After a long, hard day at work, I am so ready to get home and enjoy some relaxing time at home with my husband and the pup squad.
Ahhh… It’s good to be home. Time to relax!
Oh, wait, it’s dinnertime…
So it ends up that you spend a good portion of your “relaxing” evening at home in the kitchen, making dinner and cleaning up.
And before you realize it, it’s time to get ready for bed and do it all over again tomorrow.
There’s got to be a better way! A way to spend less time in the kitchen, less time cooking, cleaning, and being away from your family.
A few options are: getting fast food on the way home, ordering pizza, freezer meals, letting everyone fend for themselves…
And those aren’t bad options at all.
But what if you could make a homemade dinner, sit down at the table and eat with your family, and not spend the whole night in the kitchen?
I’ve got a plan to make that happen!
8 Ways to Spend Less Time in the Kitchen and More Time with Your Family
Start meal planning.
This can be as simple as a chalkboard or piece of paper, and just write down what you plan to have for dinner each night. All you need is a plan to follow.
Having a plan of what to cook saves you the time of searching through your fridge and pantry, trying to find something to scramble together for dinner.
Plan to cook quick and easy meals.
When you make your menu plan, don’t plan to cook any crazy fancy meals or meals you have never made before. Start simple, like really really really simple. These are some of our go to meals: spaghetti, grilled chicken with canned vegetables, chicken teriyaki, burgers, and tacos.
Use your crock pot.
I LOVE using a crock pot to make dinner. It’s the best feeling to walk into your home after a long workday, and smell dinner already made and waiting for you. You can even plan a whole week of crock pot meals with this guide!
Try beginner freezer cooking.
I have several freezer cooking posts you can browse through, but if you’re reading this post about spending less time in the kitchen, I assume you want to do just that. So, I would recommend you check out beginner freezer cooking and make just a few staple freezer meals when you have spare time. Then, all you have to do is thaw, heat, and serve!
Search Pinterest for one pan meals.
One pan/pot meals are such an amazing thing. Cooking in one pan or pot will save you from having a whole sink of dishes to wash.
Set up “bar station” meals.
All you have to do is cook part of the meal, and let everyone fix their own or finish theirs the way they like.
Some bar station meal ideas:
Taco Bar: Make taco meat and set out all of the toppings for everyone to fix their own.
Baked Potato Bar: Cook the baked potatoes and set out toppings for a baked potato bar.
Sandwich Bar: Set out different rolls, lunch meat/bbq meat/chicken, and veggies for a fun sandwich bar. Put out that panini press you never use for this one!
Personal Pizzas: Is it just me or is it so fun to have your very own pizza made just the way you like? Grab some flatbread, pizza sauce, and assorted toppings. Have everyone make their own pizzas, and heat them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Fun and easy!
Have a snack dinner.
A snack dinner requires almost no cooking. Place some rolled up lunch meat and cheese cubes on a plate, pickles, chips and salsa, cut up fruit, and veggies with ranch. Nothing fancy, but it’s sure easy!
Ask your family for help.
Asking your husband or kids to help make (and clean up) dinner may not save you any time (because they never know the right way! 🙂 ), but at least you will get to spend time together.
Trying to feed your family a healthy, homemade meal and wanting to spend less time in the kitchen can be a little tricky.
Follow this plan to get dinner on the table without spending the whole night in the kitchen!
What tips do you have to spend less time in the kitchen?
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