Menu Plan and a Question for You

This is what the Happy Family will be eating this week….

We have two weeks until the movers arrive, and it is my goal to have the fridge and pantry as empty as possible before they show up.

On a side note: For those of you who have sold your house, what do you do about dinner when realtors come to show the house between the hours of 3pm and 6pm? This seems to be the time of choice around here and it has left me scrambling for dinner. I’d love to hear how you have managed house showings, kids, and meals!

PS: I wanted to add, we are only the renters in this house. While I do want the house to sell, that isn’t my responsibility… so there isn’t as much pressure.


  1. Lots of crock pot meals. It allows dinner to be prepared early, and makes the house smell good for the potential buyers!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I agree about crockpot meals. I’d also switch up your lunch and dinner meals. That is if your lunch options are easier to prepare than your dinner meals. My quickest dinner meal is having breakfast. I make pancakes, bacon, and potatoes o’brien.

  3. I say you go ahead and eat. that way the kids are all confined to one spot while they are there and the house smells good

  4. I always kept picnic meals ready for those sudden phone calls and went to the park. But if we were already sitting at the table and were happily eating away, I felt free to tell the realotor they would have to wait for an hour. It is great to be willing to adapt to the realtor, but they also have to be realistic about how often they can interupt the dinner hour, easpecially when you have more than one or two children.

  5. Breakfast for dinner is always yummy…or paninis and soup….I really like the picnic idea….

  6. My dad would always cook things that were easily movable to the outdoors by putting them in large bowels, etc. When the house was going to be shown, we would move out to the patio for dinner.

  7. Picnic! We do this no matter what the weather is. I love the sunny days when we get to picnic at the park. When the weather is too cold we “car picnic” at the lake and watch the ducks/geese/etc. We typically don’t eat in the car so the “car picnic” is a treat my four kiddos love- especially if we flip down the seats and use the top as little tables- hankies (from Hobby Lobby since they have super cute ones) make really nice “tablecloths” that I can scrub the kids with too. I carry a spray bottle of water to make clean up super simple.

  8. I agree…crockpot. House smells yummy for lookyloos and dinner is ready when you get home!

  9. Ug. Realtors always wanted to show the house during my kids naptime and dinner time! We did lots of picnics in the park for dinner…just pack a lunch and go. But if it’s too cold where you’re at, you can always take your picnic to the food court at the mall 🙂

  10. A three-hour window? Must be the area. Here in Dayton it’s one-hour. I would pack sandwiches and such and eat them out somewhere, or if kids can wait until after 6:00 then the crockpot is perfect. What a pain.

  11. I wish I had some great advice for you. But when we recently put our house on the market, my girls and I went to stay with my parents for a couple of weeks. That just left my husband to keep the house ready for showings. I took the easy way out because I didn’t know how I would keep it ready with three little ones around.

  12. 1) Eating out.
    2) Picnics.
    3) Crashing a friends’ house (which isn’t too bad for them b/c we bring the food!).
    4) Asking the realtor to bring the people slightly earlier or later (enough time to eat).
    5) Eating in your church’s fellowship hall (ours has a full kitchen, so we can even do the cooking there).

  13. Oh to be interrupted by the obnoxious realtor!! We never had that problem as we had only one single showing (not during meal time). We moved into our new house and had an uninterrupted dinner every night totally stressed that our old house wasn’t selling. We will not repeat the mistake of buying before selling again!
    But for you I’d suggest crockpot meals or the picnic idea. I think i’d make a big bowl of chicken salad and just grab it and the bread and some fruit. Then assemble the sandwiches once you arrive at your picnic spot…..the neighbor’s yard?

  14. We had a 2 hour window. Most of the time we were phoned the night before. Our realtor know we had seven kids , homeschooled, and I was by myself since my husband already started work at our new location. It was the norm where we lived to call the night before.

  15. Crunch time! Been there and about to do it again at the end of the month, UGH! Luckily it’s w/in our neighborhood this time. BUT STILL!

    Realtors usually came to the house around naptime! 🙁 But for you at that window…I wouldn’t want the house smelling like food in case someone doesn’t like the type of food you are cooking. That can make or break the house selling. Unless of course you just baked some cookies! haha

    I would just have to adjust our eating time till after 6pm and bring a snack to the park or wherever you could go during the time the realtor got there. Maybe take a walk or ride bikes to keep the kids active and not thinking of food. Have the dinner prepped and ready to cook though when you got back to keep the rest of the night time ritual still on time.

    Good luck getting most of what’s in the pantry and fridge ate!

  16. if not the fabulous crock pot, we choose popcorn, apple slices, cheese sticks for dinner. its our choice for sunday evenings in particular but in a pinch when we can’t sit down as a family, this is a low supervision, head fake to health dinner.

  17. christine says:

    No crockpot!!!!

    To be honest, I would try not to cook dinner if you have enough advance notice. You do not want your house to smell like dinner.

    Throw cinnamon sticks or cloves and boil those before you leave or bake your famous cinnamon rolls and have those for dinner. You want your house to smell comforting and not of onions and peppers.

    I would make it a sandwich night or snack food for dinner and if weather permits, eat at the park or walk around the mall and eat while you browse.

  18. Regarding the pantry food the movers won’t pack – couldn’t you pack it ahead of time and put the box in a closet? I’ve never used movers, but I certainly have boxes of things like storage, etc, that wouldn’t need re-packing. Could you add another box of food to that? (obviously not perishable stuff).

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      The movers usually repack every box, unless you specifically tell them to not repack it. We will probably bring with us or giveaway what we can’t eat. I’m sure it will all work out, but I like to have as little as possible to move when it comes to food.

      • Wow, that would drive me crazy! (Having my storage boxes repacked). Good luck!

        • TheHappyHousewife says:

          I think they do this because they are responsible for what is broken, so they pack it all. Sometimes they will keep things packed if you request it (after the check the contents) and will write “self pack” on the box.

  19. I did not read the other responses, so I am sorry if I am repeating ideas.
    1. crockpot meals
    2. sandwich
    3. quick and easy (spaghetti, salad, garlic bread)
    4. prep as much as you can early in the day or early in the week. Brown ground beef or chicken and freeze. Just thaw and add to pasta for a quick meal or add taco season and have taco salad.

  20. Katena Dyser says:

    We moved from the east coast to the west coast. We tool little food as possible. No ideas because we never sold a house. Just wanted to say good luck with your move and we love Fl so enjoy.

  21. When we had showings during our typical dinner hours we would typically go to my parent’s house and have dinner for them or we would pack something up and take it to the park if the weather was nice.

    If you do crock pot meals be careful what you make. I remember when we were looking at houses one had something cooking in the crock pot and I don’t know what it was, but the smell made me so sick that we had to leave without really looking at the house.

  22. If it was my family, I would give them a big snack at 2 pm and then dinner at 6:30 pm. Dinner could be something pre-made that would cook in 30 minutes. It could be popped into the oven at 6 pm and you could be sitting down to dinner at 6:30 pm. Now, as for what to eat, I have no idea.


  23. Crock pots and picnics sound like good options to me. I am a crock pot cooker often anyway since I work outside the home.

  24. It seems unreasonable for your landlord to expect you to faciliate showings with two weeks left in your tenancy. I would just let the realtors know when you’re not available in the evening and make them work around it.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      Kay Lynn-
      I agree. We let our landlord know (who has been a great landlord, btw) that we were in the middle of packing/ cleaning and they seemed to understand that things are not going to be in showing condition. We also let the real estate agent know that we wanted at least 4 hours notice and preferably 24 hours notice. So far things have been okay, but it is still a pain.

  25. Here’s what I’d do. Our church has a meals program – just had a baby, moved to a new house, some one is sick, etc. Use up your pantry for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals when the realtor isn’t coming. Then, ask the meals program at your church (or somewhere else) if they could provide meals 2-3 times per week for the next two weeks. Even if someone brought you a meal on Monday, you could save it for Tuesday if that is when the realtors are coming. No cooking, no clean up. Eat at your convenience. I am HORRIBLE at asking for help, but these are exactly the times when the church would be so happy to help you out.

  26. I remember looking for a house and to this day I remember the house that smelled of dinner when I walked through the door. The house was way too small but it’s the house I remember. They had dinner in the Crockpot! It gave such a homey feel that you could picture yourself living there, and you get to put dinner on and evacuate the building if you want to.

  27. we looked at home to rent recently and the one with food cooking stuck out in my mind too — for the WRONG reason. I don’t know what they were cooking but it smelled HORRIBLE. I decided I couldn’t even walk through that house, let alone live in it.
    However, as long as you’re not cooking doo doo or whatever that woman was you should be fine. Maybe cook something people will recognize (beef stew, chicken something) and not experiment with new “interesting” things. lol. good luck!

  28. How about a picnic with sandwiches? Have some “finger” foods ready for those showings – sandwiches, wraps, cut veggies, cut fruit. Can you take something that can be made quick to either a family member or friends house?

  29. We are retired military and have been through it too. We were selling our house and went on with life as usual during the dinner hour. Sold the house to the second couple who came. They bought the house andstayedfor dessert.

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