Guest post: ‘Beautifully Organised’ gives us 8 shortcuts to make dinner time WAY easier

I thought it was about time I had a few guest posts. :)

Today, I give you Marissa from Beautifully Organised. I asked her to write me something that suits me… and she knows me well! I’m not a fan of cooking. This post is PERFECT for me.

Shortcuts to make dinner time WAY easier.

I think us Mums all have 2 things in common:

  1. We are busy. All day, every day – no matter how old our kids get!
  2. We have to feed our families every night.

But being so busy leaves practically no time for getting dinner ready.

Have any of these ever happened to you?

  • You’ve worked all day, picked the kids up from school, spent an hour at soccer and an hour at ballet, and now its 5.30pm, the kids are tired & cranky and you have nothing ready for dinner.
  • You’re at home with a gorgeous but not-very-sleepy newborn, you haven’t eaten a full meal all day and you’re starving – but you can’t figure out how to cook safely while you hold the baby.
  • You had dinner planned, cooked on time and on the table before the witching hour even began… but none of your kids would eat it because all of a sudden, one doesn’t eat tomato, one doesn’t eat meat, one hates pasta.. and you cooked lasagne.
  • You’re sick of cooking the same meals every week but just don’t have the time to sit down and find new recipes to try.
  • Your family complains about having the same meals every week but no one wants to help you find some new ideas.

It’s all getting way too hard. I don’t like hard. I like easy, peaceful dinners.

So I’ve been trying a few new tricks at our house for dinner time and it’s working out SO well. These are tips I found on the internet, through other Mums, in recipe books & on blogs – once I sat down and really looked into it, there were heaps of handy tips to try!

Here are the 8 shortcuts I use every week to make dinner time WAY easier:

  1. Ask each family member to tell you their 3 favourite dinners. Write them down on a piece of paper and sticky tape it to the inside of your pantry door. Now you have a list of ideas ready that will cut down on complaints at the dinner table!
  2. Use a slow cooker. Put it on low in the morning or on high at lunchtime and dinner will be ready later with no extra effort. You can make meatloaf, fajitas, pasta dishes, roast chicken,and heaps of casseroles in a slow cooker. If you have the cash, I’d also say get a Thermomix – it measures, chops & cooks for you while you play/work/nap ;) Love mine – but at $2K it’s a big investment!
  3. Have a ‘fast to cook’ night. Home made pizza, stir fry, wraps with deli meat & salad. There are heaps of fast options out there and Google will help you find them all ;)
  4.  Have a ‘try something new’ night where the whole family cooks together. Great for the weekend if you’re all together in the afternoon – little kids love to help in the kitchen and older kids need to learn cooking skills for when they move out later! Make it fun and let one of your kids choose the new recipe each week.
  5. Have a lazy day. Eggs on toast (or anything else on toast!), take away, Woolies BBQ chicken with salad & rolls, sandwiches for dinner – all of these are quick & easy, with hardly any washing up.
  6. Have a Mexican food night. Tacos, corn chips, nachos w salsa & avocado, enchiladas, fajitas – most of the mexican dishes we cooked are crammed with salads, beans, & lean mince – all super healthy and the kids have so much fun when they can serve it all up themselves at the table however they like!
  7. Make double & freeze the extras for next time. Works great with lasagne or casseroles, and you can get creative with bolognese sauce – pasta one week, shepherd’s pie the next, on a baked potato…
  8. Have a picnic at home – inside or out. I’m still surprised at how happy this makes us all – just setting up on a blanket in the lounge room instead of at the table, or taking dinner outside in warm weather. Everyone gets so relaxed, we chat more, and the kids go play afterwards leaving me & the husband time to hang out for a bit. Makes me feel like I’m on holidays every time :)

Bonus Tip!
Take some of these ideas and make them theme nights each week – like this!

Feel free to print that one out & use it at your house if you like it! Go here to download. Or you can have a blank one and tailor it to suit your family. Go here for the blank one.

About Marissa Roberts: Marissa is a busy mum who loves all things organising. She spends her days helping other mums find more time for the things they love, and her main goal in life is to feel like she’s on holidays, every day. Visit her at BeautifullyOrganised.com for her free tips & tools to make life easy.

Don’t forget to share your tips – what shortcuts do YOU take to make dinner time easy at your house?

Thanks Marissa. You rock. X

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  • http://fivebrothersonesister.blogspot.com Deanne

    Some great ideas. As my children have got older I get them to cook one night a week- we usually start with easy things like hamburgers, spag bol, or meat and salad. Takes the pressure off me and I don’t feel like I am in the kitchen all the time!

    • http://www.beautifullyorganised.com Marissa @ Beautifully Organised

      Thanks Deanne! I LOVE that idea, my 3 yeard old Sophie loves helping her Dad & I in the kitchen so I think she’ll love cooking a meal all by herself when it’s older! Bet she picks pasta every time though ;)

  • http://www.redcliffestyle.com Rachel

    I can totally relate. Some great ideas. Thank you! Rachel x

    • http://www.beautifullyorganised.com Marissa @ Beautifully Organised

      Thanks Rachel! I’m very intrigued about those naughty fairies in your link, will pop over to your blog and check it out :)

  • Emily Woodhouse

    Really some precious tips. I will try to implement in practice.

    • http://www.beautifullyorganised.com Marissa @ Beautifully Organised

      Thanks Emily :)

  • Chloe Louise

    Amazing tips. I have noted them.

    • http://www.beautifullyorganised.com Marissa @ Beautifully Organised

      Thanks Chloe!

  • http://mywhitehomestead.blogspot.com.au/ Annie

    Awesome ideas – we always have poached eggs on toast on a Sunday night – makes for a day of relaxation!