Whats for Dinner – Dinnertime Dilemmas – No More!

Written by: Natalie Rivard
In too many busy families today, the family dinner is becoming a thing of the past. Unfortunately, fast food and restaurants are becoming the norm. If you frequently find yourself trying to decide what to make for dinner when you arrive home exhausted from work, these simple suggestions for meal planning will help reduce the stress in preparing your family’s meals and ensure they are eating properly.

* Planning before shopping is key. Get your family involved in planning meals. When your family has a say about what meals they would like to eat, they are more likely to help you prepare it.

* Make older children responsible for a meal.

* Use your cookbooks for ideas and have fun trying new recipes.

* Double recipes that freeze well.

* Plan quick meals or use leftovers for busy nights. Save roasts for Sunday dinners.

* Be flexible. If something comes up, you can switch meals.

* Scan the grocery flyers for specials.

* Prepare a dinner menu for 5 or 7 days and post the menu to refer to during the week.

*After you have made menus for several weeks, recycle menu plans.

* Check pantry and refrigerator for ingredients needed and discard wilting fruits and vegetables and expired dairy products such as yogurt and cheese.

* Write a grocery list of the needed items to buy and post it in the kitchen. As an item is finished or running low, write it down on the list. In my family, we use a white board in the kitchen to write our grocery list and weekly menu.

* Be ready to substitute if you find a great deal.

* Save time shopping.

Organize your shopping list to match your grocery store’s layout. For example:

1. Fruits and vegetables
2. Baked goods and bread
3.Deli counter and meat
6.Baking ingredients
7.Pasta and beans
8.Canned goods
10.Beverages and snacks
13.Paper and plastic

By setting aside a little time each week to plan meals before shopping, you will see how simple and stress-free preparing healthy family dinners can be.

Natalie Rivard is a Professional Organizer with Organized Success in Montreal and a member of Professional Organizers in Canada

Visit the Organized Success website at
You can reach her at 514.733.1533 or

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Categories : Articles, Menu Planning



[…] But how many times have we looked at reducing the stress that goes into planning those meals? put together a list of tips on how you can reduce the stress of meal planning. My favorite – get […]