No Fast Food! 7 Tips for Avoiding the Drive-Thru

We are halfway through the softball season, and things are about to really heat up! We’ll have more games each week, as we attempt to squeeze in the rainouts. We’ll have more practices, as the teams prepare for tournaments.

That means, I have to be more prepared than ever to stay out of the drive-thru on nights filled quick dinners, on the go foods, and unusual meal times. It’s all too tempting to pickup dinner or order a pizza when the busy schedule gets away from us.

Instead, here are 7 ways to put dinner on the table quickly, for a lot less money:

  • Menu Planning 1 of 7
    Menu Planning
    Planning out your meals in advance gets dinner on the table faster — you can skip the "What's for dinner?" phase and have everything you need ready to cook before your evening's activities.
    Read more about meal planning
    Photo Credit: Flickr user: perspicacious
  • One Dish Dinners 2 of 7
    One Dish Dinners
    Choose a quick skillet meal to get dinner on the table in minutes. Our favorite right now is sausage skillet. We fry cubed or julliened potatoes, then add sliced sausage, and a drained can of green beans. It's fast and has everything we need for one meal.
    Read more about one dish dinners
  • Slow Cooker 3 of 7
    Slow Cooker
    If you don't even have a few minutes at night before heading to the next practice or game, throw everything in a crockpot in the morning instead. Dinner will be waiting for you, whenever you can squeeze in a few minutes to eat.
    30 Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer
    Buy One on Amazon
  • Freezer Cooking 4 of 7
    Freezer Cooking
    When you make a recipe that freezes well (pasta, casseroles, soups, etc), double the recipe, and set aside the 2nd meal for emergencies. On a busy night, all you have to do is warm dinner, and you're ready to go!
    Read more about freezer cooking
    Photo Credit: Hot Coupon World
  • Emergency Supplies 5 of 7
    Emergency Supplies
    Keep a supply of instant(ish) meals around — spaghetti, for example, takes just minutes. During softball season, I like to have refrigerated mashed potatoes and entrees on hand just in case. When all else fails, I pop them in the microwave, serve a fast dinner, and get on our way.
    Read more about emergency supplies to avoid the drive-thru
    Photo Credit: Flickr user: vox_efx
  • Grocery Deli 6 of 7
    Grocery Deli
    Okay, so the grocery deli is still technically eating out — but it's much cheaper and marginally healthier than fast food. My grocery store always has rotisserie chickens and hot side dishes available when there just isn't time to cook.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user: beleaveme
  • Leftovers 7 of 7
    Make It, Eat It Monday, Smorgasbord Wednesday, Feast Again Friday — there are as many names for leftover night as there are choices in any given week. Set the containers on the counter, and let everyone fend for themselves once a week. It gets dinner handled quickly, saves money by avoiding waste, and keeps the fridge clean!
    Photo Credit: Flickr user: bocadorada

Tonight we have a softball game, but it’s a little later. We should have plenty of time for the hubby to grill chicken and corn. Add in a quick salad, and we’re ready to eat! What’s for dinner tonight?

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30 Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer
Menu Planning Series: Part 1
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