Anyone else finding themselves in the throws of kids' summer schedules and spending almost every evening out of the house for practices and games?  

In an effort to not spend all our monies and feed our kids junk for the entirety of the season we've  rounded up a few tips, tricks and recipes to make game nights easier and make sure family time is still happening!  

Note: this post is basically brought to you by pinterest and all the moms out there killing it in the food department blessing us with all their ideas and recipes.  



*plan ahead!  Carve out some time over the weekend to assess the week, find nights requiring easy meals, pick a night or two for leftovers/eating out, and work on that grocery list.

*Hold it loosely - do your best to stick to your menu but have some items on hand (think frozen lasagna, mac n cheese, hot dogs, steamer vegetables, rotisserie chicken, etc - don't worry, those all come in organic versions) for those times when things don't go according to plan.  Your budget and tummies will thank you!

*give yourself some options that are going to be easy!  And space them on nights you KNOW you'll need it.  Leftovers and out to eat night - that's 2/7 days right there!

*see if there is at least one to two times within the week that you can make sure everyone comes to the table together for a family meal.  Extracurriculars are fun and all, but not on the altar of family.  Carving out at least one (or more if possible) meals together is better for everyone and keeps some stability in the midst of so much activity.


*use that crock pot like it's your BFF

*spring and summer always make me think of salads - which can be easily prepped and prepared ahead of time.  Pasta salad, potato salad, green salad, greek salad, fruit salad... 

*if you're going to go to the trouble of making a casserole or something hearty/substantial, go ahead and double it.  Eat one now, freeze one for an easy meal later.  

*find options that can be easily taken to the practice or game (think homemade subs & fruit)

*use meals that are minimal prep once you make it home; we've found it works well to have everyone come in to shower & get ready for bed while I finish dinner prep.  

*paper products are a must.  the end.  



crockpot meatball subs

lemon shrimp + pasta (shrimp takes 10 minutes to cook, make any sort of pasta and salad ahead of time)

chicken pot pie (go easy and buy frozen crust and/or double to freeze!  Cook completely ahead of time and reheat later)

chicken tetrazzini (easy one to double)

homemade subway/jersey mikes type subs (take them with you)

quesadillas (make ahead/take with)

chicken enchiladas (make ahead, heat up when you get home)

rice bowls (steak, chicken - cook ahead and assemble later)

pork carnitas (crock pot, prep sides/toppings ahead)

broccoli salad (make ahead and/or take with!)

tandori chicken + greek salad + rice (make most ahead, assemble + heat up later)

strawberry bacon salad (make most ahead, top with bacon just before eating - or pack it up and take with to pair with a sandwich)