What’s for dinner? How many times do you hear that every week?! Talk about a tough question if you aren’t prepared and it’s about, oh let’s say, 5:30 in the evening.
I wish I could say that I always stick to my meal plan and that it works flawlessly for me. But I can’t. Sometimes life just happens and I’m not as prepared as I would have hoped.
I’ve switched to this planner which has a great meal plan feature that I use more effectively because I keep up with all of my homemaking notes, lists, goals and schedule in the same place. Read more about this little gem right here.
Most homemakers want to figure out ways to prepare good food for their families and reduce the time it takes, especially on busy nights. How can we pull this off more consistently?
Even with a meal plan, our evenings can begin to feel busy and full. I quickly readjust our dinner when that happens. I love to cook but sometimes I don’t always have much time to spend on it.
My remedy for this situation was to stretch my evenings by utilizing my crockpot, freezer and a little preparation.
3 Tips for Dinner in a Flash:
I love my crockpot. They are great because you prepare in advance that morning and at dinner, the meal is ready to be served. When I’ve got a busy day scheduled, then I keep it simple and put a crockpot together in the morning.
Soup, chili and so many other recipes work quite well cooking on low throughout the day. Pinterest has tons of great crockpot recipes for inspiration.
On a night where we are tight on time my crockpot is a time saver and huge help. With dinner ready, we are able to have more time together to talk about the day and launch into our evening events.
2. Freezer Meal
If I know that we have a lot going on the next day, I will pull out a meal that I have in the freezer to thaw overnight. When it’s time to cook, I can just pop the dish in the oven and dinner is served in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I prepare a side or a salad and dinner can be served pretty quickly.
The preparation part of our meal was done in advance so while the food cooks, I’m able to do other things in our home. Talk about a time stretcher and the chance to feel more productive and spend extra time with your family.
Always keep a few things on hand to pull out of the freezer. Pasta, soup and even pizza dough are a great way to have a few things on hand. I tend to cook once and eat twice. In other words, I prepare two dishes, we eat one and freeze the other. (Another time saver!)
3. Prep in Advance
If you know that you won’t have much extra time for dinner, then do some prep work. I tend to prepare salads, chop veggies, and marinade meats in advance.
Since I’m a morning person, this one is easier for me. I tend to prep food for dinner in the morning after my husband heads to work. I know I’m not able to do everything but I get as much done as possible.
My goal is to provide a good meal for us and make kitchen time not as lengthy some nights so I can focus on other things and my husband. 🙂
Stretching our time is a great goal but it does take some planning and work to achieve. A meal plan and some get dinner on the table quick ideas will help on busy nights.