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The BEST Dinner Hack for Easy Weeknight Meals

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I’ve touched briefly here on my desire to find balance in this whole working momma deal.

And lemme tell you, there’s nothing better than a life hack to find some life balance.

Enter: The Dinner Bin

bins

Ya’ll, this is so simple it’s stupid. I did this on Sunday. And it took me less than 30 minutes.

(The picture quality is pretty “meh” here because, real life, I don’t do this during daylight hours – this is a post-bedtime task in my house)

I found these bins at Wal-Mart but it looks like Amazon has them HERE as well. They are great in that they…

  1. Are a decent size. I can easily fit all ingredients I need for a meal into one bin
  2. Have those dry erase board fronts. I can jot down what is inside – easy peasy.
  3. Fit into my fridge perfectly.

bin collage

I cannot tell you how much time is saved in the evenings by not having to rummage around in my fridge for ingredients. I am able to walk in the door, grab a bin, and get dinner going within 5 minutes.

I go one step further than just adding ingredients for the meals we are having to the bins, I do my darndest to prep everything ahead of time. Chicken gets put in a bag with marinade, veggies get chopped, etc. etc. This week we are eating some leftovers & things from the freezer, Those went in the bins as well.

The other great thing about chopping ALL THE THINGS ahead of time, and at one time? You are only dirtying your knife and cutting board once. Chop away on Sunday evenings and then put it up and be done with that nonsense. You can even chop extra veggies to add to salads or eat as a snack if you’re feeling fancy. I find that if I don’t wash & cut up my produce on the weekend then it tends to go uneaten.

And throwing away produce makes me le sad.

inside

That’s store-bought chopped red onion. Because as much fun as I have pretending I’m in a cooking show, there’s little I hate more than chopping onions.

(Anyone have any advice on chopping onions so that it’s not a terrible life experience?)

Oh? And those baggies with chopped veggies? I add olive oil + seasoning directly to the bags and hand them off to my 1 year old to “mix” for me. Keeps her occupied long enough for me to get whatever else I need to get done, done and away we can go. Also, I totes count that as sensory play for her. Pinterest would be so proud.

Superior parenting right here

Superior parenting right here

I really try to make this as dummy-proof and fail-proof as possible for myself. Doing this keeps us from resorting to take out AND adds time that I can spend playing with G to my evenings.

Win-win.


This was originally posted on Kelly's blog, The OK Momma. You can keep up with Kelly's mediocre mom skills on Facebook and Instagram.

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