I like to have some things prepped and ready in order for dinner time to come together quickly and smoothly. Having a menu plan helps me to evaluate what early preparations can be done on less busy days (Sunday afternoon is often a good time for me).
Some meals will include things I already have prepped in the freezer and some meals need a little forethought to go smoothly. On Sunday or on another non-working day, I go systematically through each meal for the week and decide if anything can be made ahead, when food needs to be thawed, or any other considerations that will make meal time come together more easily.
I decided to include a simple plan ahead strategy for each meal for this week's menu in hopes that it helps you to make your own plan ahead strategies. I know just like my menu plan, my plan ahead strategies will look different than yours.
Sunday's meal: Hamburger was made into patties and frozen when I purchased it (here is my mess-free technique). Periodically I make a big batch of sweet potato fries and freeze them. They are peeled, cut into fries, and seasoned for crispiness. I am the only one who eats the sweet potato fries, the rest of my family eats French fries homemade from Kroger.
Monday's meal: Cut the chicken into nuggets on Sunday afternoon. Cut and season carrots for fries on Sunday. Store both prepared items in the refrigerator.
Tuesday's meal: Our Saturday plans were altered last week so I saved the pork gravy over rice meal for this week. I have pork loin stored with it's juices ready for a quick meal. I just need to prep the lettuce for salad on Sunday afternoon.
Wednesday's meal: Sunday afternoon I plan to make the sweet potato puree needed for this recipe and will freeze any extra for future meals. I also plan to stop by our local grocery store that offers greatly reduced produce prices, on Wednesdays only, after work on Wednesday for the fruit salad.
Thursday's meal: I will use the precooked and cubed chicken I made up for the freezer a couple of weeks ago.
Friday's meal: I made and froze an extra pizza dough the last time we had pizza and plan to use it. Prep lettuce for salad on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday's meal: Saturdays are always subject to change and difficult to plan a meal. The guys will probably go hunting and not eat at normal meal times.
Do you have plan ahead strategies for supper? I would love to know what you do to make dinnertime come together more quickly and smoothly! Please leave a comment for all of our benefits.
crispy sweet potato fries
crispy carrot fries
whole wheat drop biscuits
pork gravy over rice
healthy mac and cheese (new recipe)
pizza (using this dough recipe and this sauce recipe)
leftovers or simple supper