Whether you work outside of the home or not, most likely you feel like you run all day long. Suddenly it’s five o’clock and you have no idea what to have for dinner. So you go out. Which leaves you with even less time, because let’s face it; it takes awhile to drive to a restaurant, order and eat and come home. How can we fit cooking and serving healthy and inexpensive meals into our busy days?

Planning and advance preparation are key.


Start by writing a grocery list. Know what’s in your freezer, in your refrigerator and your pantry. Then go through the weekly grocery flyers. Pull out a couple cookbooks or your recipe file or the computer and plan a week’s worth of menus. This doesn’t take long and pays off big time.


When you plan your meals, a couple times a week prepare more than you need so you can use it in another meal. For instance, brown ground beef for spaghetti sauce on Monday, but have enough of the beef left for tacos on Thursday. Or cook up a huge pot of chili on Tuesday and serve it again over rice on Saturday.


On the weekend you can make a couple extra complete casseroles, like lasagna or enchiladas, and freeze them for another week altogether.


Have a couple crock pot recipes that you like and use that once a week or so. There’s nothing like walking in the door and having a soup or stew ready!


Take an hour or two while watching a TV show and wash and cut up vegetables for salads and to use in cooking. They will keep well in individual Tupperware containers in the refrigerator for the week and it will take no time each night to throw together a salad.


It won’t take long before all of this becomes second nature to you. And the rewards will be worth it!