For me, it turns out that getting a homemade dinner on the table every night does not seem to depend on planning. Planning does not always equal food on the dinner plates.
A list of what will be served and when does not help me at all. What helps me is having on hand what I need to prepare several dishes my family likes. And setting aside time to cook is what makes it happen! Sometimes that means preparing it the day before. And most times that means having the same thing two nights in a row. Fortunately, no one around here minds leftovers!
THINK ABOUT THE WEEK AHEADWhen making the list for Sunday afternoon grocery shopping (the whole family goes), I note of four or five dishes I'd like to make (and eat) for the week. Most dishes on the list will feed all three of us twice.
MAKE A LISTThen I add all the necessary ingredients and accompaniments for those meals to the list.
COOK WHEN YOU HAVE TIME TO BE READY FOR WHEN YOU DON'TSome nights when I'm not busy, I'll prepare two or three dishes at a time. Read about my cooking nights here and here.
PLAN FOR TOMORROWOnce the fridge and pantry are properly stocked, it's just a matter of thinking about dinner more than an hour before dinner- preferably at least the evening before.
10 Days of Meals from Katherine at rhymes with smileIf you like a more structured system, one of my quilting friends has come up with one of the easiest and best plans I've seen (and I've done lots of research). Follow these links to read her posts:
My New Way to Plan Food (Part 3): This is the genius part!
My New Way to Plan Food (Part 2): Read Katherine's Meal Planning Rules here.
My New Way to Plan Food (Part 1): Why Katherine wants and needs to plan her family's meals.
10 Days of Meal Plans
10 More Days of Meals Plans
What's your secret to getting dinner on the table every night?