block of time. You don't have to spend all day baking – just a couple of hours or an afternoon of prep will be enough.

Let’s go through how you do that.

What is a baking day?

Planning ahead

There is no use chopping up a bunch of lettuce, precooking a bunch of chicken, and then throwing it all out the next week. Therefore, we have to know what will be helpful for us to precook.

First off, you need a meal plan – not something elaborate, just a list of what you are making for dinner that week. If you want to do breakfast and lunch, that's great, but you don't have to.  

Frugal homemaker tips

Think of what you can make ahead

While you are making your meal plan, think critically about each step. Out of everything you need to prepare, what can you make ahead? It doesn't have to be the whole dish.

For example, if you make enchiladas ahead of time, they're going to get gross because flour tortillas get soggy. Instead, you can make the sauce and filling, then refrigerate them separately.

When dinner rolls around, all you are really doing is putting things together and baking them. That feels a lot easier than making all of the enchiladas.

As you are going through your meal plan, look at the individual components and ask what would make it easier to prepare.

Pre-chop and pre-portion

If you want to take this another step further, you can use this day to pre-portion things for lunches. Instead of packing my kids’ lunches each morning, I can prep them for the week.

They don't like to eat the same thing five days a week, but I could make Monday, Wednesday, and Friday lunches at the same time. It's just one less thing to do when that day comes up.

Making a dressing from scratch

Make from scratch

Another way you can use your time on a baking day is by making things that you usually make from scratch and take ages to get ready. This could be salsa, guacamole, homemade salad dressings, or bread.

Dinner prep is a busy time with all of those dishes, and if you can get the things that take the most time out of the way, that is very helpful.

Freezer cooking

This is not for everyone, but if you are okay with freezer meals, the baking day is a great opportunity to make one and tuck it in the freezer for when you need it.

Freezer meals don't have to be casseroles that end up all mushy. You could freeze shredded pulled pork so that it's ready to make sandwiches with, for example.

Good freezer meals include chili, spaghetti sauces, any kind of soup, and bread. Bread doughs also freeze very well. You can make pizza dough and freeze that for whenever pizza night rolls around. That way, you can just defrost it, shape it, and bake it.

How to make life easier with a baking day

Baking day is a way to break down your tasks and make them easier day to day. One of the big advantages of a baking day is you only destroy the kitchen one time!

If I am doing this and I am doing a ton of bulk cooking, I don't wash every single pot, pan, cutting board, and measuring cup. I will rinse them out and that's good enough for me. This saves a ton of work.

Make sure you have all your recipes ready the day before you want to do this. If you take a few minutes to have your recipes ready and have everything clean in your kitchen, it truly does make your life easier.

How to make life easier with a baking day

I hope you have found my frugal homemaking tips useful and that you'll give a baking day a go in your own kitchen. What kind of tasks would you set aside for baking day? Share in the comments below!

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • J J on Apr 01, 2023

    Some may find it helpful to buy reusable food prep trays (bento boxes) to fill and freeze. Some are even microwave-safe.

  • Cecilia Taylor-Pickens Cecilia Taylor-Pickens on Apr 05, 2023

    I started doing this when my kids were young and my oldest is now 44. I buy meat once a month and then the next day I cook large batches of chicken breasts seasoned with salt/pepper or lemon pepper or onion powder/salt/pepper and rotisserie, I then cook 4 lbs of in seasoned hamburger meat scrambled, 4 lbs of taco meat seasoned, several large packages of round steak cut into thin strips seasoned with salt/pepper/onion powder/garlic powder and some cut into bite sized pieces that are seasoned with just salt/pepper/onion powder. I also cook 20 to 30 hamburger patties, 30 to 40 meatballs, 8 individual meatloaf, 2 eye of round roasts. 2 London Broils-1 for bbq meat for sandwiches and 1 for salads, tacos etc...I separate and bag up everything into meals. I also scramble bulk pork sausage and fry bacon for bacon bits for salads etc... By cooking it all ahead my meal times are between 10 and 20 minutes on the norm. I don't have many leftovers so nothing is wasted. I also plan my meals for the month but it's flexible if I decide I'm in the mood for something different! I also make sure I write on the package the date so I use it up. The meat will last about 3 months in just ziplock bags.