Life is getting so busy. I work three days a week, and two of those days Miriam goes to a sitter. On those days, I leave work at 5 or 5:30 (depending on if I have a late meeting), drive to the sitter’s, nurse Miriam when I get there, load her in the car, and come home. I walk in the door between 6 and 6:30, and I desperately wish dinner was ready to eat. I want to spend time with Miriam after being away from her all day, but I’m starving, she’s fussy and tired, and I know my husband will be home soon, also starving.
Last week, on one of those nights, I almost bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. But they were all out, so I came home and made black bean quesadillas, which take literally 5 minutes to make (open can of black beans. grate cheese. heat griddle. layer tortilla, cheese, beans, cumin and cayenne and fresh cilantro, if you have it. flip. eat.) They are a nice quick meal, but after eating them once a week or so, they do get old. And they don’t taste like much.
Which brings me to what I want to talk about here…meal planning. On those work nights, it’s too much of a mental exercise to consider the ingredients I have, and the time I’m willing to spend cooking, and pick out a dish. Having dinner in mind already, and all the ingredients I need to make it, simplifies things. Plus I think it would help us stick more closely to a grocery budget, instead of making several little trips to the store during the week to pick up the odd ingredient we’re missing.
How do you all do it? What works for you and your family? Do you eat rotisserie chicken from the grocery store now and then? What are your favorite last-minute meals? Are you able to stick to the menus you plan?