Meal Planning

Stop The ‘What’s For Dinner?’ Dilemma!

Time-poor, activity-rich parents tend to despise meal time.

Do these scenarios sound familiar?

The 5pm mad-dash to the supermarket in the hope of finding a quick and easy yet nutritional meal to feed your hungry family before you skip off to sports training.


Scrounging around in the refrigerator hoping to find inspiration from bare minimum stock supplies.

Stop The ‘What’s-For-Dinner?’ Dilemma With These Simple Organization Tips

1. Menu Planning

In the long run, menu planning saves you money.

It allows you to prepare a meal one night, and use any leftover ingredients on another night.

It saves you time. Yes, it saves you time! No more last minute dashes to the supermarket.

More than likely it will be more nutritional because you will have all the meat and vegetables you need to make it so.

How To Start Your Menu Plan

  • Look at your calendar and work out what you and your family will be doing for the next 7 days.
  • Make a list of potential recipes that can be made on each night. For example, don’t cook a roast on the night you have an hour in between commitments. This kind of night is best for a quick stir fry. The idea is to cook it, eat it, clean up, then move on to your next activity.
  • Make a list of ingredients you will need to buy at your next visit to the supermarket to make sure your weekly meal plan is catered for.
  • Check out the specials at your local supermarket and try to include those items in your weekly meal plan.

2. Recipe Favorites

Keeping recipe favorites together makes this your easy go-to-guide when evenings are hectic.

These are meals that can be stored in the freezer and cooked on demand.

For example, spaghetti bolognese. The meat can be frozen, pasta sauce and pasta can be stored. On a night when you don’t have much time, this is an easy meal to defrost and prepare. Better still, make double the amount you need and freeze half. That makes things even easier the next night you need a quick fix.

3. Clear The Countertops & Dinner Table

Having a clear space to work with will help keep you in control and organized.

If your children or partner work at the dinner table, make it a rule that all spaces have to be cleared ten minutes before the meal is served. They can then also help set the table and everyone can sit down together.

4. Declutter Kitchen Utensils

Take a good look around your kitchen. Drawers and cupboards too. Are there items that you don’t use, or haven’t used in a very long time?

It might be the coffee maker that sits quietly in the corner taking up space. The big blender you have hidden in the cupboard because you prefer the little hand-held option. Or the multitude of spoons, servers, vegetable peelers, knives or must-have-gadgets that clog up your drawers.

If you don’t use, lose it. You’ll feel more organized and in control of your kitchen space without unnecessary clutter. 

5. Clean Up As You Go

There’s nothing worse than having to face the kitchen clean-up after enjoying a nice meal.

If I had a dollar for every time my hubby asked “how many spoons/dishes do you really need to use?” I could afford my own personal chef. 🙂

I tend to keep my dishwasher open as I prepare the meal. As soon as I have finished with that utensil or dish, I put it straight into the dishwasher.

Similarly, if you don’t have a dishwasher, fill the sink with hot soapy water and wash as you go. The dishes can drain and dry while you are continuing to prepare the meal.

Free Printable To-Do Lists

To help you with your planning check out our Free Printable To-Do Lists

We have tons of free interactive, printable to-do lists and templates to save you time creating your own.

Enjoy a stress-free meal time!

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