Episode 176 When You Don’t Have Time to Fix Dinner

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We all have days when there just isn’t time to fix dinner. You may be running kids to activities and need to eat in the car or at the activity. For many families that means hitting the drive thru and that’s okay. If you know you are going to eat out on a busy night, put it on your meal plan. Plan for it! This helps you not feel guilty about hitting the drive thru on a busy night because you chose it on purpose.

If you don’t want to hit the drive thru I have six tips for feeding your family when there isn’t time to cook.

6 Tips to Feed Your Family When There Isn’t Time to Cook

Tip 1: Make a cold dinner.

Fix a cold dinner and prep it the night before or earlier in the day. This tip works especially well if you are needing to eat dinner away from home or in the car on the way to an activity.

Make sandwiches. You can even make a giant sub sandwich from a loaf of Italian bread. Slice it lengthwise and top with your favorite meats, cheeses, and veggies. Slice it into individual sandwiches and wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap to take with you.

Make mason jar salads. Start with the dressing in the bottom, top with your favorite toppings and then end with the lettuce. Take along a box of crackers or croutons to serve with the salads. You can put cooked chicken or canned beans to add protein.

Take along a pre-made veggie tray.

Tip 2: Fix dinner at 10:00 AM.

My friend Shannon would do this. She would fix dinner in the morning and put it into individual containers. She labeled each container by name and her family would just grab their container and reheat whenever they were home to eat.

Tip 3: Use the grocery store as your drive thru. 

This works well when you don’t want the expense of the drive thru but need to eat dinner out and about. The grocery store deli is more expensive than cooking from home but much less expensive than the drive thru. You can get fried chicken or cooked salmon. Buy a rotisserie chicken, a bag of tortillas and a bag of Caesar salad and make Chicken Caesar Wraps

Tip 4: Use a backup meal.

Backup meals are meals you can get on the table in 20 minutes or less. Put one on your meal plan when you know it will be an extra-busy night. 

Tip 5: Make a snack board dinner.

Toss together some pre-sliced meats and cheeses with crackers and veggies and maybe a little fruit. Let your family eat their favorites off the board. If you are on the go let each kid grab a baggie and put their favorite things from the board in the baggie to take along with them.

Tip 6: Have a leftover night. 

Plan ahead earlier in the week and make a little extra of your meals. Let each person pull their favorite leftovers from the refrigerator to reheat for a fast dinner. 

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active teens. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. Check out her YouTube Channel or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

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