Tips for feeding your family home-cooked meals

It’s hard, y’all. Hard to get a good, home-cooked meal on the table after working all day. I make it a priority to cook as often as I can and have learned some lessons along the way.

Here are my tips for successfully feeding your family home-cooked food. I hope they ever so slightly inspire you to give cooking a shot.

  • Cook in quantity. Unless you have nothing else to do…ever…no one has time or desire to cook every single night. When you do take the time to cook a good meal, make plenty of it. Double that dainty soup recipe. Don’t shy away from making a big lasagne. If you are grilling, throw some extra chicken on so you have meat for another meal or two.
  • Learn to love leftovers. This is a biggie, folks. If you really want to feed your family more home-cooked meals, you MUST be willing to eat leftovers. What’s that? You say you don’t like leftovers? GET OVER IT. There’s nothing better than coming home after work and quickly putting a good meal out for your family that you had to spend very little time preparing.
  • Find recipes for dishes that re-heat well. If your leftovers don’t taste good, you aren’t making the right foods. Let me tell ya, food can be just as good (sometimes even better) the second time around. Maybe I’ve just brainwashed myself into thinking this, but so be it. I can’t emphasize it enough: Leftovers = Love.
  • Meal plan. Gone are the days of deciding at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday what sounds good for dinner that night and then making it happen. Over the weekend, decide what your family is going to eat for the week. Go the grocery store to buy what you need to pull those meals together, and make yourself eat what you’ve cooked.
  • Never start a work week with an empty fridge. I promise (because I’ve made this mistake numerous times)…if you start the week with no leftovers and no groceries, you won’t be able to catch up until the next weekend. Cook one or two good meals over the weekend so you have a few meals of leftovers ready for the work week. Try to limit yourself to cooking once during the work week (twice if you are super ambitious).
  • Take a shortcut. Look for ways to make your recipes a little easier without sacrificing the healthy factor. Grocery store rotisserie chickens are your friend.
  • Cut yourself a break. If you can’t get a home-cooked meal on the table, don’t make yourself feel guilty. Everyone loves to eat out here and there. Sometimes you just need a mid-week dinner {and drink} out to break routine, or you need to pick up takeout. Our favorite takeout is Papa Murphy’s for pizza (did you know you can get any pizza on the menu in whatever size you want for $10 on Tuesdays?) and Whole Foods. Whole Foods’ family value meals are so good and a great price at only $14.99 or $17.99, depending on what you get. Our faves are the turkey burritos and the veggie lasagne, and both dishes come with a big family-sized salad.
  • Don’t stress about dirty dishes. Maybe a sink full of dirty dishes sets some people off into a panic attack, but I’m not one of them (thank goodness). When I cook during the week, I don’t have time to cook the food, eat the food, and then clean everything up to a sparkling shine. The dishes can wait until another day. I figure my kids aren’t going to remember that the dishes piled up here and there…but rather that we shared meals as a family.
Here's what my sink looks like right now. Ain't no shame. #real

Here’s what my sink looks like right now. #real

What are your tips for getting good meals on the dinner table? Please share!

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3 thoughts on “Tips for feeding your family home-cooked meals

  1. Great tips! Although I just cook for myself, the last thing I want to do is slave away in the kitchen every single night. I keep lots of frozen veggies on hand – onions, 3 pepper/onion blend, corn, broccoli, etc. so that I can always at least whip up a soup, chili, or veggie side. I prewash and chop most veggies and greens as soon as I get home from the store. I’m more likely to use them and it’s a great time saver. I also keep lots of dried beans on hand and on weekends make beans in the crockpot and freeze them. Happy cooking! 🙂

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