Hello, friends, welcome to the Future family tonight. Podcast episode 176, as always, I’m your host Marie fiebach. I am so happy to be here with you today. Today. We’re going to talk about when there is no time to fix dinner. We all have days when we look at our schedule and like, when on Earth, are we going to eat? And I have a few ideas to help you manage those days in your home every Sunday, my husband, and I sync all of our calendars, and we prepare for the week ahead. I have a paper calendar. I have a digital calendar. I have a work calendar, the family has additional calendar and a paper calendar. And on Sundays. We sync everything all together and then we print out a paper calendar for our family for the week. And we put it on the refrigerator most weeks. This process takes us about an hour because when we are doing all of this sinking of all the calendars, we have to figure out who’s running kids to what act. Please and we’re signing releases and returning emails and filling out forms for school and writing checks and you know, all of those things that you have to do, as a parent, just to kind of keep your household running. While we’re doing this weekly calendar session. We can start to see, which days are going to be busier, and which days are going to be, not quite as hectic. Depending upon the ages of your kids. And how many activities are in? You may be thinking she is crazy or you also. Maybe thinking I can totally relate, sometimes I look at our calendar and I wonder when in the world are, am I going to fix dinner? When am I going to eat? There are days when no one is home at the same time. And we are juggling activities and practices and lessons and work. And meetings in the list, goes on and on and on. And most people on this busy day to say, let’s just hit the drive-thru between activities acts and activity. Why? That that’s one of your options, but it’s not your only option. If you decide that the drive-thru is what you’re going to do on this busy day. That’s great. Then put it on your calendar and plan for it. I said so many times that I’m not anti drive-thru, but I want you to be intentional about. When you are choosing to use the drive-thru. Don’t just let it happen to you because you have not prepared or playing my friend Alison and I were talking a couple weeks ago and she said that she took my advice and she had a day of the week that they found that they were going out to eat that day of the week because it was extra busy. She had a busy work day and they had activities in this and that and she found that she was feeling bad that they were hitting the drive-thru every week. And instead of feeling bad. She decided to put it on her meal plan that they were going to eat out on Tuesday or Thursday, whatever. They’re busy day of the week was and she talked about how that was. Just a really big mindset shift for her. She could look forward to that day ever. Rather than feeling like she had failed as a mom because they were hitting the drive-thru on that day every week. Just the simple process of choosing to hit the drive-thru on a day rather than letting the drive-thru happened to you, can be a giant mindset shift and can really help you be more content in your life. So if the drive-thru is, how you’re going to deal with days when there isn’t time to cook? That’s okay, but you need to be like Allison and be honest with yourself, give yourself some Grace and add it to your meal plan intentionally. But if you don’t want to hit the drive-thru, I have six tips for feeding your family when there isn’t much time to fix dinner, some even work if you’re like going to ball practice and going to the ball games and you actually can’t even be at home for dinner. I have some portable options for you. So we’re going to go through these six tips and give you some ideas for when you don’t have time to fix dinner. Tip number one is to make a cold dinner and fix it the night before or in the morning half the time you’re hitting a drive-through. You are probably going to be getting sandwiches. So what if instead of hitting the drive-thru for sandwiches you prepped sandwiches ahead for dinner. This is a great idea. If you aren’t going to be home, like if it’s baseball season and you have to eat at the Ballpark or if you have some traveling to activities and your kids have 30 minutes in the car and you’re actually needing to be eating in the car on the way to and from inactivity. Some of the cold dinners you can make besides sandwiches, are make yourself mason jar salad, put the dressing in the bottom, and then put some of the toppings. And then put the lettuce on the top carrying. Extra little baggie of your favorite crackers, or some croutons. And you can even add like chicken or canned beans until you can have these little mason jar salads that are like individual servings. And everybody can just eat their own little salad or make yourself a giant sub sandwich. Use a loaf of Italian bread and slice, it lengthwise and then top with all of your favorite meats and cheeses and veggies that you like. I’ve got a big tip for that is when you’re making a sub sandwich, that is going to be traveling for a while. Put a layer of cheese on each side of the bread and then put your meat and other What feelings in the middle. And this is going to keep the bread from getting soggy. And then what you can do is you can slice it into single serving sandwiches and then wrap the whole In plastic wrap and then you can grab this like football-shaped, you know, Italian sandwich and carry that with you wherever you are going. Take it with a bag of baby carrots, in a bag of potato chips. And you have got dinner ready to go or grab my favorite thing, which is the pre-made veggie trays that you can get at The Big Box store at the grocery store and take that along with you and you can have like a picnic wherever you are going, but it’s a cold dinner. You’re not having to hit the drive-thru and sandwiches are totally legit dinner friends. Tip number two, is to fix dinner at 10 in the morning. My friend Shannon would do this. Now. 10:00 is kind of an arbitrary number, but 10 works for her because she would get up in the mornings, to take her kids to school. She would go to the gym, come home shower, and then she would fix dinner, and she would make dinner for her family of five at 10 in the morning. And she would put everything into individual glass, Pyrex containers and put their names on it. And then, when her family was coming home at all sorts of different times. Everybody would just grab their individual meal out of the refrigerator microwave, it and have their dinner. Tip number three is used the grocery store as you drive through. This is great for when you’re out and about and you really don’t want to hit the drive-thru cuz it’s kind of expensive but you really can’t eat dinner from home in like stopping and getting dinner. This works. If you’re like on a traveling sports team or something and you’re still having to feed your family when you’re not anywhere near your house. The grocery store Deli is more expensive than fixing food on your own but often considerably less expensive than hitting the drive-thru. Right now at our grocery store. They will have 16 pieces of fried chicken for $10, which is way less expensive than the $30. I would spend at like the Colonel Sanders, chicken store, right? The fastest way. Less than I would spend like $30 at a fast food. Fried chicken place by yourself a bag of Caesar salad, mix and some tortillas and a rotisserie chicken and you can eat the chicken with the Caesar salad and the dressing and a wrap. And you’ve got Chicken, Caesar salad wraps. I have that recipe on my website and I’ll drink to you or have a grocery store cook. You, some salmon while you’re doing your grocery shopping and have some salmon with some microwave in the bag veggies and some microwave in the bag rice. There are grocery store shortcuts that you can buy in the store. You can buy pasta that microwaves in the bag. You can buy rice at microwave in a bag, you can buy vegetables that microwave in a bag, use the microwave in the bag options. That only take a couple of minutes. With a precooked protein like salmon that you can get at the grocery store and you can get dinner on the table in just a couple of minutes. Tip number for is planned to use a backup meal. I talked about back at meals. These are meals that you can get on the table in 20 minutes or less with ingredients. You keep in your house all the time. If you have a day where there just is a time to fix dinner, put on your meal plan, a backup meal, put breakfast for dinner and you’re going to have pancakes and eggs will take you less than 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. At you said, your family. It doesn’t have to be fancy and a backup meal is okay to plan for because we have days that are just really, really busy. So you one of your easiest meals on a day, that is absolutely busy. Tip number five is have a snack before dinner, you know, you can toss together quickly, your little own charcuterie board for your family. You can put on meats and cheeses. You can get all of those meats and cheeses pre-sliced. So it’s not like, you’re even having to cut it, get some crackers, or some crusty bread. Pull out some pre cut veggies from your veggie tray. Get yourself a little bit of fruits, like, grapes or berries and throw that all on the table. And if people are running to inform activities, have him grab a baggie of their favorite. Things from That Snack board and dinner is taken, care of tip. Number six is, have it be a left overnight? If you plan earlier in the week and intentionally, make extra portions of your meals, then the day that you are extra busy. Everybody can pull out their favorite leftover, reheat it in the microwave, and you have a leftover. Night for dinner. These are all ways that you can avoid the drive-thru and still get dinner on the table on a day when there really isn’t time to fix dinner. So I want to know in the feed, your family tonight, Facebook group. What is your favorite tip that I said today or what tip? You like? Oh, yeah. I’m totally going to do that on a day. When life is really busy. You want me over at facebook.com feed your family tonight, and we will talk about ways to get dinner on the table when you just don’t have time to cook for now, friends. I hope you’re doing well. Take care.