Summer is almost here and that means all of our schedules go from 0 to 100. I don't know about you, but cooking in the summer is one of the biggest pains for me. It's hot, we're all busy going in different directions, there's sports, beach days, etc. You get the picture. It's only June and I already feel a mess when it comes to meal prep and dinner time at my house. I decided I needed to come up with some ways to make cooking dinner in the summer a little less stressful, so I narrowed it down to 5 easy ways to make summer meal planning a breeze!
1. Use a printable meal planner sheet
The most important step and definitely one you do not want to skip is taking the time each weekend to actually set up your plan for the week! The first step to battling the pain that is cooking in the summer is to actually have a plan. This can be as simple as typing your meal plan out in your phone, jotting it down on a notepad, or if you like to make all things planning cute and fun like me you can download my FREE Summer Meal Planner Printable below. If you're really into meal planning you can grab my full sized Ultimate Meal Planner here!
2. Utilize crockpot/grill meals
The second most important step is to USE YOUR CROCKPOT AND GRILL as much as possible. Especially your crockpot. Nothing beats not having to heat your already hot house up with your oven and stove going. An added bonus is there's always less dishes to do during clean up with both of these options! My daughter has several food allergies and my husband is a very picker eater, so we go with the grill more often- but if I could I would crockpot every night of my life!
3. Make double batches to freeze for later
Making double batches of whatever it is you're cooking that night can really help you in the long run. It will start giving you a good stash of frozen meals that you can have later on one of those nights that you're either too busy with summer activities (or too tired like my pregnant self) to put together an entire meal.
4. Cook all of your meals for the week on Sunday
This step is for the really ambitious, but it's even more effective than making double batches. If you have the time to cook all of your meals for a week I highly suggest going that route! This will leave room and energy for all.the.summer.things with no worry about what you're going to make for dinner before that 6:00PM Little League Game.
5. Keep it simple
My all time favorite "trick" I've come to find is to just keep summer dinners simple. You don't need to kill yourself making a four-course meal every night for your family of 5! Who doesn't love a nice bowl of mac and cheese with some garlic bread on the side!? I like to save my fancy cooking for the fall and winter months when everyone's schedules are less busy and when it's not so beautiful outside.
Ready to really kick your meal planning into gear!? Click HERE to find the BEST meal planners!
Want to start planning, but not really sure where to begin? Click HERE to grab a FREE printable planner bundle!