Home meal preparation can be as simple as cooking a single dinner or as complicated as bulk cooking several dinners at one time to store in the freezer for later use. It takes a little more time than getting something to go, but food made at home is often healthier and better tasting.
Bulk cooking, or investment cooking as it is sometimes called, can seem daunting at first, but it does make weeknight cooking easier. There are a few ways to do it. The simplest is to double or triple the recipe and freeze the additional portions for later use. A more complicated option is to set aside one or two days a month and cook all day, planning and creating dozens of dinners at one time and freezing them. Some people find working in groups, with each person taking home one portion of each prepared dish, easier.
A meal-preparation store is essentially bulk cooking, but at a facility and not at home. The customer orders a set number of dinners and schedules a time for an assembly session. At the store, the customer assembles one meal at each station. Everything needed to complete the recipe will be at the station. The customer then assembles the meal, following the instructions posted at the station, and stores the finished product in a freezer-safe container. The dinners are taken home, frozen and cooked when needed. Some stores offer pre-made entrees to go as well.