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Making Dinners Easier

Updated on December 15, 2009

 

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.  

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

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    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Healthy Living is! Organization is also the most difficult part at least for me.

    • Healthy Living Is profile image

      Healthy Living Is 

      8 years ago from allergies, people, flowers. health, diet, art, medicine, mental health

      So true. Organization is the key to good meals. Thank You!

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      oliversmum - Thank you so much. Yes making healthy meals with our busy schedules is difficult so any help I can get is a big big plus.

    • oliversmum profile image

      oliversmum 

      8 years ago from australia

      Triplet Mom. Hi. This is a great hub with wonderful idea's and information.

      I do love using my crock pot, it is a big time saver.

      Its hard to understand sometimes how working Mums and Dads get the time to make good healthy meals for their family, but a crock pot could help.

      Thank you for sharing this hub with us. :) :)

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Lamme - Thank you and you are welcome. Sounds like you are busy busy busy. Anything that makes life easier I am all for!

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 

      8 years ago

      Triplet Mom, I love my crock pot too! I have 5 kids, virtual triplets ... age 7, an 8 year old and a 12 year old. Life's crazy and a good meal is a necessity! Thanks for the great tips.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Hannah. I love my crock pot it was a great investment.

    • Hannah Ministries profile image

      Hannah Ministries 

      8 years ago

      I'm so glad I stopped at your side today! I'm going to look for that crock pot! Need it.

      Love

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Sweetie Pie!! I do have lots of energy!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I love my crock pot Triplet Mom. Your kids look so cute by the way, I commend you for having energy to write hubs and keep up with them. You must have a lot of energy :).

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Jerilee - That is definitely the best way to do things when your schedule is hectic.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      8 years ago from United States

      When my kids were young and I was going to school and working full time, I planned and prepared as much of the weeks meals ahead of time and had them ready on Sunday afternoons. Made life a whole lot saner.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Lita and you are right these tips are for anyone!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Nice tips not only for busy moms. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Jessicab - Thank you and good luck with your resolution!

    • jessicab profile image

      jessicab 

      8 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub and very good tips. thats my new year resolution to eat right, so when I see a hub about food, I have to read it.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you 2pats!! Great ideas. I think having a full pantry is also helpful.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Thanks for a useful hub.

      One extra tip - try to keep a few very quick items in stock. Examples: microwave rice (expensive, but still cheaper than take away food), ready made pasta sauce and tuna. Also pesto is useful.

    • profile image

      jdove-miller 

      8 years ago

      I too love my crock pot though I don't use it as often as would benefit me. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Madison22! I love my crockpot and am eyeing the new double crockpots!!

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 

      8 years ago from NYC

      Great tips! I've been meaning to get a crock pot for a while now, thanks for the reminder. Nice hub!

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Hello, Hello - It can be such a headache I agree a headache I try to avoid at all costs!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      It is a headache and time runs faster than I can. Thank you for your great tip.

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