Going through these past few posts, I’ve noticed that there has been a theme to them: hands-on time is short, but the start to finish is a long process. I’ll make sure to post some meals that take 30 minutes or less, start to finish soon.
However, this tip is meant to help for those meals that do take some additional time. It’s pretty basic, but as you plan your day, plan what you would like for dinner that night. Like many busy parents, my schedule is pretty much the same Monday through Friday: wake up, go to work, come home, do whatever in between, eat dinner, and then do something after dinner (even if it’s just relaxing and watching TV). Knowing when you want to sit down and eat helps you determine if what you want to eat vs the time it takes to make will work for you that day.
My nightly dinner for any given day of the week is usually prepared when I’m making my grocery list. Before I write anything down, I jot down seven meal options and then start going through the list of ingredients I’ll need for each one. Doing this allows me to think about what time I should start prepping dinner on any given day. Making my grocery store list also lets me only visit the grocery store once during the week, which means saving time on erroneous errands and overall money savings – things I think everyone loves saving on!
Finally, I also always try to have a backup plan, in case something unexpected happens. There is nothing wrong with coming home and simply pulling out something out of the freezer that is a complete meal (i.e., when you made extra of a dish or even a frozen pizza). There are days where that is really the only thing you have time or energy for!
What are some of your favorite meal planning tips that let you save time and put something yummy on the dinner table?