Well, convenience is key. Between my crazy schedule and the kids’ even crazier schedules I have to be sure I can whip something up quick, simple and will be versatile enough to satisfy the whole family…
And let me first start by saying… This is WAYYYY easier said than done. Between my meat and potatoes hubby and my uber picky kids with completely opposing taste buds from each other I def end up being a short order cook many nights.
But what I hope to provide you here is just a few tips and tricks to make dinner time a bit easier.
So lets get to it:
Designate a day you know you MUST food shop… for me its Mondays. I alternate between my Trader Joes hauls and the local Stop and Shop so I know I can get my staples in both but still enjoy the variety that they both offer…I will tell you I have tried the “shop each day for what you need for dinner” option to cut down on wasted food at the end of the week… but for me.. It doesn’t work… mostly because I end up with more day than time and I don’t make it to the store… my kids end up eating a bowl of cereal and my husband and I scrounge together something from the bottom of the produce drawer…
Know your audience…buy what you KNOW they like and keep the experimenting to a minimum on weeknights… this will save you time, energy and a whole lot of frustration and wasted food. I know for a fact that pasta and butter will be on the menu for at least one of my children twice a week. So i boil off a pound every monday… mix it with some butter and throw it in the fridge for the week. OHHHH… I know what ur thinking.. My kids wont eat microwaved pasta or leftovers… well mine won’t either… but throwing it in a pot when they are not looking and adding some water and fresh buttery goodness will bring it right back to its freshly cooked life… and fool those little investigators every time!
Start with a protein everyone will like and go from there… in my house chicken is king… with steak being a close second… on days I have a little bit more time I will grill off half my chicken for me and fry up some cutlets for them… after that I will play with sides which are typical easier and quicker to prepare. This is a tricky one for me though,… because I HATE eating the same shit every day… so just a quick side note… if you are anything like me… take a bit of time for yourself and food prep… I cook off salmon or shrimp on a day that’s convenient for me (aka… when i have 36 seconds to breathe…) and keep it in the fridge to mix in when I am not feeling another damn chicken cutlet!
Prep your veggies ahead of time.. When I get home from the food store I take a few minutes to remove the produce from the packaging, chop it, and store it away. That way when its time to cook… everything is ready for me… these easy to stack and space saving glass storage containers from AMAZON are my for sure faves to store it all and worth every penny.
Convenience is KING… Guys not every single thing we use has to be home made…
Trader Joes frozen rice, 3 mins to fluffy deliciousness is WAYYY easier than measuring out a pot of rice that you will prob undercook or even more likely completely burn the entire bottom of the pot with. Coldcuts work wonders in a salad or frittata and need no cooking off… pretty please just make them nitrate free and organic when you can find it. Oh and speaking of frittatas… check out one of my fave resources that gives you a ton of yummy frittata recipes and more https://www.thekitchn.com/easy-ways-to-eat-eggs-for-dinner-224468
One sheet meals… I mean it can’t get much easier right? Throw it all on a pan and slide it into the oven… wala… dinner is served.. Not to mention minimal dishes in the sink equates to one happy me… check my pinterest here for some other super simple and convenient ways to keep mealtime simple!
So there you have it… some of my fave ways to save time, save money, and attempt to feed my crazy family each week… Some days my friends… I am a shining star… and others well… chinese food takeout is the end result… So go easy on yourself if you don’t always have it all together.. I promise no one else does either.