Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dinner Dilemma

Dinner. It has become a struggle. Our lifestyle is so completely different than it was a couple of years ago. Back then I fixed dinner every night of the week and on the weekends we ate easier meals. I always felt that it was important to have a good meal waiting for Rick when he got home from a long day of work.

Living here in Missouri I have kept up that schedule for the kids, but also added cooking full meals on the weekends because Rick is here and I want him to have home-cooked meals when he is here.

The problem is that Dawson works a couple of nights a week from 5-7 p.m. and, oftentimes, eats dinner at work. Brynne has basketball practice a couple of nights a week from 5-7 p.m. so she eats something before she goes to practice because she isn't hungry enough for dinner and once we get home we just eat something easy because of lack of time. And Kyndal doesn't get home from school until 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays. I could fix dinner super early, but we really aren't ready to eat our meal at 4:30 in the afternoon, and if we do then we are starving before bedtime. A big full dinner at night has almost seemed a waste as of late. I plan and work to fix a meal and end up being about the only one to eat any of it.

The weekends have now taken on a new life as Rick is here, Collin is typically here with Kyndal, and Taylar comes and goes in the evenings. We are all here and everybody is hungry!

So, I am switching things up. I had the kids help me make a list of their favorite easy meals, ones that don't require a lot of preparation. We came up with 16 meals that I plan to purchase ingredients for each month and keep for us to eat during the week. We will rotate these meals (probably based on mood) on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. We eat potluck at church on Wednesday nights. Even if I am not here for some reason, the older kids can easily put the majority of these meals together. The best thing about these meals is that all the kids like them and they are quick to fix. No muss, no fuss.

  • Easy chicken parmesan
  • Homemade mini pizzas
  • Cheeseburger macaroni
  • Spaghetti and french bread
  • Burgers and hot dogs
  • Chicken stir fry
  • Salisbury steak and macaroni and cheese
  • Lasagna and french bread
  • Soup and grilled cheese
  • Pancakes and bacon
  • Pigs in a blanket and fruit
  • Chicken quesadillas and chipotle rice
  • Breaded chicken sandwiches and fries
  • Sub sandwiches and chips
  • Taco salad
  • Biscuits and gravy
Then on the weekends, I will make those bigger meals that everybody likes to eat, especially Rick. I am hoping this simplifies things and makes everybody happy come dinner time!

I'll let you know how this works out!


  1. Slow Cookers are great for meals at different times also. Then everyone can grab dinner when they are hungry (or home). Also you can buy cheaper cuts of meat since they do better in the slow cooker then lean more expensive cuts.

    Looks like a great list. Good Luck

  2. Oh, I did love reading your meal plans. I pulled it back up this afternoon as I was preparing my 2 week menu plan and shopping list. Will you share how you make Easy Chicken Parmesan? Good luck with the changes you are incorporating!


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