Great Idea that saves time and money!

Hey y'all! I just found this excellent tip that I have to share. I haven't tried this yet, but you better believe that I will be soon.

Does anyone already do this?

What are other things are you doing to make dinner run smooth and a bit organized?

this is basic but meal planning is essential for me. I find that most of the stress is deciding what to make and it is such a relief when I already know what I am making and that I have everything I need to make it.

One thing that I am working on is time management with my meals. We tend to eat later than most, due to the fact that I start making dinner when someone starts grazing in the fridge. I have heard a tip that I am trying and that is to just plan on starting dinner at a certain time every night. (4:30)? (I know you have tips on the matter...speak up ladies!)

What about side dishes? I am always thinking and concentrating on the main course and never think about a side dish. Do you always have a side dish?

I would love any input ANYONE has on the subject (or another for that matter) let's get a dialog going.

p.s. thanks to everyone who contributes, this is my go-to-website for meal planning.


Zane and Lexi said...

I really want this blog to pick up again too! I'm with you Shauna, I struggle for side dishes. I usually turn to a quick salad but I want to be more creative. I've started planning out my meals on Sunday and then going shopping for ingredients on monday. I usually start dinner around 4:30ish as well. Can't wait to hear other people's advice/tips. Sorry I don't have much to add :)

Justin & Ashlee said...

I really don't have room in my apartment for any extras so I usually will think up enough meals for a couple weeks and do all my shopping for that. I usually have half easy meals and half really nice meals. I will also try have a few desserts in the menu for Sundays. Side dishes are hard for me. I don't think we have very rounded meals :) But definitely planning ahead with meat, ingredients, etc helps to get it going quicker. We usually start getting it ready around 5.

bentanelle said...

This is a great idea.. I too am so bad at planning meals. We have really been trying to eat healthier so I have tried to put more energy into side dishes than before. I have tried to cook less of the main dish and then have two vegi's or a vegi and some sliced fruit. We have been eating less and still feeling full. I will try and get some of my sides up soon.
It has been way too long since I have posted on here! We are all so spread out we need someway to stay connected!!

Sara and Dustin said...

Great ideas! Whenever my mom comes to help me with a new baby she cooks up 12 lbs of ground beef with chopped onions. She freezes them flat in ziplocs so they store and defrost easily. It is SUPER convenient to have that stack in my freezer.

For me, I really like making dinners that I can prepare around lunch time (like slow cooker or something that can bake later). It works better for the dynamics of my family if I don't have to spend as much time in the kitchen around 4 or 5pm. My family needs to eat around 5pm or its major Meltdown City around here.

Side dishes? We always have a vegetable with the main dish. We usually have green salad or steamed veggies. I'd really love to hear some of your other ideas and what works for your family!

Similar to what you do, Tanelle, whenever Dustin makes lunch or dinner, he usually puts together a plate of raw veggies and another plate of cut up fruit. I never think about doing that but it's always a fantastic addition to the meal. Plus, there is something heart-warming about watching my kids eat raw broccoli!

I'll try to come up with more recipes for the blog but I'm not very experienced with sides, sorry!

Amanda said...

Hello ladies, It's been a while since I wrote on this blog. I do have a few things that we do to keep dinner on track.
We eat around 5 every day because my kids go to bed at 7. I pick up Dyson from school at 3:20, do homework and then I start on dinner. (Jas is either there or he isn't. I'm sure you know what I mean.)
I do my meal planing bases on what's on sale that week and I what I have in my kitchen but we usually have a main dish, a starch and a veggi. My kids don't eat too much still so we don't have too much in the way of variety for sides because there would be too much left over food.
During the winter we have lots of veggies for sides and during the warmer weather we have fruit.
Lately we have done lots of oven roasted veggies.
We take yams, parsnips, squash, onions, beets, and/or carrots, cut them up into large pieces and bake them in the oven for an hour covered with some butter. It's so good and my kids love it. You mix and match the veggies but our favs are yams, parsnips and carrots.
Another really yummy side is sauteed (sp?) cabbage.
Cut it into strips and cook in a skillet with some olive oil or butter until tender. season with salt and pepper. Quick, easy, and yummy.