Menu Monday | 5 Tips for Quickly Feeding Your Family

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball or we have a big event (like a new baby!) and getting dinner on the table just seems like an insurmountable task. With our new baby due in just a few weeks, I’ve been thinking of some ways to make it easy on me to get dinner on the table for my family for the least amount of effort. Lazy or smart?

Here are 5 tips I’m incorporating to help get dinner on the table.

Hard to get dinner on the table? Here are 5 tips to quickly feed your family.

Make Food Ahead and Freeze

Last week I started adding one meal a week that I can easily double and freeze for after the baby is born. I’m sure you’ve got some go-to meals like that in your rotation. I plan on having a set of vegetarian meatballs, a Mexican lasagna, and several batches of breakfast pinwheels on hand for quick meals when I’m desperate. There are also a few meals that make way more food than we can handle at a time. I’ll just split that dinner in half and eat one half now and the other half goes in the freezer.

Even if you don’t have a life event where there is a deadline (i.e. baby due date) just make it a regular practice to incorporate one recipe a week that you can double and freeze half. Keep 4-5 freezer meals on hand at all times, just in case.

Stock up on ingredients for easy-to-make meals

Pasta sauce on sale? Stock up on your favorites to keep on hand for a quick dinner! Love tacos? Make sure you have ingredients ready to go when the mood strikes. I also always add one easy meal to the menu once a week to give myself a break when the day just isn’t unfolding as planned.

Don’t be afraid of the frozen pizza

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a frozen pizza, but don’t be afraid to stock up on a few frozen pre-made entrees! Our go-tos are frozen margherita pizzas that we can add other toppings to OR pretty much every freezer item at Trader Joe’s. They have such a delicious selection! We especially love the vegetarian potstickers and the vegetable fried rice for a quick meal.

Grocery shop online

I mentioned I was trying this a few weeks ago, and it’s been SUCH a game changer! Our local Harris Teeter offers a pick up service for groceries. You just order online, then drive up and pick up. So convenient! It’s the more “pricey” store in town, but I figure my time is worth something, and I’m saving a TON of time the weeks I’ve used it. This service will be so convenient when the baby arrives – shopping with a toddler AND a newborn sounds terrifying. And if I don’t have to unload them out of the car, that’s a win. Check and see what stores offer it in your area! I’ve heard WalMart does!

Make a rotating 2 week menu

The 2 week menu isn’t necessarily a new concept, but I’m adding an additional easy twist to it once this baby arrives. I’m planning on a 2 week menu that we use EVERY 2 weeks. There is a different meal every night, but after the 2 weeks, it starts all over again. Same shopping list, ingredients are shared amongst dinners, and I can plan exactly how many items I need NOW and get them now, then just do a small grocery shop each week for produce and dairy. Between this and the online grocery shopping above, this will be PERFECT for a few months  until I’m feeling a bit more comfortable. Once I get the menu nailed down, I’ll share it all!

What are some of your go-to ideas to make it easier to get meals on the table? Take out is, of course, an option too!

Need more info for how I menu plan? Check this out!
Or read up on my favorite meal planning and grocery shopping hacks!

Need more ideas for dinner?
Follow my Pinterest board – it’s where I save all of my dinner ideas!

Follow Katie | Cup of Tea Blog's board Good Eats | Dinner on Pinterest.

 Follow me: Instagram | YouTube | TwitterFacebook | Google+ | BlogLovin’ | Pinterest

Linking up at Menu Monday with Org Junkie


  1. Whitney says:

    These are SUCH good ideas! I really need to work on putting meals in the freezer. If I was a mom with two littles, you can bet I’d be using that online grocery shopping method. That makes life so much easier!!

  2. Beth says:

    I like to plan for meals that make good leftovers at least once a week. We aren’t HUGE leftover fans but we do find those meals that we don’t mind eating again. Those are always helpful to have mid week.

    Great tips!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      We’ve made it at least 3 times and I’m currently eating leftovers for lunch!! It’s a new favorite!

  3. Becky bybmg says:

    I need to get better at the rotating 2 week meals. We have our go-tos, but I need to actually track them. Our local grocery store does online ordering and pick up or delivery and life will never be the same!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      It will NEVER be the same! It’s broken me. I just got back from Costco and feel completely drained of all energy. If only Costco had the same service. But a regular menu rotation would make shopping really easy! Especially this summer when things are so busy.

  4. Whitney Jordan says:

    Such great ideas!! I stocked our freezer with yummy ingredients – lots of cooked meats ready to be added into easy dinner options – pastas, lo mein dinners and breakfast for dinner ingredients. It’s so nice to be able to just head to the store for a few essentials post baby instead of having to go and stock up on everything. I’d also recommend stocking up on all household cleaners, toilet paper, and other essentials during your grocery stock up.

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      SMART to stock up on the household end of things too. I’ve been in the mode of “if it’s on sale, buy it in bulk!” and hopefully that will tide us over for a while. Great tip too about freezing ingredients, not just the meal.

  5. Colleen says:

    Great tips! 🙂 I already keep simple ingredients on hand for quick meals, as well as some precooked meats (cooked ground beef, shredded Mexican chicken or shredded BBQ chicken) – but I especially hope to make more freezer meals and homemade breads/waffles/breakfast burritos to freeze. Our first little one is due late this summer!

  6. Nikki says:

    Great tips! I do the freezer thing. Tonight I made double meatballs for a quick meal. I also make sure that we plan a leftover night each week. Thursdays are really busy at our house, so Thursday is always leftover night. I haven’t done the online shopping thing, but SAMs Club offers it. I bet I would save a chunk of money if I started using it because I wouldn’t always grab all the extras while I’m in there. It would be a win/win for sure!

  7. Stefanie says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    I always try to stock up on the basics so I can quickly make something for dinner. Pasta is my usual go-to!

  8. Nancy says:

    I highly recommend using a slow cooker/crock pot as well! I wish we had a Trader Joe’s closer to us. I love that store but the closest one is about 45 minutes away. While I haven’t bought many of the frozen items there, they always look really good!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      I need to use our crock pot more. My husband has mentioned before that he doesn’t like the taste of food once they’ve been in the crock pot (lies, I’m sure!) so it’s been gathering dust. But it would be a great time saver!!

Leave a Reply