This morning I gave my Facebook followers a chance to Choose Their Own Adventure (oh gosh do I miss those books) and decide on today’s blog topic. The choice was between my experience with the Tata Wrangler of getting an actual grown-up bra fitting over the weekend OR how I suck at planning meals during the week.
After a super quiet morning on the FB page, I was surprised to see that meal planning won! So either you all are still knocked off-center by Daylight Saving Time or you have the same issues I do when trying to cook during the week.
Basically what it comes down to is a lack of time. Well, lack of time in addition to just being plain exhausted by the end of the workday.
I work Monday – Friday each week and typically get home around 6:30 or so. I usually have a work event once a week (sometimes more often), where I don’t get home until 9:00 or later. So, that leaves me with 4 weeknights that I SHOULD be able to cook dinner.
Here’s what usually* happens: I start the week off on the right foot by making a list of potential meals on Sunday and then getting all the ingredients needed from the grocery store. However, I decide to forgo dinner for Cheerios on Monday because my husband ends up working late. Then, Tuesday night I actually cook one of the dinners I planned. On Wednesday, I get stuck in traffic and it ends up taking me 2 hours to get home, so I stop through the drive-thru on my way. Most Thursdays, I work late and then once we hit Friday I’m so tired from the week that I don’t want to cook and would rather go out someplace nice.
Before I know it, Saturday is here and whatever food I purchased the previous week has gone bad in the refrigerator. It’s a waste of money. It’s also terrible for my waistline because of all those extra on-the-go calories that are creeping into my mouth. Frankly it annoys the crap out of me that I can never seem to get it together enough to have actual homemade dinners.
That’s when the mommy guilt kicks in. Or wife guilt. Or WHATEVER guilt. Why am I such a FAILURE? Why do I SOMEHOW FAIL every single week to provide my family with sustenance. I mean, why can’t I get it together enough to make a damn dinner for everyone?!
Oh, and before you make the suggestion — my husband doesn’t cook. We tried having him be in charge of food one night a week and he came up with either sandwiches or pizza delivery. As far as I know HE doesn’t feel guilty about his lack of cooking skills though, that’s reserved for me.
So if you have the same issues that I do with getting dinner on the table, I have found a couple little tricks that help us:
- I invest in a few Let’s Dish meals that are the ones that you cook straight from the freezer. These work out best for us because they usually take about 30 minutes to cook and if I change my mind, the meal just stays in the freezer and nothing goes to waste.
- I try to make a super-sized crockpot meal that can last for two dinners. If I throw something in the crockpot for Tuesday’s dinner, we can reheat it again another night.
- I buy quickie meal ingredients for last minute options: spaghetti sauce and noodles, sandwich makings that could be smushed in the George Forman for homemade paninis, salsa and shredded cheese that can be smeared on a tortilla for a quesadilla, etc.
- BRINNER – It’s breakfast for dinner people and I always keep the ingredients needed for pancakes or French toast in the house.
This isn’t enough though and I’d really like to be one of those people that have an actual dinner at home a few nights a week. So, I’m going to try really, really hard to find some new recipes that are quick and easy. In fact, I think I’m going to make April our month of eating at home with me making something for dinner each night that I’m not working late.
Help me out, what are your tricks for getting meals on the table during the week? Do you have a go-to recipe that always saves the day? If so, PLEASE share it with me because I could use all the help I can get!
*This does not include my son – he ALWAYS gets a well-rounded dinner which includes vegetables and fruit. I just need to start caring about what I put in my body as much as I care about what goes in his!