Really? Dinner Again?

Somebody recently asked me if I enjoy cooking.  The question surprised me because, sadly, I don’t think of cooking as fun.  I love gathering my family around the dinner table and feeding them well, yet the process is a whole lot of work.  I used to wonder why it took me so long to prepare a meal until I realized that most people don’t bake 15 pounds of potatoes at a time  or make gallons of beef stew in their largest roasting pan.

Feeding a crowd every night of the week is a challenge for me.  I’ve spent hours making menus and corresponding grocery lists, but recently I decided to return to the basics.  I once read an article written to young brides  that advised them to find four recipes and master them by making them regularly until they could be done without effort.  Then they were to add another recipe, and continue on until they could make numerous meals.

Being a not-young-at-all bride of 28 years, I decided to take this to heart.  I made a two week menu with dinners my family likes that are basic and don’t require hours of preparation.  I paid attention to variety and cost, but also which days are best for crock pot meals and which are best for meals that can be started at 5:00 and on the table by 6:00.  I left creative meal planning and complex recipes for Sunday – the very best day of the week, and the day when our table overflows with family and friends.

The menu is taped inside a cupboard door and each day I look to see what I am preparing (and look ahead to the next day) then I plan my day accordingly.  Yes, we eat the same thing every other Monday, but my family doesn’t seem to mind, and preparing the dinners on this menu is becoming effortless.

I obey the menu – even when I don’t want to do it.  Winging it at 5:30 when I have 11 people to feed does not work – trust me, I’ve tried it.

It may seem like remedial cooking, and to you foodies out there, this would be very boring.  But for moms parenting kids from “hard places,” whose afternoons are taken up with therapeutic parenting, homework, and more parenting, this is a simple solution to the moment of panic when you realize it’s 5:00 and you have nothing planned for dinner.

Question:  What makes meal planning and cooking easier for you?

Encourage one another,

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

55 Comments

  1. Cindy
    October 19, 2012

    I sit down every week with multiple cook books and plan out 4-5 dinners for the upcoming week. From there, I make my grocery list of what I need for those meals and then add the other foods we usually eat for breakfast and lunch and snacks during the week.

    This works well for our family. Although I only "plan" 4-5 meals, it works because there are some nights we may have leftovers, or possibly order a pizza or something fun.

    I am only cooking for 8 usually, unless we have guests, so not as many as you, but I still usually double every recipe I use. If it makes too much, that's when we will have leftovers, or I often share with our neighbor (she doesnt like to cook much).

    And the recipes I make are ones that have been tried and enjoyed by most in my family. Every once in awhile I will throw in a new recipe to see how it goes over with everyone. 🙂 My husband likes when I try new recipes, so I like to do that for him mainly.

    Basically it sounds like we kind of do the same kind of thing for our families. I love hearing how "large" famlies do things like this. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Cindy, that sounds like a great plan and I think it's lovely that you cook extra and share with your neighbor. That is truly loving your neighbor as yourself.

      Reply
  2. Wendy Joy Milligan
    October 19, 2012

    Oh, this post resonates with me! I have just 4 kids, but it seems as if they eat enough to feed 20! My kitchen rescue is my rice cooker with a delay timer. Most mornings my kids get some kind of hot cereal-steel cut oats, creamy rice, Multi-grain cereal, quinoa, or rye flakes-with some kind of fruit mixed in. I can put it in at night and have it ready on time in the morning, even if I oversleep! I have also discovered that for me, there is just no earthly way to make good rice in the crock-pot, so I can put the meat/veggies in the crock-pot and the rice in the rice cooker and have diner ready all at the same time. I operate on a monthly menu plan, and plan what we're going to have based on the veggies available through our CSA farm box that gets delivered. That way, with the produce coming to me, I can shop one month at a time. We save so much money on our grocery budget by not nickel and diming it throughout the week. I have my menu list on the fridge, laminated. When I order our produce online with our CSA, I use a wet-erase marker to jot down which veggie is going with which meal, and write the date by the meal, looking ahead at our calendar to see which days would be better for a crock-pot meal, etc. I can also switch the meals around, knowing that whichever meal I pick, I have what I need in the pantry because I shopped for the month. I have found that, like you, I make what's in the week plan, or I regret it later!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Wendy, you have a great system going. I love that you plan around your produce and it is featured so strongly in your menus.

      Reply
  3. Leah
    October 19, 2012

    I love love love this idea, and I only have two little ones to contend with! I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before, but this is going to become my goal. Sometimes life just need to be simpler 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Amen, Leah, simple is good. We don't need to make our lives so complicated that we lose joy. Two little ones can keep you very busy!

      Reply
  4. Traci
    October 19, 2012

    Wow. Love this idea. Food has become my perceived enemy as we've grown our family and you give me hope. Thank you.

    Traci

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Traci, I really value family dinners around the table – but food can become my enemy too. I hope this will restore the joy of gathering for dinner each evening.

      Reply
  5. unconventionalwomanhood
    October 19, 2012

    This is even a good idea for a single girl…Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      I'm glad to hear that! Master some recipes and it will make hospitality easy, which is a great thing for a single girl.

      Reply
  6. Becky
    October 19, 2012

    The hardest part for me is planning the menu each week. In January, I began to lay out a whole month worth of menus at a time keeping in mind that some nights require easy prep (crockpot, soup, leftover night) and some nights I can spend s little more time. It has worked beautifully for me. Some nights I have to trade meals with other nights based on the meat I bought on sale but it all works out. I have saved all my monthly menus so that when I get to 2013 I have my whole year all planned out. Woo Hoo!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      That is brilliant, Becky! A year planned in advance. The great thing is that with a basic menu in place, you can always make changes, but you can also obey it and keep life simple.

      Reply
  7. Amanda
    October 19, 2012

    Love it! We have a flexible weekly menu! Monday: Potatoes, ground beef and veggies, Tuesday: Chicken, rice, veggies, Wednesday: Pasta & Salad, Thursday: Rice, pork, veggies Friday: pizza, Saturday: Hamburgers, Sunday: soup. There's variety in changing the veggies and how to prepare the meat, but it works well for our family and I'm sure that when we welcome foster children to our family I'll be thankful for the routines that have already been established!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Amanda, I love your simple routine – sometimes the planning is overwhelming, but when we have something to guide us, it saves tons of time.

      Reply
  8. Emily
    October 19, 2012

    I had three families over the other night and made this… one butternut squash, one large onion, one large green apple, three potatoes, and 2 c broth in the crock pot on high for three-four hours. Stir in salt and pepper and pumpkin pie spice to taste before serving :).

    Fed… let's see… twelve of us (although five of those are 4 and under). But it was super easy and fall-ish, plus gluten and dairy free. I'll def use again.

    You're a cooking rock star.

    Reply
  9. robyn
    October 19, 2012

    EMEALS!!!!!!! Best site ever!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Robyn, what do you find most helpful about this site? I haven't seen it yet – I'll take a look. I seem to get a little overwhelmed with websites and systems – hence the pencil written menu in the cupboard.

      Reply
  10. Sharon
    October 19, 2012

    I try to make my menus on Saturday nights (while I'm figuring out the plan for the week ahead) and then do my grocery shopping on Monday morning. The things that bugs me the most is not having the ingredients that I need on hand!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      No kidding, Sharon. I can have the best menu in the world, but if an ingredient is missing, it throws off the whole plan.

      Reply
  11. shannoncl
    October 19, 2012

    When we grew up it was very common to have the same thing on the same night of the week. The only variable was a late Saturday Lunch (usually crock pot or roasted something) and dinner would be cereal or corn bread. So- I guess I'm saying 14 different meals still feels like a LOT to me. You've got skills. Mad skills woman!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Shannon – you made me laugh this morning! Mad skills. I'm telling my kids you said that.

      Reply
  12. Deb
    October 19, 2012

    I also don't love cooking – but I love your method. We faced a challenge this fall with youth football (2 hour practices 4 nights a week) that interfered with meal time and bedtime for the youngest. For a couple of months we got into a structured program of cooking for the week on Sunday afternoon. It took less time than expected (about 2.5 to 3 hours total) and made the weeknights so much easier. I focused on casseroles that would freeze and re-heat well. I would prepare them and freeze them in foil pans (Sam's club) that were ready to go into the oven. I would go to the freezer each afternoon between work meetings and pull a frozen meal – tent the foil on top – and put it in the oven from frozen. Now that football is over for us I could probably do this one weekend a month to pre-make about 10-12 meals and freeze them for when I just don't "feel" the kitchen calling me. I also sincerely appreciate "pizza night" each week – and we over order so that we have leftovers for Saturday lunch!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Deb, I used to do that – I kind of forgot how great that was. I also used to cook double or triple of meals, serve one and freeze the others. Working ahead is a good idea – thanks for the reminder!

      Reply
      1. Jennifer Seivert
        October 19, 2012

        Would love recipes like Deb describes above that can be made ahead and then frozen so they can be easy prep on nights I am home alone with the kids. Meal prep makes me crazy and is never easy with three high needs adopted little ones. I bet there is a website but I frankly don't have time to search for what I need.

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          October 19, 2012

          It would be great if people would like to share some simple recipes. Jennifer, do you use a crock pot? I find that super helpful because the pressure is off early in the day.

          Reply
    2. Emily
      October 21, 2012

      I've done that before, but I would line my pyrex dishes with double- or triple-layers of plastic wrap, and then prepare the meal and fold the plastic wrap over it. Freeze in the dish, and then pop it out the next morning once frozen so I could re-use the pan. Then, when it was time to bake it, it fits perfectly in the pyrex–just unwrap and slide it in. It saves on buying all the foil pans–and room in the trash can.

      Reply
      1. Lisa Qualls
        October 21, 2012

        Great idea, Emily.

        Reply
  13. Lisa Qualls
    October 19, 2012

    Sounds yummy! You can make it for us in Nov.

    Reply
    1. Emily
      October 19, 2012

      Okay 🙂

      Reply
  14. Laura
    October 19, 2012

    Funny story…first I have never cooked on a regular basis for as many people as you do with having only three kids and occasional extras. Now I only cook for two since the kids are all across the nation. When I came to stay at your house when you went to Nebraska, Caleb joked that I didn't know how to cook for big groups and I had better work on my proportions. I will have you know that I managed to create more than enough food for Ladybugs birthday dinner and not one of the college kids left hungry! But, I must admit we are eating great with only two to feed!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Laura, I suspect you're dining on some finer fare than we are! I'm impressed that you managed to cook for the crowd that gathers at my house. Thanks so much.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth Andrews Carter
        October 20, 2012

        I like it when Laura feeds me, too! Lol

        Reply
  15. Diane Mc
    October 19, 2012

    It is great to have a plan. I have about 10 meals that I make frequently. I also work full time, but have 5 adults to feed (three college students) with varying school/work/sports schedules. I cook: one large crockpot/soup/stew meal and one large casserole with preparations (meat marinated, or cooked in advance, veggies prepped) for a couple of other meals to put together quickly after work, on Saturday. Sunday will be a roast or something special. For the rest of the week we just eat what is prepared when it suits us – we actually do get as many as 4 at the table at once several nights a week. It isn't typical but it suits us.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      That sounds like a great plan, Diane. I'm a big fan of crockpot meals and soups. They go a long way and they are easy to serve over a couple of hours as people come home.

      Reply
  16. dmkroeker
    October 19, 2012

    We've been back to menu planning since we got home a few weeks ago with our new son. He still does not understand/tolerate meal preparation, so simple and fast is a must! (Not to mention, I'm still learning how to be a mom to two busy/adjusting preschoolers.) I'm feeling encouraged to see how we can stream-line dinners even more. I'm looking forward to reading others' responses!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Give yourself lots of grace to keep it simple – and if somebody says, "Is there anything I can do to help?" Say, "Yes, we would love to have you make a meal for us."

      Reply
  17. Heidi
    October 19, 2012

    I love to cook. I like fresh herbs and vegetables, baking, and putting together meals with three or four dishes that go well with each other. But I am about to have my fourth baby in five and a half years. Dinner preparation time is not the best time of the day in our house. I realized recently that I am choosing old favorites that require minimal time in the kitchen. Not exciting, but it feeds us all nutritious food while giving me the time to attend to my sweet little ones. I plan my menus every two weeks. I don't care if I decide to make something else or switch meals around, but I have to have a plan to start from. My mom keeps my kids while I go shopping every two weeks; this is a huge blessing!

    My new trick is to start breakfast before I go to bed. Boil 6 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Add 2 cups steel cut oats and turn off the stove. Cover and leave overnight. In the morning, add 2 cups of water, stir, and bring to a boil. Cook on low for a few minutes, stirring to break up the lumps, and serve. I usually add honey and coconut oil and some kind of fruit – fresh, dried, or sauce. It has made my mornings easier to have a hot, filling breakfast ready within minutes of when I get in the kitchen.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Heidi, congratulations on a baby coming – you are so blessed. Thank you for the fantastic breakfast suggestion. I'm going to try it next week. I've done steel cut oats in the crock pot, but this sounds even easier.

      Reply
  18. amy
    October 19, 2012

    I make monthly plans for meals and try to look ahead on a weekly basis to be sure I have everything I need. I also have the "someone stopped by at 4:30 and I missed dinner prep meals, etc." like frozen meatballs (which I try to always have on hand), pasta, breakfast (for dinner), quesdillas, bean and cheese burritos, and frozen soup (homemade). For a fast dinner treat we do chili cheese fries. We try to live on the cheaper side of things, so I try to freeze and preserve as much as I can.
    I also just found this website http://eatathomecooks.com – which has free weekly meal ideas and grocery list to download. The website has at least one years worth of weekly plans.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Amy, thanks for sharing that site. I have a list of "quick dinners" I can make at the last minute…like last night when I scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. It wasn't the casserole I had planned, but I served dinner before 6:00, so I can consider it a success.

      Reply
  19. debbie
    October 19, 2012

    When my bio kiddos were young I hated cooking! It was mainly because I couldn't find recipes everyone liked, I couldn't afford cookbooks and I just didn't have very much knowledge about cooking. Now that they are grown and we have started over I have a system that really works. The Internet has been the key. There are SO MANY good, easy recipes on there. I actually have 8 weeks worth of dinner meals that I rotate (I only cook 4 days a week). And none of them are difficult.

    Tuesday is always Mexican. It was easy to find 8 different variations of enchiladas, tacos, casserole, etc. Wednesday is almost always crockpot or prepare early and bake meals since we have swimming lessons in the afternoons. Thursday is Italian. Friday is a mix. On Saturday we usually go to a family restaurant. On Sunday hubby cooks or barbecues (he buys the food too). Sometimes we eat leftovers on Sunday nights if we have a lot from the week. Monday night is date night and so I always have mac and cheese, pizza or hot dogs for the babysitter to whip up. Dinner is usually a meat, starch and fresh raw fruit and veggies. We don't eat cooked veggies more than once a week unless it's in a casserole, etc. We eat raw fruit and veggies at every meal of the day.

    Another key is grocery delivery. It cost me $11 each time and I end up saving money! I always get everything I need, I never have to leave the store early because of meltdowns, and I don't ever go to fast food because I don't have ingredients on hand to prepare food. We do fast food occasionally if we are on the road. I have 9 lists online for delivery. One list is all the items I might use for everyday. The other 8 go with our dinner menus. I just take my laptop into my pantry and check those items I need for that week. And BTW, they are all gluten-free meals.

    For lunch we almost always have sandwiches. Most of the time I put the leftover meat from the night before in them or else we have tuna, grilled cheese, or PB & J. We have raw fruit and veggies with it or applesauce, olives and sometimes potato chips. About half the time we use gluten-free bread.

    For breakfast I rotate three meals, scrambled eggs, paleo muffins (sometimes sausage) and fruit, yogurt and fruit, and waffles or pancakes with cheese or meat for protein and fruit. I often buy gluten-free waffles and panncake mix.

    Having a mostly gluten-free home keeps my eczema and my daughter's under control. It also helps with moodiness and dry skin. We aren't 100% because that just makes you resent food!

    Breakfast and lunch only take me 10-15 minutes to prepare and my three year old helps with a lot of it. I usually make sure I have most of the dinner ready to cook or cooked when they are doing nap/quiet time. I do the finishing touches the hour before dinner. I let them watch TV at this time since they go to bed by 7:00 and don't watch TV any other time of the day. My two year old won't watch for more than five minutes so I usually have to give her some banana or cracker while I'm cooking.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Wow, Debbie – you have conquered dinner! Could you share some of the sites you like to use?

      Reply
  20. Tricia
    October 19, 2012

    I need a system and I only have 2 kids at home right now…. We are messing with dietary changes for one, so I plan to get a bit more organized when that info is back. I love the oatmeal tip from Heidi!

    New very cool thing at our house is that my husband cooks every Sunday. Helps a ton.

    New plan – have a list of things that I always have ingredients for. Working toward it.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 19, 2012

      Tricia, what a blessing that your husband cooks every Sunday. I try to do most of my Sunday dinner prep on Saturday, but it's been awhile since I've managed that. I hope to see that return to my life.

      Reply
  21. dorothy
    October 20, 2012

    Hey Lisa 🙂 We are working under the Lord provides model currently. Too long to post here so I put it up on Urban servant
    Blessings http://urbanservant.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-mak

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 20, 2012

      Dorothy, I always love what you have to say. I'm heading over now to take a look.

      Reply
    2. Emily
      October 20, 2012

      "We are working under the Lord provides model currently.". Love it.

      Reply
  22. Laurel
    October 20, 2012

    Sounds like a great plan for your family right now. 🙂

    Just wondering . . . do your older kids do any of the dinner making? By age 13 or 14 most of our kids were able to follow a recipe and put dinner on the table for 10-15 of us (depending on how many we had at home at the time).

    When my life was in overwhelmed mode with our Little Miss, Ben & Hosanna (both young teens) took over all of the dinner making duties (with my help occasionally, or when I had "extra time"). They would each pick 10-12 dinner menus that they would like to make (with the rest of the month being leftovers) . . . I went grocery shopping for the whole month of meals . . . and they got to choose each night what they wanted to make off of their chosen meal list. During sports seasons, they would make a crock pot meal in the morning so that it was ready to eat when they got home after practice.

    While Ben & Hosanna were on Dinner Duty (for a couple of years) they didn't have any other household chores (except their own bedrooms). The younger kids washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed, etc . . .

    With Little Miss now away, I am really enjoying dinner prep for our "small" family of "only" 6 at home this year. 🙂 A friend recently asked me if I like to cook, and she is considering the possibility of paying me to cook freezer meals for them each week, as she has health issues that make afternoon dinner prep non-existent some days. (Paying me is cheaper than fast food every night.)

    I actually do LOVE to cook (and bake). . . especially for a House Full. It has been very difficult to adjust our food quantity to only having 6 at home this year (smallest at home crowd in the past 23 years).

    Glad you've found a plan that works, and relieves you of some of the afternoon stress.

    Laurel 🙂

    Reply
  23. Mavis
    October 20, 2012

    I, too, only have 2 children (one on the way through international adoption) and this is really going to help me. I do not like to cook but having standard, basic meals that I can eventually do with little effort sounds like the way to go. Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Elizabeth Andrews Carter
    October 20, 2012

    I am certainly not someone who should be giving advice on cooking, but I found a very simple, basic website for those of us who need to start with "baby steps"…lol Try http://www.5dinners1hour.com. The owner of the site says you can prepare 5 meals in 1 hour, then each evening you cook one of them. I like the fact that there are only 5 meals because most likely you will have leftovers one night and a super quick meal (microwavable) the other night. There are many, many great menu/cooking websites out there so if one doesn't work for you, don't give up, just try the next one!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 21, 2012

      I really like the sound of this one; simple is good. I'll take a look.

      Reply
  25. sleepyknitter
    October 21, 2012

    I don't like cooking at all, not because of the cooking itself but because of all the surrounding things that go into it: planning, shopping, having items "in stock," having good storage space, remembering what is "in stock," having enough time to prepare it, preparing it, cleaning up from it, etc., all for something that takes ten minutes to eat. Then there are the added issues of what people like or don't like, what makes children hyper, and what people are allergic to. For a mama with her own set of sensory integration issues, cooking is a kind of never-ending nightmare.

    Last year I attempted to fix the problem by creating four weeks of menus *with* the recipes on the same page and hung them on the wall in the kitchen, along with the week's shopping menu ready to be taken to the store. It worked great and we saved money through shopping for only what we would use from the menu and I enjoyed cooking for the first time in my life. But we had a hard time keeping up with it because I didn't get all four weeks' shopping lists made, only the first week's, and that became a time/practicality issue. I like your better plan of having just two weeks of menus and learning to cook those meals well. Our family would be able to handle the repetition. I also think it will be easier to teach our girls to cook if they don't have such a huge variety of menu items from which to cook — for me in my growing up years, I was overwhelmed at the thought of learning to cook the variety of items that my mother did (from scratch, of course!), and I think that greatly contributed to my dislike of cooking.

    I also really like the 5dinners1hour site that Elizabeth Andrews Carter mentioned in her comment above. This summer I bought a three-month subscription from her for $15 and have received all three sets of menus, but I have found her recipes too sophisticated for our kids' tastes (though nearly every recipe makes my mouth water). Maybe when our children are older, I will be able to use her menus and recipes, which I have downloaded for future use.

    In general, we buy meat (beef, chicken, pork, fish) on Saturday and cook all of it at once, then use it during the week in various "quick" recipes that we come up with on the spur of the moment, but I would still rather have a more organized plan so that my poor brain isn't having to come up with anything on the spur of the moment. 🙂 The two-week menu idea is very appealing.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 21, 2012

      Thank you for the great thoughts. It sounds like a simple two-week menu might simplify your life and be helpful. Let me know what you think if you try it.

      Reply
  26. sleepyknitter
    October 21, 2012

    I have used the 5dinners1hour site that Elizabeth Andrews Carter mentioned and loved the menus that arrived (every single one made my mouth water) and loved the idea of cooking once on Saturday night for the rest of the week (one day a month is far too much for me at this point), but I found the menus were too sophisticated for our young children's tastes. 🙁 I am saving the menus for when the children are older, because I really want to do this, and the menus really do sound good, easy, and reasonably affordable at the grocery store.

    Also, my friend and fellow adoptive mom Natasha has posted five weeks of free menus on her website, along with a grocery list system that allows you to easily cross off items for meals that you know won't suit your particular family's tastes. Natasha serves nine at her table most nights, so the recipes are for a big crew on a small budget. Here is her link to the most recent week of menus: http://tashales.blogspot.com/2012/10/menu-5.html

    At our house, we buy our meat on Saturdays (chicken, beef, pork, and fish) and cook everything but the fish on Saturdays, then get it out for quick, last-minute meals during the week, but I would really prefer to use your two-week method and know ahead of time what is going to be on the menu for each night of the week. Our family could handle a two-week rotation without getting "bored." Thank you for the great post!

    Reply
  27. Karen P
    October 22, 2012

    I don't have a set meal plan but I do have a few "go to " meals that I almost always prepare. When I purchase meat, I purchase a lot of it. I then cook it, separate it into meal portions, and then freeze it. I can then pull it out and put it with a meal. I too try to cook in larger quantities, freezing an additional meal for a later time. I also try to cook for my mom and dad once per week, sometimes having them over and other times just having a casserole to pass off to them. But for me, having the meat cooked in advance is such a lifesaver!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy