4 Secrets To Getting The Food On The Table Without Losing It

Source: StockImages

Source: StockImages

It’s the end of the day and its time for dinner. You walk in your kitchen, stand there for a moment, and think about what it is you are going to make for dinner. Then you head to the pantry, then to the fridge, then back to the pantry and start to do what I like to call “the dinnertime two-step.” You’re twirling around your kitchen going from one place to another, doing some kind of busted version of the Cupid Shuffle that leaves you frustrated with dinnertime and you still don’t have anything on the plates for your family to eat. 

I’ve been here many times. Frustrated and ten seconds from losing it. I know I’m not the only one, so here are my secrets to getting dinner on the table without having to lock yourself in your hall closet to regain your sanity once you’re done.

1. Meal Plan

It sounds like a simple thing but it can save you TONS of time by just taking a moment to think about what you’re going to make for dinner during the week, writing it down and shopping for those things ahead of time. I tend to plan my meal for the week on Sunday evening. I’ll plan out the next seven days, including days when we’ll have leftovers and when we’ll eat out and then I make a separate list of items I’ll need from the store to pull off these meals. If you need ideas, Pinterest is an awesome tool full of easy meal ideas and tons of recipes. Not to mention, Tara has some great meal plans to help you organize and get ideas of what a typical weekly plan looks like. This one step alone takes the guesswork out of dinnertime and is a God-send for busy folks who need one less thing to think about.

2. Use your Crock-Pot

If you don’t have a Crock-pot, you’re missing out on one of the best kitchen appliances to hit the market next to the microwave. Not having a crock pot in your kitchen is like having Kool-Aid and no sugar. It’s just not right. Don’t have one? No worries, there’s tons of places to get one, even if you’re on a budget. If you do have one, go high-five yourself! Crock pots are the best because they allow you to slow cook meats and other foods in an environment that’s safe to leave unattended and most of all easy. Throw your meat in there with some seasonings, potatoes or veggies even and call it a day. Hours later you’ll have a house that smells like thoughtfulness mixed with yum and your belly will be doing the running man because it’ll know it’s getting some good food that night. It’s seriously the best.

3. Leftovers aren’t the devil!

At one point, I was against leftovers. It was something about eating the same food day after day that made me give epic side-eye. Like re-using paper towels. You can do it, but it’s just something about it that isn’t. Quite. Right. I just wasn’t for it. But now, four kids later, chile… I’m all about the leftovers. I still have something against eating the same thing back to back, so to alleviate that I’ll schedule leftovers a day apart. So if we eat lasagna on Monday then we’ll eat the leftover lasagna on Wednesday night instead. Besides, a lot of foods taste better the longer you let them sit in their juices and seasonings in the fridge so having them sit a day will turn out to be a great thing.

4. If the plan fails, don’t freak out

Even the best laid plans sometimes fail. And if your plan for the day’s meal doesn’t happen because homework took longer than expected, you had to work late, there was an accident on the highway that set you back a couple of hours or a child suddenly gets sick, don’t freak out. It’s okay. It happens. Just breathe, eat a cookie and readjust. You can always throw in a deli night, a ‘breakfast for dinner’ night or any other go to easy meal that you can think of.

Are you a master at getting dinner on the table? What are some things you do to help you get dinner on the table without freaking out?


  1. This is honestly great advice! I was against meal planning, after all, I didn’t mind cooking almost the same things, but I just started it not too long ago, and it saves TONs of time, money, and it removes repeat meals since you can plan them in advance! I think my family is going to benefit from this as well, since it’s one less thing I have to think about.

    • Yes, meal planning is great isnt it! I used to not do it either but it does help and saves me money at the store since I’m not buying stuff I “might” use. But mostly, I mean everybody needs one less thing to think about right? :)