This post is sponsored by Red Baron but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I absolutely love the holiday season, but it can be so easy to get overwhelmed and overbooked during this time of year. Between holiday parties, school events, Christmas shopping and all the other little things that can eat up your time around the holidays, our days can become hectic.
This time of year I love to focus on simplifying when I can and meal planning is one of the easiest ways for me to create a little bit more time in my days as well as take another item off my daily to-do list. After a busy day of running around, the last thing that I feel like doing is planning and cooking a meal. Below are some tried and true tips to make mealtime simpler:
Plan to Plan
With the holiday hustle it can feel like there is little extra time so I understand that adding meal planning to your to-do list doesn’t sound ideal. However, taking a little time one day a week to make a list of meals for the week takes away from the everyday stress of figuring out dinner when you’re tired and burnt out. Also, meal planning allows you to nix extra shopping trips by making one big master grocery list to shop from one day a week (even better, order groceries online and pick up at the store when convenient). Find an hour in your calendar to brainstorm your meals and snacks for the week.
Stick To The Usual
Keep it simple and stick the basic meals that you are comfortable and used to. Avoid adding too many new recipes to the queue now and stick to those no hassle meals that everyone loves and enjoys.
Plan An Off Night
I always plan to have at least one off night a week. By the end of the week, I’m tired and burnt out and the last thing that I feel like doing is cooking. For those nights, I stick to easy dinners that I can simply heat and enjoy! One of our go-to favorites is Red Baron Pizza!
Red Baron helps me calm the mealtime chaos with a pizza the whole family loves (kids go for the pepperoni, while mom & dad love the supreme). Everyone looks forward to pizza night while I love how easy of an option Red Baron Pizza is for a no-mess, no-fuss solution to a crazy day. With 11 different flavors, there is something for everyone!
You can’t beat that flaky, crispy crust!
Plan Around Your Schedule
If you know you have an insane week ahead of you, focus on simple meals that require little to no prep. Keep in mind which evenings are busier and which you have a little more time to spend on preparing dinner.
Hero meals are a must! Hero meals are those that you can pull out of your freezer in a pinch to feed a small crowd. Around the holidays we tend to have more unexpected visitors and get togethers so I always keep a few easy options in the freezer. A few favorites: Red Baron Pizzas, pre-made soups and sandwiches, and pans of lasagna to heat and eat.
Instead of stressing about getting meals together when you’re already spread thin, take advantage of using the help of pre-made meals once or twice a week. Many stores have hearty, wholesome and healthy options available that are already prepared that need to be heated and are ready to enjoy. Put the focus back on spending time with your family and enjoying this holiday season.
Double Batch: Leftovers & Freeze For Later
When making meals, always keep in mind to make a larger amount than what you need, especially those meals that can be frozen and reheated easily later. I love making extra to eat throughout the week for leftovers (make perfect lunches for the next day). Soups, casseroles and stews are perfect for this. Also, when prepping food for crock pots, keep in mind that you could easily prep enough ingredients to prepare an extra freezer bag with everything you need for another batch to use another week.
What meal do you turn to when you want to get dinner on the table quickly?