Ideally, dinner should be a nice relaxing event where you and your family get together after your respective days to talk and be in each other’s company. However, it is often a stressful event to plan and execute every night of the week. Many moms have been busy all day, either at work or with household chores and errands. Often times, the importance of a family dinner gets overlooked due to the effort involved in preparation. If you find yourself struggling to produce a homemade dinner consistently, the best way to organize yourself enough to make sure family dinner is not a dreaded task is to plan ahead and make a list. Here are a few surefire ways to make dinners easier.
1. Get Fresh Ideas on the Web
It’s inevitable that sooner or later, you and your family will get bored of the same old meals. At some point, Taco Tuesday’s will get stale. When this happens, try using the internet to find fun and different meal ideas. You’ll come to find that there is a huge variety of options and choices when it comes to sprucing up your usual dinner ingredients.
2. Watch for Deals
Always be scouring the mail and store flyers for cheap deals or dinner items. Many stores will be doing promotions on certain items that you’ll be able to scoop up in quantity for cheap prices. Pay close attention as a lot of stores will compete with one another. Their discounts are your gain. If you save money on staple items, it can allow you to fit some exotic ingredients you wouldn’t usually get into your menu while staying within your budget.
3. Plan your Meals in Advance
Try to create a meal schedule for the week. This one act will go a long way in helping you with sticking to a dinner plan. Even if your plan is not completely specific, it will give you a foundation for what you’ll need and when you can prepare it. For example, if you plan to serve chicken, rice, and vegetables one night, you can decide later whether to make those ingredients into a stir-fry, a curry dish, or any other option you feel like. By having a plan for dinner, you’ll be much less likely to stop and pickup fast food or order in for takeout. Also, if you plan a menu for the week before your grocery shopping excursion, you’ll be more inclined to stick to your list, saving you money along the way.
4. Prepare and Cook Meals Ahead of Time
If you have a scheduled dinner plan prepared, you can now begin preparing meals for the week. You can make this into an evening event where you and your family make a bunch of different dishes that can be cooled and frozen in sealable containers until the day of serving. Not only does this save you time every night but it is also a great way to spend time with the family. If your children are old enough, each person can be assigned a specific meal, or, if your children are too young for that, they can be given other tasks to help out.
5. Make Sure to Use Leftovers
Be sure to utilize leftovers! If you find that week in and week out, a bunch of leftovers are piling up in your fridge, make sure you plan a leftovers night into your meal schedule. Good food should not be wasted and by simply heating up a few different dishes, you can save a bunch of time and serve a meal medley for the family to partake in.
With these handy tips, you should find yourself with plenty of time left in your evenings to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones. By enlisting your families help with the dinner preparation, you’ll not only enjoy dinnertime more but you’ll enjoy the meals more too knowing that it was a family effort.