How I Am Making My Weekday Meals Less Hectic

Meal Planning

By Contributor Brittany Hamilton 

After being back to work for over six months now, the biggest part of my day that I find is left struggling, is meal time. You know, that dreaded moment when you walk in the door and everyone is starving and nothing is ready to eat. I’ll admit, even what I was at home during the day, there was times I wasn’t organized until ten minutes prior to the kids bouncing through the door. But being at home gave me the chance to pull something out of the freezer part way through the day, or at least get a thought of supper started prior to everyone stating their starving. Now that I’m at work timing is a bit different. My husband is getting through the door only a few minutes before I am and he is coming in with hands full with children. He is more than willing to help out but it needs to be planned out. By the time he gets everyone in the house (and lets the dog out) he’s only got a few minutes before I’m home.

This has made me come to the realization, we need a plan. I don’t mind putting in some extra time on the weekend if it means less stress throughout the week. This would not only help my sanity but also my bank account. Way too often does take-out become the nightly menu when evenings are busy and meals aren’t ready. With this I have decided to start batch cooking, or as some may call it, freezer cooking! In some situations I’ll be able to make extras of one meal. Instead of only making one casserole I will make 2 or 3 of the same one so that I can freeze the extras. For a lot of our recipes, the preparation time it takes to make one does not increase a lot to make a couple extra. Other times I will watch for what is on sale and use sale items to make freezer packs. For example, think of how many things you use hamburger in. So when hamburger is on sale, why not pick up a few family packs and prepare it so that it’s ready when you need it?

Currently I’m in the beginning stages. I’ve grabbed my favourite recipe books. I’m going to look at what our family favourites are and see what else is that that interests us.  I normally check flyers before shopping so that will continue but I’m now prepared to do more all at once. Ideally I’d love to do one big day a month of meal preparing. At that point my freezer would be full and meals would only require being put into the slow cooker in the morning or having my husband pop them into the oven when he gets home! I have made it a goal to get 40 different meal ideas that I can rotate through. I have about 5 sitting in my mind but I’m sure it won’t take long to get some family favourites out of the books. I’ll also check in with the kids to see what they think would be good as they always seem to remember something I forget!

In the months to come I intend to share with you my journey of saving mealtime as well as sharing the recipes that work for us!

Brittany is a working mom with five children in the home.  Her family is her passion and writing is her chance to unwind. You can check out her own blog www.surviving-chaos.com where she writes about the ins and outs of a large blended family!

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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13 responses to “How I Am Making My Weekday Meals Less Hectic”

  1. Natalia P. (contestmom109) — February 10, 2014 @ 8:55 am (#)

    Looking forward to reading the recipes!

    Reply

  2. Lynda Cook — February 10, 2014 @ 12:45 pm (#)

    this is a great idea, that’s why I love my slowcooker

    Reply

  3. Erika B — February 13, 2014 @ 8:23 am (#)

    Batch cooking is great! We try to do it as much as possible. We will make big spaghetti sauces, casseroles, etc and then its a quick yummy meal for the weekdays! I’ve been in the same boat so many times, completely forgetting about dinner until 3:00! Time just goes by so fast

    Reply

  4. loriag — February 14, 2014 @ 5:28 am (#)

    I always found the two biggest three biggest time savers were making a weekly meal plan and using my slowcooker. I actually have two slow cookers so I could do two different things at once for the meal.

    Reply

  5. Heidi Carlson-reid — February 14, 2014 @ 9:56 pm (#)

    I need help in this area so I am looking forward to your update posts.

    Reply

  6. Stephanie LaPlante — February 16, 2014 @ 11:42 am (#)

    We really need to start a meal plan especially because of work schedules.

    Reply

  7. Karen E. Hill — March 14, 2014 @ 7:47 pm (#)

    I love my slow cooker it makes weekdays less hectic

    Reply

  8. Mishelle — April 16, 2014 @ 5:59 am (#)

    Planning for a whole month of food planning and prep? At once? Really? I’m interested!

    M

    Reply

  9. Elva Roberts — May 2, 2014 @ 1:51 pm (#)

    Brittanny, you are a whiz! I would be looking at five meals and find that busy enough, but 40?! Hats off to you and I will be looking forward to your recipe ideas. I hope they will be available to us on line as even stay -at-home seniors like to have something to pop in the oven after a day of appointments or company coming at meal time. Wishing you all the time you need.

    Reply

  10. kathy+downey — October 29, 2014 @ 2:47 pm (#)

    I love my slow cooker,nothing better than a nice hot dinner this time of year

    Reply

  11. kathy+downey — December 8, 2014 @ 6:40 am (#)

    I love my slow cooker,actually I put chili on this morning….stress-free meal

    Reply

  12. Elva Roberts — July 31, 2017 @ 5:40 pm (#)

    At times my life can be hectic. I have large flower gardens which I love and do not want to give up. I have many little relatives whose small hands need mittens. I love to read, cook and make sure my house is reasonable clean. I also have a spouse who,because of health issues, may take a lot of my time and concern.
    I was reading your tips above and think I should get organized to make that part of my life less hectic.

    Reply

  13. Tammi L. — May 27, 2018 @ 6:26 pm (#)

    I love this even as a stay-at-home mom. Especially doing things like making large batches of cookies and wrapping up little groups of three for lunches.

    Reply

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