One of the biggest challenges every mother has is how to streamline meal planning and preparation to keep it simple while giving your kids great solutions they can hopefully serve themselves when it comes to snack and lunch. Its always a bonus when you can apply the same strategies on the dinner side while you are running around for those afternoon activities.
In 2010 while serving as the Sam’s Club Back At It Program Spokesperson, I spent a day in Bentonville, Arkansas scouring the floor for smart solutions that would make any busy Mom breathe a sigh of relief when her kids as “Mom what’s for dinner?” Much to my delight there was a wonderful selection of truly doable solutions in both cost and quantity and I’ve found them to be just the ticket on more than a few busy nights. Streamlining your meal planning and preparation can be a breeze if you think about it like this: Prepared + Fresh or Frozen + Fresh is a busy Mom’s ticket to making meals happen on the fly. Why? Because you only need to do basic ingredients! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Salad Kit: California Pizza Kitchen makes a great salad kit that only requires you pick up some fresh lettuce and you’ve got a wonderful taco salad for the evening.
2. Daytime Snacks: Yoplait yogurt mixed with some fresh berries and you’ve got your calcium and power fruits covered.
3. After School Snack: When you need protein, think about grabbing some turkey roll ups paired with individual servings of fresh vegetables. When I’m in a pinch, I save myself time by purchasing a vegetable tray with just the right amount of exactly what my children will eat. Goes without saying this saves me money because I don’t end up throwing out rotten vegetables at the end of the month.
4. Chicken Noodle Soup: Not only can you get great brands like Panera making convenience solutions but you can also grab Chicken Chili from the deli and you are on your way to a great comfort meal on just the right night. Pair it with some fresh homemade bread and you are all set.
5. Pizza Night: You know you have it ~ so many of us do as a weekly family tradition. Grab a nice salad like a ceasar or spinach for an extra twist and you cover all your bases.
I love cooking at home and do my best to use my crockpot and the grill as additional time savers when it comes to eating at home. Choosing semi-prepared options and following my recipe of Fresh + Frozen or Prepared + Fresh will give you just the right break when you need it most. You’ll cut down your meal prep time dramatically without sacrificing offering your family meal solutions that truly work. In my book that’s a home run. I hope these tips help you think outside the drive through line to streamline your options and still eat at home. Tell me…
What are you go-to easy meal ideas?
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!
Disclosure: This post is based on a video that is 1 of 3 in a series filmed for Sam’s Club as part of our Back At It Program partnership in 2010. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
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