One of my biggest time eaters ( and budget breakers) comes from not planning meals ahead of time. Once school starts I like to pick 14 favorite dinner meals and stick to them for a season. Here is an example:
Tacos with all the fixings ( quick meal)
Spaghetti, Green beans, Salad , bread
Hamburgers, Fries, raw veggies
Cornbeef and Potatoes, bread (crockpot)
Enchilada Casserole or Enchiladas with all the fixings (crockpot or oven)
Broiled Chicken and Noodles, Veggie, Bread
Big Breakfast for Dinner ( pancakes or waffles with all the fixings)
Hot Dogs, Chips, Raw Veggies ( quick meal)
Chicken Noodle Bake and Veggies (crockpot)
Chicken and Dumplings, raw veggies (crockpot)
Toasted Cheese Sandwich and Soup ( quick meal)
Pork Roast, Baked Potatoes, Veggie , Bread
Roast Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes , Veggies, Bread
Pizza, salad ( quick meal) we do homemade pizza dough and keep it in the freezer. We keep all the fixings in pizza per pizza size in baggies in the freezer.
Pot Roast with all the fixings (crockpot)
Chili, bread (crockpot)
Mexican Shepards Pie, salad
Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Greenbeans, Bread
BBQ Chicken, Fruit and Veggies, bread
BBQ Beef or Pork on buns, Veggies ( crockpot)
Dinner and a Movie Night: We plan a meal to eat and watch a movie by at home. Usually little smokies, nachos with all the fixings, veggies. Or a baked potatoe and chili bar.
You get the idea. I plan 1 Crock pot meal each week and one quick meal each week. This coinsideds with our two days we need to be out the door right after dinner or I am not home all day and need to have dinner on time. I shop with all the meals in mind and try not to impulse buy. Buying in bulk works well if you divide it into meal sizes so you do not over use it. ( like grated cheese, we package cheese for pizza in 2 cup amounts)
Most of our dinner meals also serve as our lunch the following day. We like hot lunches at our school! ( May I say we have a fabulous Hot Lunch Program!)
We also try to plan for snacks so we are not eating prepackaged stuff. My gals like to make cookies and cupcakes. We also keep popped popcorn in ziplock bags. ( we pop our own and do not use microwave type)
We keep a running list in the pantry of stuff we need to restock. My hubby made the list on the computer for the stores we generally shop at. He actually has it in order from the first isle to the last.
This may seem strange for organizational stuff but organizing the meal time so you save time is a great thing for busy moms!