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The Art of Planning Ahead

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I've had a real taste for chili after all this turkey! Or maybe meatloaf? I haven't had that in ages! Or stuffed cabbage?

Of course, chili has to be made the day before for best flavor. But you can cook 2 dinners at once. Chili doesn't really take that much effort and the payoff will be dinner is already made for tomorrow. And when I make something with ground beef, I pick up an extra package and make patties to throw in the freezer. Individually wrap them for convenience. I make my burgers with lean ground beef and sprinkle with garlic powder. They are always juicy.

If I'm being really good, I'll have picked up chicken breasts and pork chops. I sprinkle them with garlic powder and individually wrap them.

Why individually wrap everything?

  1. You can take out just what you need. No over cooking – and therefore, no over eating.

  2. We're spoiled – we don't care for most leftovers. It just goes to waste. (Chili and spaghetti sauce are exceptions :)

  3. Its easier to thaw quickly.


Stuffed cabbage needs to be assembled before you can put it in the slow cooker. I like that for busy weekends. I can put it together and let it cook all day. When we're ready, so is dinner! No being tempted to shove whatever in your mouth while you're out.

Then there's the 4 Dinner Plan for a Busy Week

Think of other ways that you can create more than one dinner at a time

If you're having chili one night, you can mix in macaroni to stretch it for another night, or you could have chili dogs with chopped onion and grated cheddar cheese.

Always, always have salad fixings on hand.

In the time it takes your meat to cook, you can make a great salad and have a decent dinner ready in about 10 minutes. All you have to do is remember to take meat out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before.

If you forgot to take something out, individually wrapped chicken breaset or fish thaw quickly in a bowl of cold water. Make sure to always have stuff like that on hand.

I know you think you couldn't possibly be motivated enough to plan ahead, but when you have good food waiting for you at home you will be less likely to opt for fast junk. Make a commitment to feed you and your family better. It gets to be habit after a little while, and its the best gift you can give yourself.

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