When my husband was in seminary we rarely, if ever, saw him for dinner. For a while, I went into survival mode. I gave the kids what they needed to eat. I didn’t cook big family dinners. It was chicken nuggets, sandwiches, noodles or pancakes most nights. I would stock up on lunchables and frozen dinners. I didn’t make dinners because it was easier and I didn’t have to listen to the kids complain about how they didn’t like what I fixed.

Towards the end of seminary, things got better in the house. My husband’s schedule finally relented and he ended up coming home and doing a lot of the cooking. The kids bucked it at first… they were used to choosing what they wanted to eat, but eventually they got used to the new way and the complaints slowed down.

Now, we are done with school and my husband is on a semi- normal 8- 5 schedule. It makes family meal planning much easier. I have been enjoying planning, preparing and cooking meals. The kids have been trying (and enjoying) new foods!

This week, however, Little sis and I have colds. Big Brother and Big Sis may or may not be following behind. My motivation for meal making has gone down hill to say the least. It would be wonderful to have the resources to just order in or swing by Chick Fil A and pick up dinner… but that’s not reality. First of all, that costs money… second… it takes energy which I just don’t have this week.

I didn’t make my weekly meal plan or grocery trip, so I have been pulling from the resources at home. Here is a list of staples, we usually keep on hand at the house for just such a dinner emergency:

Frozen Chicken Breast (I usually grab a big bag of Tyson Natural Chicken Breasts from Sams each month).

Ground Beef (Again… from Sam’s… we usually get one or two of the big 6 pound packs of ground chuck. We divide it up into 1 (ish) pound sections and freeze them individually to pull out when needed).

Taco Seasoning

White Chicken Chili Seasoning

Beans… cans or dry packs of black beans, pinto beans, etc.

Tomato Paste and Sauce



Frozen or canned veggies (I prefer frozen)

With these items in the house, I can usually whip up a pretty decent dinner without much effort or planning. My go to meals are:


Tacos/ Taco Salad


Chicken Chili

Grilled Chicken

Hamburger Steak

How about you? How do you handle meal times when the energy is low and the motivation just isn’t there?!

What’s For Dinner?

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