Since my children started playing soccer, I found that I spend an exorbitantly large amount of time carting my children back and forth from practices and games for about 5 months out of the year.
The problem I am faced with is that as they’ve gotten older, their practices have gotten longer, which leaves far less time for preparing and eating dinner than it used to. If I’m not careful, I could easily fall into the all-to-familiar death trap of fast food chains.
They’re everywhere. It’s so convenient! Having a different one on every corner makes it almost impossible not to let yourself get lost in the ease of drive-thru windows and greasy alternatives.
To avoid the temptation, I’m forced to figure out a way to prepare quick and easy meals that are easy on the checkbook AND the waistline. No sense in taking the time to prepare a meal at home if it’s going to be as expensive or as artery-clogging as what I can pick up on my way home.
So, rather than succumbing to a handful of boring recipes until we’ve given up and surrendered to the evil force that is fast food (like we have in the past), I’ve decided that this year is going to be different.
Though I don’t have much time for Pinterest, it has saved me from the monotony of feeding my family the same tiresome meals on more than one occasion. In addition, it’s led me to some really great websites that provide a variety of ideas all in one place.
Oh, the power of the Internet; it’s quite amazing.
I’m going to safely assume that I’m not the only one who has ever run into this problem, so I’m going to share the five websites I found particularly intriguing, and the reasons why they made the list.
Emeals is a subscription-based website that takes the guesswork out of planning your weekly meals. Catering to both large and small family units, this site offers every type of meal plan imaginable. This includes Gluten Free, Low Carb, Organic, a Classic Meal Plan and many others. Last, but not least, financial guru Dave Ramsey recommends it, which means it’s a nice addition to your monthly budget. The subscription isn’t terribly pricey, and the recipes have the conservative shopper in mind. In my opinion, this website is the pinnacle of healthy, simple meals that are easy on the wallet. What more could you want?
I like this website because it’s incredibly easy to navigate, and offers a plethora of meal ideas. I particularly like the tab entitled “Quick & Easy” where I can find recipes that take under 15 minutes, or can be made ahead of time. Awesome!
As you can tell by the title, the portion of the Cooking Light website I’ve highlighted focuses on quick and healthy menus. This site offers 80 ideas that can be made in less than 40 minutes, which will be perfect for after an early fall game or before practice.
The name of this site immediately drew me in; also from Iowa, I was curious to see what type of recipes I would find. My favorite tab here is the Slow Cookers because these will help me save a lot of time. Instead of rushing around after work, I can pop everything in the crockpot in the morning and when I get home, dinner’s ready. Perfect!
To round out my Top 5, I chose a website dedicated to healthy kid recipes because, even though mine aren’t exactly little, they still don’t always like eating what’s good for them. This website is definitely aimed at the younger tots, but there are many fun ideas that even my girls would enjoy.
The good thing about the Internet is that it’s full of possibilities. Websites like these have definitely given me some great ideas that will save me time and appeal to my girls.
Amanda Smith, a working mom of two children, wrote this guest blog for momaha.com As a recent graduate, she now has more time to dedicate to her love of writing.
* * *