For those who work outside the home and/or have kids, you know the evening routine can get a little stressful. Everybody gets home – hungry and tired – and one of the responsible adults has to get dinner on the table in the midst of all the chaos. The first thing you do is look in the fridge to see what's in there and what you can throw together.
A good solution to this is meal planning. On Sunday, create a list of meals/recipes that you'd like to make that week. Then craft a grocery list that has all the items you need to make those meals come to life. It takes a little bit of time - maybe 20 - 30 minutes to write it all down (and it goes faster the longer you stick with it). The investment is worth it; it makes the weeknights SO much easier. You just grab a recipe off of the week's list, grab everything you need out of the cupboard and fridge, and off you go. No hemming or hawing over what you should make (or have the ingredients to make). It's all there in your kitchen.
Another idea is to actually cook everything for the week on Sundays. Make a big tray of enchiladas and put them in the freezer. Cook two chickens - one for that night and one to use over the next couple of days (chicken tacos, Thai curry, etc.). Cut up vegetables, put them in ziploc bags and freeze them. Make a huge mess on one day and have minimal messiness the rest of the week. It's a win-win!
To make it even more simple, the magazine Real Simple has "A Stress-Free Month of Dinners" on their website. It's brilliant - they have a month's worth of recipes and shopping lists that correlate to each week. The meal planning is already done for you and all (or most) of the recipes are 30 minutes or less.
Now it's your turn - how do you simplify your weeknights? Have you ever used one of those meal delivery services (i.e. Blue Apron)? Do you meal plan? Do you meal prep? Please share!