Making Dinners Easier
There is never enough time in the day with work, kids, and errands pulling you in every direction. Our lives can get so crazy with hectic schedules and making dinner can become a huge chore. If your days are like mine then you want to make dinner a process that is as quick and painless as possible. I have learned a few tricks along the way to help me with my quest to feed my family without going absolutely crazy, taking up too much of my time or without depending on the local drive-thru.
- Plan Meals One Week Ahead – I have found that if I have a rough idea of the dinners that will be made for the week that is half the battle. Each week I try and plan several meals for the week ahead and I usually include two extra simple meals for back up. Planning helps to cut down on trying to figure out what to make on the spot as well as last minute trips to the grocery store.
- Crock Pot – The crock pot is a great way to make meals. Most crock pot recipes require you to simply throw all the ingredients in and let it cook all day. When I make crock pot meals all I have to worry about when it comes to dinner time is making the sides to go with the meal. Crock pots makes dinner much easier to handle and less time consuming.
- Make Main Dishes Ahead – I know several people who actually make all their meals for the week during the weekend or when they have free time and freeze them. This makes it really easy to just reheat the dish when you are ready to eat them. Doing this however takes a great deal of planning but also makes the weeknight dinners much easier to handle.
- Make Side Dishes Ahead – When I know that I am going to have a busy week I make some side dishes ahead. I will also make double the amount of a side dish if I know that I am going to have the same side dish in the same week. This way I can store half the amount in the refrigerator until the next time I need it and simply reheat it. Making simple sides can also help; like a quick and easy salad with just a few ingredients.
- Be Flexible - Things change constantly and what you thought might work for dinner on Tuesday night suddenly becomes impossible. This is why I keep a few extra dinner ideas lying around that are relatively quick and can be done at the last minute without a lot of work. So if it is Tuesday night and the dinner you have planned will not work try switching with another night or make something that is quick and easy.
When it comes to dinner try planning ahead and having a rough idea of what you want during your hectic week. Although plans can change having a basic idea/menu to go from will help to make things a little easier. Making meals ahead or making simple recipes can also help to save time. There are many different steps that you can take to make dinner time quick and easy without having to go to the nearest fast food restaurant, you just have to find what works for you and your family.