Winner, Winner, Quick (Easy) Dinner: Weeknight Dinner Hacks

Whether you are a single, working individual, a working mom who comes home to a family begging to be fed each night, or are currently unemployed and consider making a meal for yourself and everyone else a huge hassle after a day of job hunting, dinnertime is a headache for most of us. It becomes very easy to throw up your hands and grab takeout on the way home, or go out to eat with your spouse and/or kids. But, the reality is, eating out is not only worse for your health, but also for your budget.

We understand…meal planning, meal prep, and then cleaning the kitchen afterward makes dinner seem like a massive undertaking if you’re exhausted from your work day, or tired from running around filling out applications, turning in resumes, and attending interviews. However, we have a few hacks that can make dinner easy to plan, easy to make, and easy to clean up.

Head to the Freezer

While we know frozen foods aren’t as wonderful for your health as fresh, they are a huge timesaver on the nights when you are tempted to run through the drive through (again). When shopping, check out the freezer area of your grocery store for items like frozen meatballs, already prepared breaded chicken, or even grilled meats that are already cooked and then frozen. These items can be easily made into spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, chicken sandwiches, or even a caesar salad with just a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes of work. The best part, cleanup is easy since you didn’t go to the trouble to make the entire meal yourself and used the “shortcut” of some frozen items.

Use Your Crockpot

Slow cookers are very trendy right now, and for good reason! They can cook anything from a baked potato to a hot fudge cake if you know how to use them correctly. Utilizing your slow cooker means you can throw a few ingredients in before work in the morning, and come home to a fully-cooked meal for your family. Since it’s one dish, the cleanup is simple. Make it even easier by using crock-pot liners you can purchase at your local big box store! All you do is pull it out and toss it when you’re finished with dinner, and your crockpot is ready to put back into the cabinet!

Fall in Love with Freezer Cooking

This option takes a little more planning, and more effort, but if you’re very committed to eating fresh and feeding your family from scratch, it’s the way to go! Spend a Saturday cooking some of your favorite dishes ahead of time, place them into disposable freezer and oven safe containers, and stack them up in your freezer to pull from on nights when cooking just isn’t an option. Great choices included lasagna, baked spaghetti, chicken and rice, most casseroles, and even breakfast dishes like egg bakes or french toast. Make sure you label accurately, and you’ll have an arsenal of health, ready-to-bake meals at your disposal.

We hope these tips make your weeknights a little easier as we finish out the summer and head into the next school year over the coming weeks. If you are still spending your days coming home exhausted from job searching, PHR Staffing Solutions is here to step in and help. We are your one stop for job openings throughout the greater Polk County area, and we handle your application, your resume, your interview, and paperwork. We take the hard work out of finding a job, so give us a call to get started.