Let’s be honest, getting your act together to cook a delicious weeknight meal is STRUGGLE CITY. I know this, because A. I feel this way every week day of life B. You guys TOLD me! Whenever I ask what ideas you guys have for the blog and what kind of content you want to see–I always get several “week night meal ideas pleeeaasseeee” suggestions.
So, if you’re one of those people–this post is for you 😉
3 Easy Weeknight Dinner Solutions
Lesson #1: Stock the freezer
This lesson comes to you from Lynn Keys. My mom ALWAYS had our freezer stocked with homemade soups, chili, and sauces that could be thawed for dinner (or a quick lunch, or even after-school snack) in 20 minutes or less with ZERO work involved. (Actually, she still does this–I just don’t live there anymore, unfortunately ?)
How do you know what freezes well? Usually, anything that has a lot of liquid. Like soup, stews, chili, pastas you’d bake–like ziti and lasagna, pasta sauce (you can freeze everything but the actual pasta. You can even freeze meatballs in the sauce!) or enchiladas. It barely takes any extra work to double a recipe, but you’ll be ecstatic when you can have a delicious home-cooked meal later without any effort!
Lesson #2: Try out a meal delivery service (even if you’re a skeptic!)
I always thought I was too much of a food snob for meal delivery services (is the food going to be that good? Does it REALLY save that much time or money?) but when Home Chef reached out to me interested in teaming up together, I decided to give it a try for the sake of experimentation. My initial thought was, “I don’t know if that’s my kinda thing…” BUT–I know you guys are always looking for convenient week night dinner ideas, and I thought–why not? I’ll give it a try. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to write about it.
But guys, even despite my food snobbery, I loved it.
From how fast the recipes are to how good they taste. Both Neal and I were ALL about it! I even LEARNED a thing or two (which I did not expect–like, using muffin tins to make meatballs or “mini meat loaves”–no touching raw meat and getting your hands dirty!)
If you’re constantly pressed for time, but want quick, tasty, affordable meals to make for you and/or your significant other, I think Home Chef is a great option for you. Here’s why:
- Recipes are super simple, and can be made in 30 minutes or less.
- Recipes are VERY easy to follow (you really can’t mess them up!) but also allow for a lot of creativity as well (you can easily add any additional spices, subtract anything you don’t want, and it’s pretty easy to customize!) This actually makes cooking with your significant other a MUCH more enjoyable experience. ?
- All ingredients are pre-portioned, so you eliminate food waste (and save a lot of $$$ in the process)
- Cuts down majorly on grocery store trips.
- Shipped in insulated, ice packed boxes (so if you aren’t there, you don’t have to worry–it won’t spoil) that are made of recycled, compostable, biodegradable textile fibers. (Earth friendly! Hooray!)
- Offer calorie and carb conscious meals, as well as vegetarian options.
- Insanely affordable–most meals are between $7.99-$10.99 per serving (Each box serves two people)!
Their meal kits (which come with 2 servings each) also work well if you’re cooking for one, because then they work as meal prep! I made these turkey meatballs for lunch when Blair was over and I had lot’s of leftovers for lunches that week, too! It was so easy, healthy, and saved me a lot of time.
Lesson #3: Embrace the supermarket shortcuts
Supermarket shortcuts are my BEST FRIEND during the week. There was a time in my life that I felt guilty spending more money on pre-washed or pre-chopped produce, but any little time saver goes a long way in my book–so I’ve started telling myself it’s an investment in my sanity! So, if you’re someone who values convenience over saving a few dollars, go for the shortcuts! Choose pre-chopped produce, bags of salad (there are so many great all-in-one salad mixes these days!) and so on. You should never feel guilty for doing anything that makes life easier!
And another twist on supermarket shortcuts–Home Chef meal kits are now sold at Mariano’s stores! These actually will SAVE you a lot of money though, rather than requiring a bit of a splurge 😉
I picked one up to make for Neal and I last Sunday (I knew we were going to be exhausted, but wanting a home cooked meal after eating out all weekend) and we both LOVED it. It tasted so good and it was so fast! Perhaps the best part of all though, was that I could walk in, pick up one thing, and walk out with everything I needed to make a full meal. (Usually I am wandering the aisles looking for 15 different ingredients for one recipe. Sorry, but sometimes, that’s just NOT ideal). Really, you’ll spend more time in the wine aisle than anything else ?
If you don’t live in Chicago (AKA have access to a Mariano’s). They are starting to roll them out nationwide at Kroger stores, so keep a lookout! You can find them in their own special little display, usually around the produce section! Also, if you buy any kit in-store at Mariano’s, you get $35 off your first online Home Chef order!
Do you have any weeknight dinner hacks? Would love to know your thoughts!
This post brought to you by Home Chef, a meal kit service I tried, approved, and think you’ll really love! Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to keep creating my best content for my best girls! (AKA YOU!)
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