Do you ever feel like you just don’t have enough time to cook a delicious, healthy meal for everyone in your family? Trying to get everyone at the dinner table at the same time just feels impossible! Have you just thrown in the towel and said, “McDonald’s, here we come”? It can be quite challenging to get everyone to sit down and eat dinner together when your husband might have a meeting and/or the kids have practice or dance. Well, here are some great tips to help resolve these problems.
Plan Your Meals: Set a day each week where you are going to plan out your meals. This might include reviewing the Sunday paper searching for sales and coupons. Keep a list close by to jot down some good sale items to pick up. I LOVE getting a good deal on groceries. Maybe steaks and artichokes are on sale? This would be a great treat for the family to enjoy on a night you can all sit at the table together.
Access Your Weekly Routine: This means set aside some time with a calendar and plan out your weekly meals. For example, if your son or daughter has basketball practice on Wednesday nights, this would be an ideal night to toss something in the crock pot. When you get home at 7:00, dinner is ready! Look at your calendar, pay close attention to your evening schedule and plan your meals accordingly. Another great idea is to create some repetition to your weekly meals. Maybe “Tuesday Taco Night” or “Friday Pizza Night”. This will simplify your weekly meal planning and take the guess work out of preparing meals.
Schedule Your Grocery Shopping Day: I typically do my grocery shopping on the weekends so we have plenty of food for lunches, dinners and snacks for the upcoming week. However, depending on your family’s schedule, this may not work. Instead, shopping on a Thursday evening might be best (also not as busy). If you are a morning person, consider getting up and out the door by 8am to get your shopping done by 9am.
Create Your Shopping List: I love using my pre-printed shopping list that I have posted on my refrigerator door. Once an item is used up, all we have to do is circle or highlight the item on our pre-printed shopping list. There is no need to CREATE a new list each week. We just grab the list of the fridge and go!
Don’t Lose Meal Planning Momentum: Once you start following the above steps on a weekly basis, you will be a meal planning expert. Say Goodbye to Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
I recently discovered an app www.supercook.com. All you have to do is enter an ingredient, and presto, a list of possible dinners will appear. For example if you have chicken breast in your fridge, a list of all dinners with chicken breast will appear. So Fun! Now you won’t cringe when they ask you, “What’s for dinner?”