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It's possible for weeknight dinners to be fast and delicious. All you have to do is plan ahead. Here are a few tips on making the most of your cooking time during your hectic weekday schedule.

1.    After a trip to the grocery store, divide large packs of chicken and beef into meal sized portions. Wrap in tinfoil and then place in freezer bag for ultimate freshness. The perfect portion sizes will always be ready to defrost. All you have to do is take out the meat to thaw before you take the kids to school or head off to work.

2.    Clean and cut all veggies as soon as you bring them home from the store, so they are ready when you need them.

3.    Make a little extra food at one dinner so you have leftovers the next day. For instance if you are making steak and baked potatoes, throw in a few more foil wrapped potatoes in the oven than needed and you'll have enough for a feast the next night. Try a loaded baked potato bar.  It's a simple yet delicious meal that is easy to prepare.

4.    Line baking pans with tin foil for easy clean up.

Moms, what are your tips for easy weeknight dinners?

by on Sep. 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (31-40):
meglennox
by Member on Sep. 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM

 oh! and i don't normally have to change the water, but it wouldn't hurt to. :)

Quoting meglennox:

 i cut up the celery and the carrots and put in a container with just enough water to cover then i put a lid on. :) i have found it keeps those veggies crisper longer. :) especially the celery. and it's so much easier to grab to eat lol

Quoting emilyrosenj:

Do you mean you store them in your fridge in water?  Is the container a covered container and does this make the veggies last longer?  Do you have to change the water often?  Sorry for so many questions, we just lose so many veggies by not eating them quickly enough!

Quoting meglennox:

 i try to make sure we have leftovers in the foods i know we'll eat. i also like to buy chicken in bulk and portion it out to put in the freezer. i only will precut carrots and celery because i put those in water right after.


 

 

emilyrosenj
by Margaret on Sep. 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM
1 mom liked this

Thanks, I wonder if this would work with cucumbers too...

Quoting meglennox:

 i cut up the celery and the carrots and put in a container with just enough water to cover then i put a lid on. :) i have found it keeps those veggies crisper longer. :) especially the celery. and it's so much easier to grab to eat lol

Quoting emilyrosenj:

Do you mean you store them in your fridge in water?  Is the container a covered container and does this make the veggies last longer?  Do you have to change the water often?  Sorry for so many questions, we just lose so many veggies by not eating them quickly enough!

Quoting meglennox:

 i try to make sure we have leftovers in the foods i know we'll eat. i also like to buy chicken in bulk and portion it out to put in the freezer. i only will precut carrots and celery because i put those in water right after.


 


Margaret


meglennox
by Member on Sep. 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM
I forgot to say, that yes, they go in the fridge :)

Quoting emilyrosenj:

Thanks, I wonder if this would work with cucumbers too...

Quoting meglennox:

 i cut up the celery and the carrots and put in a container with just enough water to cover then i put a lid on. :) i have found it keeps those veggies crisper longer. :) especially the celery. and it's so much easier to grab to eat lol


Quoting emilyrosenj:


Do you mean you store them in your fridge in water?  Is the container a covered container and does this make the veggies last longer?  Do you have to change the water often?  Sorry for so many questions, we just lose so many veggies by not eating them quickly enough!


Quoting meglennox:


 i try to make sure we have leftovers in the foods i know we'll eat. i also like to buy chicken in bulk and portion it out to put in the freezer. i only will precut carrots and celery because i put those in water right after.




 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
elasmimi
by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I don't cut mine up early, either. I do the other things, though.

Quoting michiganmom116:

I would never cut veggies ahead of time unless they'll be used within 24 hours.  I hate the dried out edges, and putting them in water will leach out vitamins.


momkaribg
by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM
This

Quoting natesmom1228:

I marinate meats overnight so they are ready to use when I need them.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
eustacejessica
by Jess on Sep. 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM

those are great tips. I plan quick and easy meals for busy nights or I rely on my crock pot. I also prep stuff up ahead of time so all I have to do at dinner is put it all together.

amyb99
by New Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:04 PM

I agree that planning for the week ahead is key. I do my grocery shopping by using my weekly meal plan.

Also, I try to keep meals simple through the week...especially on the nights when dd has cheer practice. Sausage biscuits and scrambled eggs, soup and grilled cheese, or spaghetti and salad, something like that. 

sharebearII
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

It helps me a lot to have a theme for each night of the week.   Monday is Mexican, Friday - Pizza/Italian, etc.    That way it kinda narrows down the choices for me and I'm not so overwhelmed with everything in the world I could make.   ...nothing's set in stone, it just helps to have a general idea to start with.  lol!

ferne3
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

BIG fan of the crockpot.  I make several crockpot meals at once on the weekend and freeze them.  Also, Reynolds makes an awesome crockpot liner - disposable so no crockpot clean-up.  Fantastic!

kimberly161
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 7:42 PM

 I have periods of time during the day where I have more time to make dinner or at least perpare portions of it. I often cook casseroles earlier in the day and just reheat them.

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