Chaos thrives at my house so getting dinner on the table can be a challenge to say the least. We tend to avoid eating out unless it’s a special occasion though so I need to have a backup plan on those nights when things get away from me.
We’ve had a crazy week where it seems like we’ve had every min. scheduled. It’s been fun but, man, has it turned dinner into a serious chore. When dinnertime rolls around, the last thing I want to do is cook — I’m already tired from our busy day!
Fresh & Easy has a great selection of real foods, many of which are conveniently packaged and ready to go. The other night we were running late — as usually — so we stopped by our local Fresh & Easy to grab some things for dinner.
Our shopping trip took no longer than stopping for takeout and dinner prep was super simple.
I have serious meat eaters in my house so one of our go-to meals when we are short on time is hamburgers. Fresh & Easy had some great flavor combinations. We went with BBQ, Bacon and cheese. My kids loved it because when we make burgers at home we’ll often mix in ingredients to add flavor but that requires some work that I just didn’t want to put in that night.
Pre-sliced veggies potatoes, and macaroni (for my 5 year old who just can’t be with out his mac and cheese) finished off our meal and each one took only minutes to prepare.
Saving time is always a priority when it comes to dinnertime but I want to make sure I’m still feeding my family whole ingredients. To do that, I have a few time saving tricks:
1. Chop and prep veggies ahead of time or buy them pre-prepped. For this meal we found pre-seasoned new potatoes and pre-cut broccoli and cauliflower at Fresh & Easy. This seriously cut down on the work that I needed to do.
2. Use the grill. During the summertime our grill gets used nearly every night. We can cook meats quickly and the flavor is unbeatable. To add extra flavor we’ll often marinate meat the night before.
3. Cook extra and use it for 2 meals. I like to cook large portions of meat and side dishes so that I can use them for several meals. You can drastically change the taste of a meal by substituting in a few new ingredients or switching up the presentation.
4. Keep meals simple. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it can’t taste great. Fresh vegetables can be lightly seasoned and roasted or grilled and they’ll really pack a serious flavor punch.
5. Make it a family affair. In our house, everyone chips in for dinnertime. Younger kids can set the table, older kids can help with food prep. If everyone works together we can get things done faster and my kids are learning important life skills.
What are your tips for getting dinner on the table when you are short on time?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.