Episode 133 4 Ways to Get a Break in the Kitchen
I truly believe every mom needs a break from fixing dinner at least one day a week. My mother hosts our family for a weekly dinner at her house, so I can always count on one night a week where I don’t have to cook (or plan, or shop, or clean up). On this week’s podcast, I share four other ways to get a break from the kitchen.
1 – Go Out to Dinner or Get Takeout
Going to a restaurant or getting food from the drive-thru is how most moms get a break. The key to enjoying the experience is to PLAN for it. You have permission to write “dinner out” on your weekly dinner plan when you know you’ll be too tired to cook.
Making a specific plan to eat out frees you from any guilt you may feel about changing your meal plan last-minute. You’ll get to experience the joy of anticipation knowing that a break is coming, and it will help you stay on track when you want to throw in the towel on other nights of the week.
2 – Use Frozen Foods
You will have to use your oven, but reheating frozen foods isn’t really the same as cooking. By using quality frozen foods in your meal plan, you can minimize the amount of time spent on prep and hand-on cooking.
By the way, frozen foods do make great backup meals, but it’s ok to plan them, too! Save yourself some time and mental energy by keeping a pre-made lasagna or a bag of pot stickers in your freezer.
3 – Let Your Spouse or Older Kids Cook Dinner
If you have a spouse who likes to grill or a teenager who loves to try new cooking techniques, you may be able to pass the dinner responsibilities to them once in a while. However, communication is key! Be very clear about what you expect so you can be relaxed instead of resentful.
Some things to agree on beforehand:
- Who will plan the meal?
- Who will buy the ingredients?
- What time does dinner need to be ready to eat?
- Who cleans up afterwards (and what does that actually mean)?
4 – Use Your Grocery Deli
Prepared items at the deli counter of your grocery store are usually less expensive than restaurant takeout, so this can be a great option for larger families. Pair a bagged salad with a rotisserie chicken for a quick healthy meal, or get a variety of Chinese dishes for everyone to share.
Often when we feel burned out about making dinner, it’s less about the physical cooking and more about having a break from the planning, prep and cleanup. What are your favorite dinner shortcuts? Join us in the Feed Your Family Tonight Facebook group to share your tips and get ideas from our other community members.
Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.
For a transcript click here.