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dinner hacks for busy people

dinner hacks for busy people

Dinners can be a grab-and-go experience for those with a packed schedule, especially during the back to school season. Here are some dinner hacks for busy people like you!

Make Dinner Fun And Affordable

For many of us, September signifies the start of the school year, which can also mean that after-school activities start. Between work and shuttling kids to extracurriculars, finding time to make a healthy dinner can be challenging and even daunting. Here are some tips and tricks for not only saving time, but money.

  • Plan meals and complete grocery shopping for the week once or twice. Having a plan for all or half of the week eliminates the need to go to the store on multiple occasions throughout the week. Not only will this save time but having a list – and sticking to it – saves money.
  • Make a list! Shopping without a list is like taking a road trip without a map. Organize your list by department, keeping vegetables, meat, dairy, etc. together. Knowing what you need and where to source
  • Keep it simple; have a planned meal that you know is a crowd-pleaser and make it on repeat….Taco Tuesday, Meatloaf Monday, etc.
  • Use shortcuts like pre-cut (fresh or frozen) vegetables to save time on meal preparation.
  • Put kitchen appliances like slow cookers, pressure cookers or air fryers to work and achieve savory, tender and flavorful dishes without the long cook time.
  • Cook favorites in a batch. Staples like rice, grains, pasta and vegetables that are batch cooked, can be used later in the week in other dishes.
  • Use one pan for the entire meal. Not only does everything cook at once in the oven but clean-up is a breeze with only one pan to clean. Search “sheet pan dinners” to get inspiration for meals that come together in less than 10 minutes and cook on one pan.
  • Delegate! Get the whole family involved. Whether it’s something as simple as setting the table or washing vegetables, even younger family members can contribute. Having an extra set of hands (or two) makes a difference.

Don't Neglect Self Care!

No matter how busy you are, self-care should always be a priority. Here's why!

Ideal Dinners For those On the Go!

Tacos: This is a classic and versatile meal that can be customized to your liking. Use ground beef, chicken, or tofu as your protein, and top your tacos with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream.

Pasta dishes: Pasta is another quick and easy option that can be made in a variety of ways. Try a simple spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce, or get creative with a baked pasta dish – casserole style!

Wraps or rolls: Wraps can be served in a variety of ways, both hot and cold. A simple paring of meat, lettuce, salad dressing, veggies, and cheese can easily serve as an on-the-go dinner.

Salads: Salads are a healthy and portable way to get your daily dose of vegetables. Top your salad with grilled chicken, fish, or tofu for a more filling meal, or pair it with a larger portion of pasta or protein.  

Soups: Soups are a hearty and comforting option that can be made ahead of time. Try a classic chicken noodle soup, or a more unique soup, such as lentil soup or tomato. Soups paired with a sandwich, bread, or wrap can make the meal feel more complete.

Sandwiches or Burgers: Sandwiches are a quick and easy option that can be served hot or cold. Sandwiches provide variety and are great on-the-go options. Pairing with chips, soup, slaw, fruit, or veggies will help round out the meal. If going with the burger option, seasoned potato wedges as a are a healthier alternative to French fries.

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