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My #1 Tip for Getting Dinner on the Table Every Night

Get dinner on the table every single night with this ONE super easy tip! It makes weekday family dinners SO much simpler!

Do you struggle to get dinner on the table every night? Do you feel like you’re constantly waiting until the last minute to figure out dinner and then sort of going into panic mode when 5 p.m. rolls around and the people in your home are hungry?

(I know. What is it about people wanting to eat every single night?? I always say that if we didn’t have to eat, sleep, or wear clothes, it would save us so much time and effort! I mean, no laundry, we could use all 24 hours in our day, and we wouldn’t ever have to make food or clean up dishes!! ;))

If making dinner every night is a challenge, here’s my #1 tip for getting dinner on the table every night:

My #1 Tip: Plan & Prep Your Dinner in the Morning

Don’t wait until 5 p.m. to think about what you are going to eat for dinner. Don’t even wait until 5 p.m. to start making dinner. Get into the habit of planning and prepping your dinner before breakfast or right after breakfast.

I know that you have a lot to do in the morning. I know you might just feel like, “I gotta get out the door! I don’t have time to think about dinner in the morning!”

But trust me on this: you will be SO glad you planned and prepped ahead later on in the day.

I’ve been experimenting with using my Slow Cooker almost exclusively the past month and I’ve been challenging myself to make dinner and have it in the Crock-Pot before 11 a.m. (Yes, that’s not really breakfast time, but I’m all about giving myself some grace! ;))

You guys! I cannot believe the difference that this makes! When I get dinner made in the mornings, I go throughout the rest of my day feeling like I’m so on top of things (even if I am kind of a hot mess the rest of the day) because dinner is DONE!

In addition, it encourages our family to eat healthier since we aren’t tempted to grab quick food or take out, it saves money because we are eating at home, and it encourages our family to be more consistent about eating dinner together. Plus, it just makes me really happy to be making yummy food for my family and having them love what I’m cooking!

3 Resources to Help You Get Dinner Done Early

  1. Follow Me on Facebook — At least 3-4 mornings every week, I’m doing a live video on Facebook in the mornings as I’m making dinner. This is not only public accountability for me, but I’ve heard from my followers that this morning video reminds them to get dinner prepped and gives them some great ideas of very simple recipes they can make. Follow me on Facebook here.
  2. Join the Eat at Home Challenge Facebook Group — Need more encouragement to get dinner on the table every night? Join the Eat at Home Challenge Facebook Group. It’s a group full of women who share what they are making every night for dinner. It’s filled with great ideas and inspiration! Go here to request to join the Eat at Home Challenge Facebook Group.
  3. Sign up for the Eat at Home Menu Plan — I cannot sing the praises of this menu plan enough! We’ve been using it for our family for the past month and just love, love, love it! The recipes are so simple, so yummy, and have been a hit at our house. Plus, it’s only a few dollars per week and you get three different menu plans for every week — which is so worth it if it saves you a lot of time, money, and stress! (We use the Slow Cooker menu plan and highly recommend it.) Find out more about the Eat at Home Menu Plan service here.

What tips and advice do you have for getting dinner on the table every night? I’d love to hear!

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  • Amy says:

    This weekend, I will be writing some plans for new routines, and I am going to try to incorporate this into my list. Thank you for sharing.
    I am curious as to what you do for yourself, though, since I know you shared that you eat differently from the rest of your family. When do you prep the meals that you are going to be eating? I also need to eat a bit differently from my family, and I usually have time to make things for either them or me, but not both.

    • I have more wiggle room in my diet now, but I still usually eat *mostly* different than my family. I usually prep enough of one meal to last for 4-6 days and I’ll do that one evening when it’s a slower afternoon/evening.

  • Vanessa says:

    This is amazing! I’m about to have our 5th baby and this came at the perfect time. I’m definitely signing up for this!! Thanks Crystal 🙂

  • Patty says:

    2 words: menu planning. A working mom’s best friend.

    I do it a week at a time; others do it a month at a time. Either way, it’s so helpful for weekly grocery shopping, pre-prepping to the extent you can, and alleviating dinnertime panic.

  • Quinn says:

    What a neat Facebook group! Eat at Home Facebook Group!!

  • NaDell says:

    I finally learned that dinner is easier to get on the table after school if I made it (prepped or assembled) at my younger kid’s naptime right after lunch. It makes the evening so much quicker.

  • Susan says:

    would you share the recipe using the ingredients pictured?

  • JC says:

    Freezer crockpot meals! This is my go-to during my busy-at-work seasons. I try to always have three in the freezer. I’ve found it gets easier to make these each time we do it.
    Also, am I the only one that struggles to get lunch on the table after church?!

    • Anna Rose says:

      Amen. On Sundays, I have been packing simple sandwiches, like chicken salad or bbq chicken because the meat can be pre-cooked in the slow cooker on Saturday. And we eat at the church parking lot facing the trees (feels more like a picnic that way) right after service. We also bring our water bottles and fill up at the water fountain. This has been such a lifesaver! Then I don’t feel guilty about taking a nap right when we get home.

    • Esther says:

      I try to do a crock pot meal for Sunday lunch — if I can, I get it ready on Sat. night. Pork roast, venison roast, or chicken soup are favorites.

      • BUSY MOM IN AL says:

        Taco salad is our EASY and FAST Sunday lunch meal. I cook up a huge batch of black beans and store in the freezer in smaller portions. On Saturday (or sometimes Sunday morning) I brown some ground beef or turkey and add taco seasoning. I put cooked taco meat and pre-cooked beans in the crockpot and turn it to low when we head out the door to church. We come home to assemble the rest. I make sure I have tortilla chips, salsa, cheese, sour cream, lime juice, hot sauce and lettuce. It is our favorite meal of the week!

    • Angela says:

      We do something similar. I bring snack foods to fill up the kids. Cheese sticks or yogurt sticks, fruit. Our church offers donuts and milk during fellowship. It’s always a special time for the kids since they have special foods they don’t normally eat! When we get home they go down for naps and the adults and sometimes the teens can eat a quick lunch. We have a big dinner later as a family.

  • Sophie Piper says:

    Excellent ideas. Love the prepping first thing bit. That right there is a game changer.

  • Melanie says:

    I’m so glad I somehow found this post! Making meals is a constant battle for me and its hard. Plus I run out of quick and easy meal recipes to make. It’s really hard trying to find the time to do all this when I hardly have the energy to do so. I wake up 4:30 every morning, get home before 7 pm and get to bed by 10:30. I somehow have to find the time and energy to cook breakfast and lunch for the next day in order to save money now that we have a mortgage. We’re lucky to even eat dinner at our parents place since they babysit our son.

    It’s just exhausting. Plus my weekends are spent doing errands, cleaning house and doing laundry.

    I definitely need to check out the meal plan. I just feel like I need some guidance.

  • Katie says:

    I love this idea! Really, 5pm is the worst time for trying to *think* and cook. I sometimes prep dinner during lunch, and it makes a huge difference. I’m going to try to make this a new habit!

  • Christine says:

    Any chance of the 25% coupon being offered again?

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