Jun 18, 2015

Dinner Time!

Today I am linking up with The Boutelle Family Blog and Grace Mountain Diaries for their "This Is How We Do It" series.
Today's feature is "DinnerTime"!  I love this topic, because I am very passionate about it.  The girls have SO many friends who's families do not eat together and eat on the go.  That is not us.  We eat together 5-6 nights a week, I realize that we are lucky, but we do have to work around our work schedule, and girls activities (we have 3 girls 14, 12 and 9).  It's not always easy, sometimes I feel like ALL of my spare time is spent cooking, but it's what is important to me.
Here's how I do it:

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan.  I cannot stress it enough, but I have to plan ahead, or we will eat out more, or eat more convenience foods.

I sit down on Sundays and make my meal plan for the week in my planner, then go grocery shopping.  We shop at Aldi's and I can usually get away with spending under $100 for a family of five.  Not too shabby. 

Read foodie blogs!  Seriously, I get 98% of my recipes from blogs that I read.  I try to incorporate 2-3 new recipes/week.   Some of my fave foodie blogs are:
These are just a few, but the ones I refer to most of the time.  I also get the cooking magazines 
"Taste of Home" and "Simple and Delicious".

I incorporate veggies with every meal.  

Sometimes it's corn or peas, but often it's a salad or steamed veggies.  We don't do a lot of pastas (although I wish we could!), so we keep it simple with grilled meats and casseroles.  Venison sausage is my go to meal that everyone loves.  I serve it with either pancakes or mashed potatoes.

Freezer Meals!  I am a huuuuuge proponent of freezer meals!

I have every Tuesday off, and when I am not running kids around for activities/appointments, I like to do a freezer cooking day one a month.  I try to get 6-7 meals in the freezer and then use those on my crazy busy nights.  Right now I have 2 tator tot hotdishes, chicken tacos, browned ground beef, homemade meatballs and cinnamon rolls all prepped and ready to go in the freezer.

Prep your foods after grocery shopping.  Sunday evenings is when I make my lunches for the week (steamed veggies or a salad and grilled chicken) and then cut up veggies and fruits for the week.  Makes the days go by so much more smoothly to have everything ready to go.

So there you have it, a sampling of what I do to get our meals healthy and together!


The Boutelle Family said...

So much good stuff in here! I love that you guys prioritize eating together & I can totally relate on the meal planning - if I didn't meal plan we'd be eating cereal every night. I went to Aldi today for something non-food related & decided I need to incorporate that more regularly! We're huge trader joes fans (I think they're owned by the same parent company). Thank you so much for linking up with us!! This was super helpful!

Kari said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! I enjoyed yours too! You have a beautiful family! And yes, it appears we have similar cooking and meal prep ideas and methods! Although, WOW, you do an awesome job of keeping to a good budget while grocery shopping! I need to take tips!