I call it the “Witching Hour.” That magical time between about 3 pm until 5 pm when the kids turn into monsters, the hopes and dreams you had for a productive day are long gone and one question is weighing on your mind: “What’s for dinner?” That’s why prepping dinner in the morning can be a life-changer making the day less stressful and more enjoyable.
I must admit, I hate this time of day. My husband isn’t home yet to drag me off the ledge and the last thing on Earth I want to do is pack all three kids up to get groceries. Yeah, no thank you. So at this point I do one of the two things: 1. I wait until my husband gets home and then ask him “What’s for dinner” or 2. I call him and sweetly, kindly ask him to pick up McDonalds and Culvers (because we are too high-brow to eat McDonalds as adults).
This failing to plan and planning to fail for the whole dinner thing really brought me down. I wanted to find tips for simplifying my dinner prep. It caused a lot stress and definitely made me yell at my kids more times than I’d like to admit. So what’s the solution to this problem that pretty much every mom faces? Prep your meals in the morning.
Here are 10 reasons why prepping your dinner in the morning can be life-changing – literally, like your vocal chords won’t become damaged yelling at your kids so much during the Witching Hour:
1. You are armed with a plan You are no longer that “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of girl. You have a plan and you know what you need to do. Plus when your kids ask “What’s for dinner?” you can actually give them an answer – amazing, right?
2. You are able to take advantage of the most productive part of the day The morning hours are by far the best time to get things done. And its a great time to implement one of my best tips for simplifying dinner prep. Why not take advantage of the momentum and knock this unpleasant task out of the way?
3. You can actually have the time to make a healthy, from-scratch meal Seriously who can cook a fabulous meal with kiddos hanging on the ankles? When we feel rushed, we go for what’s easy: frozen meals, drive-thru windows and the always popular Tuna Helper. Cooking in the morning increases your ability to cook from scratch with healthy, non-processed ingredients more often.
4. You can wash the pans and pots before 9 pm One of the worst aspects of cooking of meal is the cleanup afterwards. Scrubbing pans, getting the little bits of food off the spatulas and washing the spills of the counters. Cook in the morning and get the dishes washed, dried and put away. Then you won’t be stuck with them when all you want to do is go to bed.
5. You have time for more enjoyable activites When dinner is out of the way, you now have the rest of the day wide open. You aren’t wasting energy and brain power thinking about the family meal. You can focus on more important things. Stuff like playing with the kids, finishing a big project at work or getting an aerobics class in.
But I work outside of the home and leave early in the morning? If you work outside of the home, dinner prepping in the morning can be even more beneficial and life-changing. One of my best tips for simplifying dinner prep is to use a crockpot. There are some great meals on Pinterest or you can try one of my Freezer Meal Workshops.
How can you seriously prep every meal in the morning? You’re right, you can’t do it every morning. Sometimes meals are best served fresh and that’s ok. But using these tips for simplifying dinner prep most of the time those days when we cook at night are more enjoyable. If possible, make those meals easier to prepare. Try cutting the veggies in the morning or setting the ingredients out on the counter.
Most importantly, do what works for your family. Discover your own tips for simplifying dinner prep or take a note from me and cook in the morning. I promise you’ll love it!