What is the one thing that stresses out even the most organized of people?
It is the daily “What is for supper?” question. The DAILY need our family has at the end of every day- Supper! Here are 5 tips to Simplify Weeknight Dinners.
These FIVE tips will help simplify and reduce the stress of weeknight meals.
Have a plan. As strange as this might sound, start with your calendar. When you plan your menu start by looking at the calendar to see what the next week’s evenings look like. Will you be home or are there sports or other activities? Will you be home in time to prepare or will you be walking in the door right when everyone will be starving?
Set yourself up for success by planning meals that work for each different night’s schedule. For example, if you know you need an extra quick meal on Tuesday evening because you have to run out the door quickly to get to dance practice, then plan to have grab and go food that can be eaten on the way! Maybe on Thursday you have more time for cooking and eating around the table so that is the night you plan the meal that takes a bit more prep time.
Setting yourself up for success by using your calendar goes a long way to reduce supper time stress. You will know which nights to fix what food based on the amount of time you have for both preparation and eating.
Ask your family to help you create a list of their top 10 favorite meals. Rotate these meals. There is no reason that we can’t fix the same 10 meals on rotation. It keeps grocery shopping easier, too. It also helps reduce decision fatigue. Just pull the list of favorite meals out and match them up with the calendar as discussed in point number 1. Simple is good!
Use meal prep resources! There is absolutely no shame in using things like pre-chopped produce and salad kits. The grocery store deli section has packaged sandwiches and the meat counter has pre-seasoned meats. Here at The Homestead we have a large selection of prepared homestyle meals in our freezer section that are ready for you to just heat and serve! Having freezer meals waiting for you to pull out and use really reduces stress. The Homestead frozen casseroles, quiches, and soups are family favorites and so easy to heat and serve. Our foil pans are both oven AND microwave safe. Use meal resources to reduce stress and help you feed your family delicious and nutritious meals.
Utilize the slow cooker! Throw together an easy slow cooker meal in the morning and come home to supper ready for you. There is something really incredible about walking into the house and being greeted with the aroma of a supper all ready! There are so many easy and family friendly slow cooker recipes. The slow cooker is a weekday supper secret weapon!
Take advantage of grocery store pick up or delivery to save time. Having all the ingredients you need at home to prepare meals is half the battle. Grocery shopping can be so time consuming and stressful, especially if you have young children. Utilizing grocery pick up can be such a great help.
To summarize, Simplify Weeknight Dinners with these 5 tips:
- Plan menu based on calendar and using “family favorites” list (as discussed above)
- Add needed ingredients to store pick up order
- Pick up groceries and have them ready for meal prep
- Utilize meal prep resources like salad kits and Homestead frozen entrees
- Relax because you know you aren’t missing key ingredients and you have a doable supper plan!
The Homestead’s goal is “Connecting families, one meal at a time!” It is our hope that tips like these and our Frozen meals help you connect with your family around the table. So many memories are made as we share meals and share conversation. May you have a blessed week and less stress when it comes to weeknight suppers!