Secrets to Simple Weeknight Dinners

If you’re anything like me, the idea of weeknight dinners seems overwhelming. You want to make sure your kids are getting a balanced diet, but also that they aren’t eating just one thing all night long. And while I love cooking and being in the kitchen, I hate having nothing to do on a Friday night when everyone else is going out for dinner. But luckily, thanks to modern technology and some simple planning techniques, it’s easier than ever to make simple weeknight dinners—and still have time for family fun! Here are my top tips for making simple weeknight dinners:

Have a plan.

Planning ahead is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself and your family. It saves time, money and energy—and it’s good for the environment!

Planning ahead will help you make meals more nutritious (and less expensive) by using healthy ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed ones. Planning ahead also means that everyone in your family knows what to expect when dinner is served at night—no surprises! And when everyone knows what’s coming up on Friday or Monday, they’re more likely to stick with their routine rather than missing out on important activities because they’re too busy thinking about dinner tonight or tomorrow afternoon/evening

Start with a dinner game plan, even if it’s just for the next day.

When you’re planning your meal for the next day, it can be helpful to start with a menu. This way, you’re forced to think about what needs to be prepared first and in what order—and it’s easier than trying to piece together a meal from leftovers on the fly.

It’s also important not just plan ahead but actually follow through with all of those plans. So make sure that whatever recipes or meals are included in those scheduled dinners are actually going into action when they should be!

Don’t overcomplicate dinner.

You might think that the best way to make dinner is by using recipes and ingredients that are fancy, but it’s not. The most important thing is to keep things simple: no need for complex sauces or ingredients that take forever to cook.

Here are some tips for making simple weeknight dinners:

  • Don’t overcomplicate dinner. If you’re having a busy night, don’t try to make something too complicated or fancy—just stick with your favorite dish! You’ll be glad that you did when everything comes together smoothly (and quickly).

Stick to simple recipes that you can easily double and freeze or reheat.

  • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
  • Don’t make something that is too complicated or exotic.
  • Don’t try to make something that seems like it will take forever, either. You probably won’t have time for that!

Stock your pantry with basics.

Stock your pantry with basics. It’s a good idea to have on hand some staples like rice, pasta and canned beans, as well as frozen vegetables. You can buy these in bulk at a discount to save money and make sure to have some fresh produce on hand too!

Choose ingredients that work in multiple recipes.

You’ll be able to use the same ingredients in several different recipes, which will save you time and money. For example, if you have a can of beans that’s not going to be used for another recipe, why not use it in your next batch of chili? Or maybe some fresh chopped veggies are about to go bad—throw them into some tacos instead!

There are also certain items that should never be used more than once; think about this before buying any more produce or meat (like bacon). If you haven’t already identified these items on your shopping list, make sure they’re marked with an asterisk (*) so they can’t sneak into your kitchen again!

Meal prepping isn’t just for lunch and snacks anymore.

Meal prepping isn’t just for lunch and snacks anymore. If you want to ease the stress of getting dinner on the table at night, meal prep can be done in advance:

  • You can make large batches of foods that will last for several days, like a batch of chicken breasts or vegetables that can be used in salads or pasta dishes throughout the week.
  • There’s nothing wrong with making one big pot of soup on Sunday afternoon and serving it all week long—you’ll just have more food options than if you tried to prepare individual portions throughout the week.
  • Meal prepping at the end of each day is another option, especially if there are only two days left before school starts back up! This method allows everyone involved (including you) time off so they aren’t exhausted when they walk through their front door after work each night…which makes life easier for everyone involved!

Consider buying frozen veggies and fruit without added sodium or sugar, which are as nutritious as fresh produce and last longer.

Frozen produce is often a cheaper alternative to fresh produce. You can buy frozen veggies in bulk and use them throughout the week without having to worry about spoilage or refrigeration. In addition, frozen vegetables have been flash-frozen within hours of harvest so they retain their nutritional value while being convenient to prepare at home or on the go. Frozen fruit also tends to be less expensive than fresh fruit because it’s picked before ripening, which means there’s still some nutrition present when you eat it—just not as much as if it were ripe!

While many people think that freezing reduces the nutritional value of food by removing its natural enzymes, this isn’t necessarily true; after all, humans have been eating frozen fruits and vegetables for thousands upon thousands of years without any ill effects whatsoever! So don’t let myths about frozen foods drive you away from using them yourself!

Make one night a find-your-own dinner night to help teach your kids how to use what staples they have on hand to whip up a meal (like egg + toast, sandwiches, or salads).

  • Look for one night each week where you can make a meal from scratch.
  • This is a great way to teach your kids how to be creative with what they have on hand and use their imagination. It’s also a fun family activity that will help them learn about cooking, eating healthy foods and getting along with others in the kitchen!

Ask your grocery store to deliver.

If you’re like me, you don’t have time to go grocery shopping. Instead of wasting hours standing in the checkout line at your local grocery store and then lugging bags home, order online and get it delivered right to your house!

You can also get it delivered to an office or coworking space so that everyone in the group is responsible for bringing their own meals (and not spending money on food). If you’re feeling particularly ambitious—or if there’s a group event coming up—you might even consider asking someone else who has access to the kitchen at work or school (or even just across town) if they could make something special for everyone involved.

Planning ahead, buying staples and thinking ahead about the next day’s dinner makes for simpler weeknight dinners–and more time spent around the dinner table together.

Planning ahead, buying staples and thinking ahead about the next day’s dinner makes for simpler weeknight dinners–and more time spent around the dinner table together.

Planning ahead means you won’t have to stress about what to make when you get home from work or running errands. If you don’t plan your meal too far in advance, it can be hard to find something quick and easy that doesn’t require much prep work before cooking it up at home. Staples like canned beans and tomatoes are always handy because they’ll last indefinitely–and if they’re low-sodium versions like Green Giant’s Roma Tomatoes (which we love), then there’s no need for worry about salt intake! They also come in big cans which makes them easier to store than smaller varieties sold elsewhere–and since they’re already picked ripe without any additional processing needed prior to opening them up, these kinds of items are ideal candidates for using up leftover bits lying around the fridge instead (like those green onions).

While meal prepping may seem daunting at first glance; once it becomes second nature…it becomes so much fun! Not only does this save time overall during each weeknight meal prep session but also helps ensure certain items aren’t forgotten which could otherwise lead us into making bad decisions when trying desperately “get through” our evening rush hour traffic jams.”

Conclusion

We hope that you’ve learned a few new tricks to make your weekday dinners as simple and stress-free as possible. Remember that even if you’re not 100% organized, the key is in having a plan! And while it may seem like there’s no way around getting everything ready in advance, sometimes it’s just what works best for you or your family.