I wonder what we should have for dinner tonight... Let's see what we have on hand. Hmmm... I don't know, let's just go out to eat. Does that sound familiar? It's the evening routine of many families, because thinking of something to make for supper is almost more work than making it. And when you just come home from work, the stress of dinner planning is often just too much.
So how can we make evening meal planning easier? Here are some ideas:
- Plan ahead. On the weekend when the family is together, ask, "So what does everyone want for supper this week?" Make a list of the suggestions and choose meals from the list. Add foods as needed to go along with the meal, i.e. veggies, fruit, bread, yogurt, salad, etc. Write it out and hang it on the fridge: Monday - spaghetti, green salad, bread. Tuesday - beef stroganoff, rice, peas, yogurt with fruit. Wednesday - order pizza. Thursday - soup, crackers or bread, fruit, dessert. Friday - hotdogs, chips, green beans. And so on... When you ask your family for ideas, you're more likely to make things they like and will eat.
- You have your meals planned, so now make your grocery list. Try to get everything you'll need on the list so you can make one trip to the store for the whole week. If you don't have the ingredients on hand when it's time to cook, you won't feel like running to the store and you'll be back to trying to figure out what to make.
- Find crockpot recipes. There are so many great slow cooker recipes out there. Look online, ask your friends. Then get things cooking in the morning and you'll have dinner waiting for you when you get home. You can even get everything ready the night before and throw it all into the crockpot before you leave for work.
- Remember, you can eat out during the week, but plan it into your meal schedule so it's not a spur of the moment thing and not an everyday thing.
- Don't forget leftovers. Some things actually taste better the second time around.
When you plan your meals ahead of time, you'll lighten your evening stress load and maybe even find you have some great family time around the table. Your meals will be more nutritious and you'll probably save money by doing more cooking at home and less eating out.
If a brief conversation about your to-do list and how I can help would be valuable, please call me or drop me a line.
Wishing you continued success.
Juli (Omaha's Girl Friday Concierge)
(402) 898-0746 or email@example.com