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How often do you prepare a proper evening meal?


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#16 Daybreak

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:16 PM

We're currently living with my parents (only a few more weeks!) so cooking is shared between Mum, Andrew and I. Andrew works the most, so he only cooks one night a week, while Mum and I do two each. Andrew and I have dinner with his parents on Wednesdays, and Saturdays we all fend for ourselves if we're home.
I don't exactly menu plan, but I do figure out my meals for the week before writing my ingredients on the shopping list (Dad does the shopping) This is usually fine, but occasionally Mum uses my ingredients which I don't realise until I start to cook and can't find them. Or like this week when I burn the first meal of the week and have to use the second (I still don't know what I'm cooking tomorrow) Most weeks, at least one of my meals is nutritious, but it does depend on what the others are cooking.
When I cook depends on what work I've got on. Mondays, I don't get home until after 6pm, and we aim to eat around 7, so I either need to pre-prepare or do something relatively quick (often a basic meat and veg meal)
When Andrew and I get into our own place, we'll have one night a week at each set of parents, so that's two nights each, plus one to eat out/get take away/ get our own.
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#17 flowerrose

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:07 AM

QUOTE(jantastic @ Aug 1 2013, 07:24 PM) View Post

I am another of those 'whoops, it's dinner time... oh, I have no meat out... ummm.....' type of parents. I don't think I've ever posted in the 'what's for dinner' thread. I probably never will.

I would like to be more organised, but life is far too important for measly things like being organised tongue.gif


This is me. I was reluctant to post this topic in case people suggested meal planning - because that just isn't going to happen! (Or, perish the thought, get off my phone and cook something).

Tonight we had rapidly defrosted smoked salmon, jacket potatoes and salad. I apologised to DH for my general crapness. He said 'it's ok sweetheart. I know you've been working hard tidying up'. The place is a bombsite. Fortunately he was joking.

LJM - I have a thermo too. Still somehow don't have my mojo at the moment. I think I need to get some serious batch cooking going on.

#18 AK2

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:13 AM

I have to meal plan. The week's we don't meal plan, we eat out a disgusting amount, or the kids and I have cheese on toast for three days straight :S ph34r.gif

I'm actually just about to give this a go- as far as freezer ideas goes, it seems really simple.

#19 Thelma

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:10 AM

I used to cook a lot more time consuming things, but for the last few months I've had a sore back and can't stand for long periods, so dinner is usually something like a stir fry, pasta, steamed vegies with some kind of frozen savoury from the freezer. Since doing this I've realised that I don't why I used to bother. I probably mostly do it for me because I like variety and it would fill in time in the afternoon and it was an activity I could do with DD. But, whilst DH does appreciate what I cook, he's also perfectly happy with stir fry etc.

#20 Gretch

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:18 AM

Ooh, unlike most housey threads (you wash your sheets how often now?), I feel on top of this one!

I'm at home all day so I prep the evening meal when G has an afternoon sleep or afternoon tea time as we have to pick my husband up prior to dinner. We all eat together at about 6:30. I meal plan because it's hard (for me anyway) to pop into the shops for stuff with both kids so I try to only do one big shop and one top up shop a week.

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#21 bluenomi

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

My meal planning gets as far as looking in the freezer in the morning to work out what meat to defrost!

DD is a fusspot and due to DH getting home from work fairly late and her bedtime, she eats by herself and gets pretty much the same things most nights. I can get her dinner done in 10 mins and when I'm on late shift and not home until 6:15 I have too!

Once she's in bed I'll do DH and I's dinner, usually involves standing in the kitchen thinking 'hmm what to do with this chicken'. Weeknights it is usually something quick, weekends I have a bit more time. We cook most nights, we usually only get take away once a month. If I'm feeling slack I'll get something out for DH to cook on the bbq laugh.gif The get yourself dinner doesn't happen too often thankfully.

I bought a slow cooker recently and have been trying to use that on the weeks I'm on late shift since I have time in the mornings and it makes eveything a bit less of a rush at night.
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#22 ellemjaye

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:42 PM

I work approx 60-70 hours a week and I'm a single parent. We're lucky we eat, let alone eat a proper home cooked meal laugh.gif

We eat reasonably healthy food all the time, but sometimes that means our dinner is eggs and soldiers, or a plate of hastily-chopped steamed vegies, or a defrosted casserole etc. I'd say that we eat a 'home cooked' then-and-there meal maybe once per week.

#23 LoveSweetpea

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:48 PM

I cook fairly regularly.

We all eat dinner together at 6, I'm sure it would be a hugely different story if we had two separate meal times. I will sometimes do some prep while the boys are sleeping after lunch:

- if we're having spaghetti or similar I'll cook the sauce then just cook pasta later on
- if we're having meat with veg, I'll peel potatoes/cut up veg etc and leave them in the saucepans on the stovetop so that I just have to turn them on later
- if we're having meat with salad, I'll chop up the salad and put it in the fridge so that I just have to cook the meat later and whack some salad dressing on if I'm going to
- if it's a slow cooker meal I'll often do it then and then put it on high for the rest of the afternoon
- if we're having a pasta bake, I'll cook the pasta so that later on I just have to assemble with tuna, white sauce, cheese etc and stick in the oven


I meal plan so that I know what we're eating every night, which nights I need to cook and which nights are just reheating the previous night's dinner.

There are nights where we just have pumpkin soup from a can with bake at home rolls etc. I usually even plan them as I'll know if we're having a hugely busy day that day, or know we'll be getting home later than usual so I'll even factor that into the meal plan so I still know what I'm doing.
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#24 Rain...

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

I am currently childless (for the next 2months anyway), so i guess i am have a much easier job of getting a meal on the table (ok - in front of the TV) then alot of others.

Since about 13weeks pregnant i have been unemployed, so in this time i have most been a good little house wife ( laugh.gif ) and have 90% of the time got a home made meal on the table. However i am abit of a boring cook - spaghetti bolg, pasta bake, meat and 3 veg, risotto, nachos, stews of some type. I often will do a roast on the weekend.
Even when i did work, and also ran a business from home, we did mostly cook, however they were mostly a packet indian/thai curry, pasta bakes, spaghetti etc, We would get take out maybe 1-2times a week.

Time will tell what it will be like with a newborn... im trying not to put any expectations on myself!

#25 Mel B

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:56 PM

We eat a proper meal most nights but often there is some cheating involved like chicken fillos or marinated kebabs bought from the butcher,

Kids are starving by 5.30-6 and DH rarely gets home before 6.30, so we have 2 mealtimes. Kids meals are fairly simple affairs. On my not busy days I try to cook batches of taco mince, bolognese, meatballs in tomato sauce and then freeze them in small batches. So all I have to do is defrost the meat, cook up some pasta or whatever, chop the token vegetables and they're good to go. They both like lamb cutlets so I'll grill some of those once a week.

Once a week (usually friday) they will have chicken dinos or bacon and egg rolls.

Mid week DH and I will have risotto, pasta, curry, fish, something grilled with salad.

On the weekend we all eat together so we will have something everyone likes - a roast, lemon chicken, lasagne, home made pies.
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#26 Camilla

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:50 PM

I menu plan every Saturday morning and DH does the shopping. I plan easy or freezer meals on the days we have later activities and more labour intensive meals on other days. I also have a couple of back ups around like bolognaise sauce in the freezer or I make up a quick pizza dough in the thermi on days the kids are particularly miserable. I prefer to know they will actually eat something.

We all eat together about 6pm and I usually start preparing dinner around 5pm at the earliest. My slow cooker hasn't been used much this Winter but I have had my thermomix that really helps out. The kids eat quite a few of the easy meals this helps make.
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#27 CRose

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:30 PM

QUOTE(la_jeune_mariée @ Aug 1 2013, 10:29 PM) View Post

Most nights. More out of guilt than any great commitment to nutrition.

I was going through a period where I really resented shopping and cooking. Then my food processor broke and rather than get a new one I got a Thermochef. Now I'm a member of the Thermo-cult. It's like One Direction for the middle aged.


Worship the thermo....

I meal plan every meal and do a shop every Sat - at the moment using 12wbt but previously did the same. I meal plan breakfast lunch and dinner. On the very rare occasion we will get take away for the kids and DH if we are running really late for daycare pick up etc. But I usually have plenty of meals in the freezer ready to go if things go pear shaped.

I plan the meals carefully around how much time I have each night and will pre-prep/slow cooker/make and freeze for the busy nights - friday night is usually a quick meal - homemade pizzas or steak sandwiches etc. I try to have fish and a vegetarian meal once a week, a couple of chicken meals, and a few "real meat" meals for DH.

If DH is away I tend to freeze and plan extra quick meals to minimise the chaos at cooking time. Knowing what we are having and having all the ingredients means that it is pretty easy to just get home and cook. Most meals have to be made within 20-30 mins to get dinner on the table at 6.

Pre-kids we usually cooked proper meals and at home, with kids it is so much easier. Evie's allergies mean that most takeaway is not an option and my weight loss committments also impede any thought of takeaway smile.gif.

Have just actually finished this week's meal plan.




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#28 Guest_Windsor_Guest

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 06:11 PM

QUOTE(Gretch @ Aug 2 2013, 10:18 AM) View Post

Ooh, unlike most housey threads (you wash your sheets how often now?), I feel on top of this one!



Oh yeah, unlike pretty much every other household chore, this is something I do. Menu planning just makes it cheaper, easier and more organised.

The state of my loungeroom floor however...

#29 Penny P Star

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 02:33 PM

Most nights a week - we live semirural so not alot of other food options anyway. I meal plan - we both work long hours so I plan quick meals ie tacos,stirfry or we cook the next nights meal after the kids have gone to bed.

I try to eat fairly cleanly so avoid packaged foods etc so I love my thermomix for easy pasta sauces and for quickly whipping things up.

THe kids don't like all our dinners so they are often allowed "cheat meals" ie chicken,sausages or sausage rolls etc but on the proviso that they eat the huge plate of vegies that goes with it. Life is too short for Mother guilt wink.gif

#30 squeaza

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 02:47 PM

I may be failing in every other aspect of household duties at the moment, but yes, nearly every night I cook a proper evening meal.

Our pantry looks like we're preparing for the apocalypse and at any time we have about 15kgs of rice, maybe 10 types of pasta and noodles, and enough cooking condiments (soy sauces, vinegars, asian things etc.) to sink a ship. We also always have tinned beans (especially chick peas) and a cupboard full of passata and tinned tomatoes. We buy and freeze a lot of meat, and always have green vegetables, garlic, ginger onions in stock, so although I don't really meal plan I always just look at what's there and come up with something.

A lot of ours are very simple at the moment because of time constraints and small people, so meat+carbs+veggies or pasta, but I just can't bring myself to not do something proper most of the time.

Our 'cheat' meals are normally eggs some way, or cook some rice and have it with flavoured tinned tuna.

We all eat the same food, with a bit of modifications at the moment for Robbie so he doesn't get too much salt. I eat with the boys at 6 every night and keep Simon's to heat up when he gets home. If it's something that won't reheat well (i.e. nicely cooked steak) we save it for a night when we're all home together.

I would love to meal plan, but we don't get to go shopping at the same time every week due to hugely fluctuating work schedule for me, and our version works pretty well. Maybe once every fortnight and I actually get some recipes out and buy all the ingredients etc., but I find it tends to be much more expensive and my inner scrooge whispers in my ear and we go back to simpler and plainer things for a while.



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