Menu planning is the key to making dinner work for us. It might not be for everyone, but I cannot imagine why it would not work for anyone!
Every Sunday, we plan what we are going to have for dinner each night until next Sunday. It makes the time before dinner so much less stressful. Who has not thought at 5:00PM “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?” And most of the time even if I can think of something I want for dinner, I usually don’t have all the right ingredients. (Sound familiar?) We may not make the planned meal on the planned night, but if we make a change, it is just a swap, so we have all the stuff and we know what we are having in advance still.
The other good thing about planning in advance is that it makes budgeting and spending less at the grocery store so much easier. And who does not want to spend less at the grocery store? Especially with prices what they are now? You only have to buy what you are going to need and use, rather than just what you *might* use or want. We have saved so much time and money with this method. I have been doing it for 3 years now and it makes huge difference. It makes it so much easier when you have some other issue going on. When we don’t do it (because there are some weeks where Sunday just gets insane) we can definitely see the difference. The stress and daily visits to the grocery store tell the story.