Fall is here and fall is busy! Autumn means a more full schedule and plenty of activities for us all. One unchanging thing about fall is that dinner needs to happen each night. No matter how busy we are, we all need to eat!
These tips are here to help you make dinner happen during the hectic fall season!
- Meal Plan- While this is sometimes the least exciting advice you may hear, this is essential to automating your cooking. Whether you just make a list of potential meals to have on hand or you make a very detailed daily schedule of the meals your family will eat each day. However you plan, the first step is to make a simple outline.
- Batch Cooking- Give the future you a gift by doubling up on that soup and freezing the rest. Prep the ingredients for a slow cooker meal and freeze them for a quick meal on another day.
- Prep Elements Ahead- If you are having ground beef based meals for more than one meal this week, this is a great opportunity to batch cook by browning the beef for multiple meals at once. This same principle can apply to any type of ingredient. If you know most of your meals will begin with a chopped onion, do the work once and use the prepped ingredient throughout the week. This small step can go a long way toward making other meals easier.
- Rotate With a Simple Schedule- Lots of families find that they enjoy having the same things on each night of the week. This could mean the exact same recipe assigned to each night of the week or it could mean that you rotate different styles of food for each night of the week. Here’s an example of how this could look for a family:
- Monday: Sandwiches + Soup
- Tuesday: Pasta
- Wednesday: Slow Cooker Meal
- Thursday: No-Cook Meal
- Friday: Pizza Night
- Saturday: Casserole
- Sunday: International Night
This sort of cycle gives some structure to meal planning and sparks easy ideas for each night of the week. While it can easily be rearranged, it’s a great method for helping to automate your planning process. Some families enjoy using a different protein for each night’s meal. For instance, a meatless Monday, chicken on Tuesday, beef on Wednesday, Pork on Thursday, or a fish on Friday. Try coming up with a bare bones schedule to automate your own cooking process.
- Use Appliances That Help- There’s a reason slow cookers and electric pressure cookers are popular- they help to make cooking easier for people! Use the appliances in your home to help you automate things. The slow cooker can be prepped before leaving for work in the morning to allow a quick meal on busy nights. The instant pot is great for giving food a slow cooked taste even when you’re short on time. Rice cookers are a life saver for a variety of cuisines. Your microwave can even help with the use of microwave in bag steamed veggies. Throw in a bag of broccoli to add a side dish to an easy meal.
- Schedule in Breaks- Give yourself days off by planning days where you eat out, throw in a frozen pizza, or eat leftovers for dinner. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy breaks if you’re planning your cooking. The goal isn’t to eat a perfect diet and only home cooked meals! Consider your own busy schedule and plan to give yourself breaks on the days with the most on the calendar.
While there aren’t yet any meal cooking robots in each of our homes, there are plenty of ways we can all automate our cooking process. Getting food on the table is possible to automate in lots of different ways. We hope these tips help you to feed your family with ease during these busy fall days.