EZ ways to save time and still provide nourishing meals for your family over the holidays!
Brainstorm 10-15 ‘Go To’ Dinners
One of the best things I ever did was create a list of my Go To Dinners. These are the dinners that literally can be whipped up in a half-hour and for which I generally have items on hand. This list is cycled through monthly, and even contains meals that the kids can make themselves just in case I have late meetings or can’t be home in time! (My boys are teens now, so it’s time…) Create your Go To Dinner list, and a corresponding shopping list to make things easy.
Make Meals Ahead
Some months, I am inspired to cook for a day! I create several recipes in one day, and am able to cash in on the time invested several times throughout the month. The greatest thing is that you only have one time to clean the kitchen and the meals are ready when you need them in a moment’s notice. Some make-ahead meal classics are:
- Soups & Chili
- Slow-Cook/Crock Pot Recipes
- Quiches & Casserole
- Pasta Dishes & Stew
Collect Signature Holiday Recipes
Over the course of 20 years of marriage, I’ve collected an assortment of recipes that I’ve become ‘known for’. My friends and family know that I will bring my quiche, or my stuffed bread, my bruschetta, my roasted potatoes, my veggie chili, my pesto pasta, my broccoli salad, or my steamy, cheesy artichoke dip. These recipes are easy to make, I love the way they taste and are nice to present at a party or gathering! Collect a few of yours over time, and continue to bring them along wherever you go. Some great resources to find awesome recipes are:
- Online Resources: BHG.com, KraftFoods.com, Epicurious.com, AllRecipes.com, About.com, Delish.com and MANY others!
- I also have some holiday recipe pamphlets that I’ve used over and over again by my at home biz friends from Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple.
Shop During Off Times
- Try shopping on Mondays & Tuesdays, nights and early mornings
- Consider signing up for an Online Shopping account with Amazon Prime – Free overnight shipping for anything!
- Consider doing most of your shopping online with special savings, free shipping and convenience.
- Try Shop Rite ‘Shop At Home’ my NEW FAV! ($6.95 delivery + $10 shopping fee if under $100 total)
Traditions are more important to your kids than the gifts they receive and will last longer. Consider creating some traditions with your family to share. Here are some sparky ideas!
- Create Outings: Shopping Trips, Tree Selection, Concerts
- Make Memories At Home: Decorating Rituals, Cooking and Traditional Recipes, Crafts, Gifts, Religious (Advent Calendar & Candle Lighting)
- Celebrate With Others: Volunteering, Parties, Dinner, Caroling, and Festival Gatherings
A great way to spread good Karma and improve your overall level of happiness and satisfaction is to make giving back a part of your everyday life. During the holiday season – it’s especially wonderful. Here are some ways to do so!
- Volunteer: Salvation Army, Churches, Food Pantries, Assisted Living, Hospitals & Shelters
- Do Something: Send a card, stop in, share a ride, help someone out – get in action and give your time, your services, your self, your support or your help to someone in need
- Donate: Clothing, decorations, housewares, and unused items
- Discards: Donate your old, outdated and used Holiday Cards to St. Judes
When the holidays are over, Re-read the holiday cards one more time, (or arrange and take a picture of the collection if you want to save them for posterity) and then send them on to get a second life at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children! You can mail your used, all-occasion greeting cards fronts to St. Jude’s Ranch, and they will be made into new cards by children. The kids attach a blank recycled paper back to the card, making them into new cards for buyers… and they get paid for their work! It’s a win-win-win situation! Consumers buy green, kids learn about and earn green, and the earth is a little greener due to the recycling of the cards!
Send cards here:
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
Remember to take time for you during this season so you have enough energy and time to give back! Do you have any time-saving meal tips? Share them below! Happy, Healthy & Nutritious Holidays to you!