Tag: busy mom

14 Meals for the Busy Mom

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to plan my meals for two weeks at a time. It seems like a lot, but it really takes the stress out of thinking about dinner every day. Think about it: I take 2 days every month to plan meals and I’ve got the whole month covered. In addition, I make my grocery list when I make my meal plan. So I’m doing “big” food shopping twice a month. I do still have to run to the store to pick up a few things each week like milk, fruit, and bread, but at least it’s a quick trip – in and out. I bet you’re wondering how long this “meal planning” takes. Since I’ve been doing it for a few years now, it only takes me about 60 minutes.

So how do I plan these meals? Like many of you, I spend time pinning recipes, so I have lots of recipes pinned that are favorites and then there are some that I want to try. I typically go to my boards and pick out what I want to make. I check the recipe for ingredients and start adding items to my grocery list. I write down every ingredient needed and then do a quick pantry check when I’m finished my list to see if there’s anything I don’t need to buy.

What about the recipes? I print them out if I need them. If I’ve already made the meal, I already have the recipe printed. A word of advice: If you find a recipe you LOVE, make sure you SAVE it! Print it and put it in a safe spot or copy and paste it into a document and save it on your computer. Do not think just because it’s on the internet it will stay there. Sometimes recipes disappear. Trust me. I had it happen to me and it took a lot of digging for me to find the original that I loved.

I’m going to share our Meal Plan for 2 Weeks. I’m warning you… we like chicken. We eat a lot of chicken prepared different ways. Each recipe can be found through my Pinterest boards, but I’m going to link to them here to make it easier.

Week 1

Sunday: Alfredo Soup – I like to prep this one the night before or earlier in the day so that it’s less work at dinner time.

Monday: Smothered Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday: Crockpot Lasagna Soup with Garlic and Herb Pull Apart Bread

Wednesday: Chicken Patty Sandwiches with French Fries (Easy Meal: Check your grocer’s freezer!)

Thursday: Ravioli Bake – Super easy “go-to” meal that can be prepared in about 10 minutes and there’s only 1 dish to clean!

Friday: Chicken Taquitos with Chips and Salsa

Saturday: Loaded Potato Soup – I’ve tried a lot of potato soup recipes and this one is thee best in my book.

Week 2

Sunday: Baked Penne with Garlic Bread

Monday: Chicken Fajita Bubble Up Bake with Cilantro Lime Rice – This meal is one of our favorites! I also like to use my Homemade Fajita Seasoning for this . This is another meal I like to prep the night  before or earlier in the day. If you prep it ahead of time, just put the seasoned biscuit pieces in a separate bowl until it’s time to bake the dish.

Tuesday: Meatball Sandwiches (Easy Meal: Frozen Meatballs, Rolls, and Cheese – optional)

Wednesday: Chicken Cacciatore – Cook up some red and green peppers in olive oil, pour in a big jar of pasta sauce, fry up 4 boneless chicken breasts and cut into pieces; toss into peppers and sauce.         Add a little garlic powder, a little onion powder. Cook until all is combined. Serve over egg noodles. 🙂

Thursday: Breakfast or Take-Out! (Mom might need a break!)

Friday: Chicken Tetrazzini – This is one of my husband’s favorites.

Saturday: Homemade Pizza (Frozen Pizza Dough, Sauce, Cheese, and Toppings of your choice)

And there you have it… 14 Meals that are fairly simple to make – especially the Crockpot Recipes. I’m a big fan of throwing everything together in the morning and having a meal at dinner time. Besides, it gives me more free time to whip up a dessert. We all know there’s always room for dessert! 😉

Enjoy!

Denise

 

8 Tips to Make Grocery Shopping Hassle-Free

Raise your hand if you look forward to grocery shopping. That’s what I thought.

As a mom of two small children grocery shopping is not fun. I know there are options available for grocery delivery or pick-up, but there are times when I need to go to the store myself. Sometimes it’s because I don’t have the extra funds to pay for delivery service or because I would rather pick my own produce or meats. If I am going to do my own shopping, I don’t want to spend more time than I have to in the supermarket. Spending a few minutes at home preparing for the trip can save lots of time in the store.  Here’s how:

1.Keep an ongoing list handy – whether it be on the fridge or in your planner – and jot down items as you run low or run out. This saves so much time! There’s no checking the pantry as you are ready to walk out the door.

2. Meal Plan! Plan menus in advance so you know what you have on-hand and what you need to shop for. Be sure to check recipes for special ingredients so you are prepared.

3. Before leaving home, put your grocery list in the order of the aisles at the grocery store. If you aren’t a frequent shopper (because you’re more of a delivery kind of person), break your list down into sections: Produce, Dairy, Canned Goods, Dry Goods, Deli, Meats/Poultry, Household, Snacks, Drinks, etc.  This will keep you from circling the store!

4. Use a Coupon Organizer and arrange your coupons in alphabetical order or according to your store’s aisles.

5. Shop early! There is the least amount of traffic in the morning and you’ll get the freshest meats and baked goods!

6. Park close to the exit doors. You won’t have to push a heavy cart as far… unless of course you’re trying to sneak in a work-out while grocery shopping.

7. Shop with a partner. Grab your husband/boyfriend – or if you have teens – and split the list. Make it a team effort to grab everything on your list and meet at the check-out.

8. When loading the grocery belt, put the items in the order in which they’ll be bagged. Keep like items together to make it easier to put away when you get home. And don’t forget to put the bread and fragile foods, like eggs, last so they end up on top of the cart.

These simple tips will keep you on track and save you time the next time you have to grocery shop. Do you have a tip for saving time at the grocery store? I’d love to hear it!

-Denise

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