I want to eat healthy and delicious every day, but as much as I love to cook, I don’t have the time (or desire) to spend hours in the kitchen. Eating well doesn’t have to be a time drain. It is possible to eat healthy and delicious food every day without spending hours in the kitchen. Last week, I shared with you some ideas for deciding what to make for dinner. Today, I am going to help you get it on the table!
I spend 3-4 hours a week planning and prepping for my family’s meals and it is time well spent! This is about how it breaks down every week:
45 minutes – 1 hour per week meal planning
1 hour per week grocery shopping
1-2 hours per week batch cooking
The time I spend on these tasks above goes a long way when it comes time to making dinner every night. Below are some other tips and tricks I use to get dinner on the table every day in 30 minutes or less.
8 Ways to Get Dinner on the Table in 30 Minutes or Less
1. Grocery shop once a week.
You can save time and money by organizing yourself to shop once a week. Efficiency is the key to not spending hours in the kitchen so I make my grocery trip once a week on Fridays.
2. Make a meal plan for the week.
This is my roadmap for the week, allowing me to get all the grocery shopping done in one trip. It also takes the thinking out of “What’s for dinner?” so when it’s time to cook, I just pull out the ingredients and get cooking. Download my free meal plan here.
3. Wash your fruits and vegetables as soon as you get home from the grocery store.
Soak your produce in a sink bath while you put away your groceries. When you need something later in the day or week, it’s all clean and ready to go. Just pull it out of the pantry or fridge!
4. Batch cook.
An hour or two on the weekend can save you hours during the week. Batch cook beans, grains, snacks and sauces on Sunday and pull out what you need as you are prepping meals throughout the week. Make any sauces or dressings so you can pull them out of the fridge ready to go later in the week.
5. Use pre-prepared ingredients when you can.
Take some help from the store with bagged salad mixes and jarred sauces. Trader Joe’s, (my favorite store), has lots of great add-ins, meal “starters” and boxed baking mixes to take some of the work out meal prep.
6. Plan for leftovers.
Leftovers save you time and money! Ensure leftovers by making a double batch of a taco filling on Tuesday so that you can repurpose it Thursday for chili. Make extra marinara sauce for pasta on Monday and use it the leftover in a casserole on Friday.
7. Keep a well stocked pantry.
Stock canned beans and dried legumes, along with go-to grains such as quinoa and brown rice. I also make sure I always have tahini, tamari and nutritional yeast at the ready in my pantry. With a well stocked pantry, I can always throw together a quick meal, and have the basics I need to keep up with my weekly meals.
8. Prep in the morning or night before.
Press tofu, marinate tempeh, soak beans, or any other time consuming tasks the night before or in the morning as you’re making breakfast. When you go to start dinner later that night, you’ll have a few steps checked off your instructions list.
What strategies do you use to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less? I’d love to hear what works for you! Get more meal planning help when you sign up for my free newsletter.