This meme gets me every single time I see it. We all have those days (or weeks) where cooking dinner just seems like way too much work. Here are a few tips I use to make cooking every night that little bit easier.
- Tidy your kitchen
There is nothing worse than trying to cook in a messy kitchen. A find doing a quick tidy up before I get started makes preparing dinner so much easier. Don’t go over board, just make sure any dishes are done before you start and clear the bench of those pesky items that always seem to gravitate to an empty space.
- Menu plan
For me dinner is much easier when I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook. Taking some time out to menu plan once a week saves me a lot of stress trying to figure out what to have for dinner each night when tummies are starting to grumble.
- Prepare ahead of time
How many times have you gone to cook dinner at 5pm and realised your meat is still frozen? Or that you are missing a key ingredient? Put an end to this by taking a few minutes in the morning to get anything you need to out of the freezer and doing a quick ingredient check. I like to pull out anything I know I’m going to need, such as sauces or spices and pop them on the bench as well. Obviously don’t do this with things that need to be refrigerated or they will be ruined by dinner time.
- Delegate cooking every now and then.
Do yourself a favour and take a break by assigning dinner duty to someone else when you can. In our house this means my husband cooks once a week, usually Saturday night. If for whatever reason that’s not doable one week, it becomes take-away night. Or if money is tight we have eggs on toast. It’s okay to take a night off.
- Clean up once you’re done to make sure you’re ready for the next meal.
This links back to number one. I know how tempting it can be to just leave the dishes until the next morning after a big day but this just starts you off on the wrong foot tomorrow. Make the effort to wash up, give the bench a quick wipe down and empty the garbage after dinner each night. Enlist your kids and partner, it’s a much quicker job when everyone pitches in a little.
So there you have my 5 ways to make cooking dinner each night easier. Let me know in the comments below things you do to make your dinner routine stress-free.