Hi everyone! I am with my hubby today, taking care of a very important medical issue! You may want to think about it too, if your family has a history of colon cancer. Since I am focusing solely on my husband today, I put out a call-to-action post for a guest poster for today, so that I could still bring you great content. Megan answered my plea for help, and I am so happy she did! Megan is talking about dinnertime solutions for busy Moms. We all have been there, so this is a topic that everyone can relate to.
So read on and see what she has to say!
Dinnertime Solutions For Busy Moms
It’s 5 o’clock and how do you react? Are you in a panic, raiding the fridge and the pantry trying to figure out what to have for dinner? Are you heading through your local fast food drive though or ordering from your local takeout joint?
Or are you calmly warming up a home-cooked dinner that you pulled from the freezer and defrosted earlier today?
While there is nothing wrong with the occasional fast food or takeout, it can really wreak havoc on your waistline and your budget. However, with a little planning and preparation you can have a family friendly dinner on the table–every night of the week–in no time!
1.Start with a plan–a meal plan that is! People tend to think this is really time-consuming but by taking a few minutes to plan your week you save yourself time and frustration later in the week.
First I print out the NEPA MOM Printable Weekly Meal Plan. I then check my fridge, freezer and pantry and see if there are any items that I need to use up soon. I also take note of any items that I need to stock up on. I then consult my calendar to see what nights I need to make quick meals and fill in those with our favorite standbys–like tacos.
Finally, I check the store fliers and see what items are on sale that week, print out my coupons, and plan my shopping trip to round out my meals for the week. At this point I also make a note of what is on sale this week that would make a great meal for the following week.
I then hang my plan on the fridge and consult it every morning to see what I need to do to prepare for dinner that night.
2. Make ahead meals to keep in the freezer so on those busy nights you don’t have time to make something fresh you can still eat a home-cooked meal.
For instance, I do this every time I make meatballs. Instead of just making enough for one dinner I make between 3 and 10 lbs at a time. I cook them as usual and then just let them cool and then pack them away in freezer bags. I also make batches of sauce and freeze them the same way. That way when I need a quick and easy dinner I just need to pull the meatballs and sauce out of the freezer and we have a great, homemade meal in minutes!
You can also do this for quick breakfasts and lunches-I often make ahead muffins and burritos and freeze them individually so when we need one we can just reach in and grab one, warm it in the microwave and we have a quick and filling meal.
3.Stock up on things you use most when they go on sale.
I like to stock up on ground beef and chicken when it goes on sale so that I get the best value for my dollar while making meat last for multiple meals. I buy 10 lbs of chicken and beef and then break it up into appropriate serving sizes before I put it in my freezer. By trimming the chicken and cutting it to your preferred size before you freeze it you can then just pull it out of the freezer and dump it frozen into your slow cooker with no fuss.
I do this with fruits and veggies as well. I buy them when they are on sale or when they are fresh at the farmers market, wash them cut them up into smaller pieces and then flash freeze them to use throughout the year..
By spending some time planning, you can make your mealtimes much less stressful allowing you to relax and enjoy a home-cooked dinner with your family.
What do you do to save yourself time and money in the kitchen?
Hi, I’m Megan Galko and I am a stay at home mother to five beautiful children ages 10 and under. I am the founder and owner NEPAMom.com and a graduate of the University of Scranton and North Pocono HS. Prior to starting a family I served as Deputy Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) under three Governors. I am also a former reporter for The Scranton Times and The Moscow Villager. I also have a recurring segment on WBRE’s PA LIVE where I talk about products that make life easier for busy moms. Make sure to check out my segments here.
You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NEPAMOM or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NEPA_MOM.
Thanks Megan, for taking the time to help me out on this busy day! I always struggle with dinner ideas, so your thoughts on dinnertime solutions for busy Moms is great for me! Make sure you take some time to visit Megan’s site and share some blog love!