Note from Amy: I met Tiffany King at the Savvy Blogging Summit this year when she handed my her business card during a session and I exclaimed, “I need you!” It was the name of her website that caught my attention: Eat At Home. Worn out homeschooling moms everywhere can benefit from Tiffany’s message and her mission to show moms that preparing quick and easy meals doesn’t have to be drudgery and one more thing on their to-do list. I think you’ll love her new ebook, Feast in 15, where she shows you how easy it is to create spectacular weeknight meals that fit into a busy homeschool mom schedule! Get your copy today!
All of us who homeschool have the same demands as other moms. The difference is that we’re with our kids nearly all the time and we’re responsible for teaching them during a large portion of that time. Daily schedules can swing wildly between being at home, to being out of the house all day.
So how do we get meals on the table with so much going on? Here are a few tips:
Focus on dinner
Dinner is often the big meal of the day. (If your big meal is lunch, then adjust this tip accordingly.) If you can get dinner taken care of, the rest seems easy.
Plan with your available cooking time in mind.
- If you have 10 or 15 minutes in the morning to work on dinner, then a slow cooker meal is in order.
- If you find time during lunch, you can assemble a casserole or do a slow cooker meal that only needs 4-6 hours of cooking time.
- A day of appointments and lessons might call for a quick 15 minute meal. See my new eBook, Feast in 15 for lots of good recipes.
- If it’s one of those rare days when you’ll be home and have time to spare, fix those favorites that take a bit more time.
By looking ahead at your schedule, you can plan your menu with your days in mind. Make the menu fit your family, not the other way around.
Make use of your freezer.
- Pre-cook meats and freeze them. This keeps meal prep on busy days to a minimum.
- Make double batches of soups, stews and casseroles and stock your freezer.
Keep ingredients for a few “emergency” meals.
Stock your pantry with the ingredients for a couple of easy meals that you can pull together at the last minute. Knowing you have those recipes to fall back on will keep you from running through the drive through or feeding everyone cereal for dinner (we’ve all been there!).
I may be in the minority on this, but we keep breakfast super simple. Not only that, but each person takes care of their own as soon as they’re old enough. We also tend to eat the same thing, day in and day out. We’re okay with that because lunch and dinner are varied enough to make up for the standard breakfast.
Here are a few ideas for simple breakfasts.
- Quick oats
- Yogurt and fruit with granola
- Toast, English muffins, bagels etc.
- Freeze large batches of pancakes, waffles or muffins. Heat in toaster or microwave.
Again, I keep this as simple as possible. Most days do not lend themselves to actually cooking lunch. And even though we don’t eat the same thing everyday, I do not make any menu plan for lunch. We use lunch to eat up leftovers. Some days there’s enough for all of us. Some days there “dibs” are called on the good food from the night before. Other days, no one wants the leftovers!
When the leftover plan doesn’t cover us all, I fill in with these quick items:
- Grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches.
- Sliced cheese, crackers, fruit
- Smoothies with bagels and cream cheese
- Mac & Cheese
- Black Bean and Rice Freezer Burritos
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to cooking for your family?
Tiffany is the founder of Eat at Home, Everyday Food for Busy People. She has also written an eBook, Feast in 15, Speed Cooking Weeknight Dinners that is available as a PDF or on Kindle. She has been married to her husband Jim for 23 years. They have 4 kids, all homeschooled. Their oldest daughter is now in college.