Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5 Dinners in 1 Hour - My Sanity Saver!


 
One of my most favorite finds has been a little site called www5dinners1hour.com.  I am not really exaggerating when I say that it has changed my life.  It is a subscription meal planning site that is oh-so-helpful.  I have been doing it for just about a year now, and I have never felt so organized when it comes to dinnertime!

Once you sign up for the service, you get a month’s worth of weekly meal plans.  All you have to do is log on and print them out.  Each week there are five dinners to prepare, and it takes no more than an hour to put all five together - how handy is that!  You get a list of five recipes each week, with a corresponding grocery list that is broken down by category.  Each recipe is also labeled A-E, which is carried over to the grocery list.  So if you don’t like recipe “A” you can easily cross off all of those items on the grocery list and sub in something else.  I have found that we like most recipes, but when I sub something in, it is usually something easy like cheesburgers or tacos! 

It is amazing having the grocery list printed off and ready to go.  I just have to grab it and head out the door! 

I find that I usually set aside the hour to prep our meals on the weekend when Alaina is napping.  It is easy to get done in an hour – you only have the prep mess ONE time instead of multiple times.  Most weeks I find I can prep everything AND clean up within the hour.  Unless I’m watching a Lifetime movie while I’m working, that is!  On the occasions where we have a very busy weekend and I don’t prep everything, the next week seems to be a little more stressful, however, in those cases in the evening I will just put the next day’s meal together and it usually doesn’t take much time. 

The grocery list gives you detailed instructions on what you need to prep.  You need to get out all your utensils, dishes, Ziploc bags, measuring cups, etc, along with the ingredients you will be working with.  You are also supposed to fill up your sink with hot soapy water.  This is super handy for quickly washing things and washing your hands when necessary.  I also find it is handy to have an empty trashcan nearby. 
 
 

Then you start working down your list of recipes, putting them together one by one!  Easy peasy!

 
And at the end, you have five wonderful dinners sitting there in your fridge, smiling back at you, just ready to be cooked!
 

 
I am lucky, and Bill gets off work before me.  So this means for items like casseroles, etc., he can usually pop them in the oven and they are cooking on my commute home.  By the time I’m rolling in the driveway, they are basically done!  Dinner is practically on the table!  Others are crockpot items, or sometimes things that you have to grill that really take minimal time to cook once I get home.

I can’t tell you how wonderful this is.  The kids are always climbing the walls hungry when I get home, and to not have to stand around cooking in the midst of a bunch of whining for an hour is truly a stress saver for me! 
I used to have my own little system of planning my meals, which I would also do on a monthly basis.  It worked pretty well for me, and I was kinda proud of my slick little system, but 5 Dinners 1 Hour saves me even more time because I no longer have to search for recipes and create my grocery lists.  Print it out and – BAM - there it is!  Off to the store I go!

Linking to House of Rose party.




 

1 comment :

Creative Dream said...

Great post! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party!