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A dreaded question in many households, meals can lead to a lot of stress. Figuring out what you’re going to put on the table each day can turn the hair grey.
Eating is obviously a necessity. Nutritional diets are also a must. We all know these things. So why is it so hard?
- Picky eaters: No matter what you put on their plate, they turn their nose up. You’ve tried hiding vegetables in spaghetti sauce, adding fruit to their cereal. Never happy. You end up making 3 small meals to keep everyone satisfied.
- Limited resources: Up and down the aisles, endlessly searching for what you can make work. It’s mentally draining. And what once you do purchase, it becomes hard to carve the time out of your busy day to properly utilize said groceries. You end up throwing items away or grabbing takeout, both contributing to further financial strains.
- Blah: I’m not creative in the kitchen and I certainly don’t enjoy trying my hand at new dishes when the stakes are so high – we’ve gotta eat! Therefore, cooking is not near the top of my happiness list.
It’s time to make life easier. Here are some tips that may work for you.
- Meal plan: Pick a day of the week. I prefer Sunday since it is my prep-for-the-coming-week day anyway. Right out a short list of meals per day for the next 7 days. Put it on your refrigerator. When Wednesday strikes and you’re rushing home from work or the kids’ activities, find comfort in knowing that you know what you’re making…even if it does demand multiple meals to keep everyone satisfied! You can certainly whip them all up faster if you don’t have to think right beforehand. And for those who don’t particularly love the kitchen, this can also encourage you to find reasonable recipes before the work week that won’t suck out the joy 🙂
This will also help with groceries – if you can coordinate the meal plan and then the shopping, you can be more deliberate in your purchases and hopefully prevent the dreaded duplicate items living in your pantry.
- Meal prep: Another possibility to make meals easier is to simply prep them ahead of time. This can be especially helpful if you are packing 3 lunches a day every day. Perhaps pick a weekend day and cut up fruit/vegetables, divide up single-serving snacks into bags, even prepare a big salad so that small scoops per day don’t take too much time. Also, if you’re an early riser, throwing together a quick slow-cooker meal that will be hot and ready when you get home from work will make you feel like you have a personal chef! Oooohhh la la, smells good.
- Outsource: Takeout is easy enough, but I think we all know the drawbacks of greasy fried food on a daily basis. There are a number of meal delivery services available, ranging by price, quantity, menu, and complexity. A recipe plus ingredients may show up on your doorstep; or in some cases, fully prepared, healthy meals that only require a reheat will be one knock away. Whatever your desire, there may be an option that works for you and your cohabitants. If nothing else, most places allow a free trial period so you can test them out.
Give it a go and let me know if you have other ideas that remove the stress out of meals!