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