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How to cook every night... and enjoy it!

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

My family of 5 eats at home nearly every night. That means someone (usually me) gets to cook every night. Oh boy! For those that really don't enjoy cooking, I want to let you in on a few secrets that help me cook nearly every night of the week and truly enjoy it (yes, even the dishes!).

Tip #1 Meal Plan

I know this is a given but truly, taking one day a week to meal plan is a GAME CHANGER. Let me be honest though, planning for all 7 days when I first started out was a bit overwhelming. So I started off by planning for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday then reassess on Thursday. Getting those first three nights off to a good start would help me have the momentum to finish the week strong or allow me not feel guilty if I picked up something easy on Thursday ;)

Tip #2 Theme Day Meal Plans

Give each day of the week a "theme" then work off that to create your weekly meal plan. Here's an example:

Meatless Monday

Taco Tuesday

One Pot Wednesday

Leftover Thursdays

Pizza Fridays

Out to eat Saturday

Breakfast for dinner Sunday

Tip #3 Podcasts, Audiobooks and Music

The mundane jobs of prepping dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc. is so much more enjoyable once I found something to listen to. I use the Libby app and my library card to access thousands of FREE audiobooks. Don't tell anyone but this is how I read/listen to nearly 100 books per year! I have a ton of podcasts I love listening to- news, self improvement, spiritual, parenting, comdey. And when doing the tedious jobs of home maker (or Domestic Goddess as my husband likes to call it), sometimes you need some music to get you up and going. Any of these options might just motivate you to look forward to dinnertime and clean up every night ;)

Tip #4 Prep

Prep the food for your dinners on one day of the week or every day during nap time. I know, I know, it's the last thing you want to do during nap time but hear me out. If you have littles you probably made lunch and already have some cleaning up to do. Go ahead and at least prep items for dinner. That might be cutting all the veggies, making a sauce, or putting together the whole meal and keep it in the fridge so you just have to warm it up at dinnertime. Your afternoons will be so much more peaceful if you are prepped and ready to go for dinner.

Tip #5 Value Family Dinners

You are doing the worthy work of providing home cooked meals for your family. Way to go! One of my favorite verses to meditate on while making dinner is Galatians 6:9 which says "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." The harvest is bountiful with this one! Memories made around the dinner table with home cooked meals are priceless. Your kids learning to love healthy foods is priceless. The money you save by cooking at home is... well I guess not priceless because you could calculate it, but you get the idea! We have to be willing to ebb and flow with the changes a new schedule can bring to dinnertime, but if we are consistent in planning and preparing the payoff will always be worth it.

What are some of your tips to cooking most nights of the week? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!


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