Picture this scene….
A sigh of relief exits your mouth as you close the last school book of the day. It’s been a busy day of instruction, but you feel like you and your children had a great day of learning.
Now it’s time to get those loads of laundry put away and straighten up the house. By the time you finish cleaning up, you glance at the clock and notice it’s 5:00. That’s when it hits you that you forgot to set anything out for dinner and don’t have any idea what you’re going to make.
Suddenly all the feelings of accomplishment you were feeling over your school day have flown out the window. Your husband will be home soon and your children’s tummies will be rumbling. You’re tired, hungry, and feeling overwhelmed as you dig through the pantry trying to come up with an idea for dinner – searching desperately, though in need of some awesome meal planning tips.
Have you ever been there?
I know I have! Those kind of evenings remind me how important it is to have a good meal plan in place and to be faithful to my routines.
If you’re tired of being overwhelmed at dinnertime, here are a few tips that will help save your sanity:
Assign a theme to each day of the week.
It seems so simple but makes a big difference when it comes to deciding what’s for dinner. Write out the days of the week on a piece of paper. Consider any activities you normally have planned on each day and how that affects your meal time. Then assign a theme to each day.
- Monday – International (Make your family’s favorite international foods or incorporate some geography into dinnertime and try a recipe from a different country.)
- Tuesday – Something New (Is there a night during the week that is slower, mix things up and try a new recipe. If your family loves it and it’s easy to make add it to your master list of meals.)
- Wednesday – Cooking Challenges (Plan one or two nights a week that focus on teaching your children how to cook. You’ll be teaching them important life skills and getting dinner prepared at the same time. Winning!)
- Thursday – On the Go (Does your family have evening activities during the week that make it hard to eat at home together? Plan “on the go” meals: sandwiches, wraps, salads, or homemade lunchables.)
- Friday – Pizza (There are so many different ways to make your pizza for “pizza night”: BBQ Chicken, Taco, Hawaiian, Breakfast, Make Your Own Personal Pizza, etc.)
- Saturday – Keep It Simple (Cook a freezer meal, use up leftovers, or make sandwiches.)
- Sunday – Homestyle (hamburgers, chicken, bbq, etc.)
Make dinner part of your morning routine.
You’ll never be stuck panicking over what to make for dinner after a long school day again, if you make dinner part of your morning routine. Before you even get started with school take 5-10 minutes to set something out to thaw, cut up some veggies, or get something started in the slow cooker. If you are need of some quick and easy breakfast recipes, check these ones out.
Prepare some freezer meals to have on hand.
You don’t have to spend an entire day making freezer meals, but your future self will thank you if you have a few on hand. ? I have an entire post explaining how to make freezer cooking easy. If you would like those tips, click here.
Go-to Quick Meals
Make a list of a few go-to quick meals that you can make in about 20 minutes. Keep the ingredients on hand and when you are in a jam for an easy meal look at your list and whip up a fast dinner. Here are some great tips to help with your grocery shopping to help make sure you have some easy, go-to meals always on hand. These monthly meal plans may give you some great ideas of new and delicious menu items rather than sticking to the same four recipes
Stacey is a homeschooling Christian mum trying to live a simple, frugal, healthy life. She lives with her husband and two gorgeous boys in the sunshine state of Queensland, Australia. You can check out her blog at Simple Living Creative Learning where you find printables, kids activities, homemaking resources, homeschooling encouragement, and even some recipes!