Friday, August 11, 2017

What's For Dinner?

I don't know what it is, but for some reason every. single. night. around 5:00 the people in my house get hungry and start asking for food.

Of course my kids aren't too choosy, and they'd be thrilled if I just threw a few cookies at them. While I won't say that never happens around here {spirit of full disclosure and all}, I generally speaking try to fill their bellies with a little more substance.


Which means my response is, "Good news! It's almost dinner time, so you can eat then."


My husband would not be as easily satisfied with a few cookies after a long day's work. Dinner strikes again!

The bummer is that I actually have to be the one to prepare said dinner.

I know, right?!

I'm going to guess you share my nightly plight.

The other day I posted a question on my Facebook page about meal planning. Many weeks I will pick a night to ask y'all what's for dinner at your house. By far, these posts tend to get the largest response. Apparently we ladies have lots to say about food!

I'm big on planning my meals ahead, because otherwise dinner gets really harried. Cereal, anyone? Unfortunately we can't afford take-out on the regular... so the meal plan is key.

For nine years now {😳 how is this length of time even possible?!} I've been meal planning one week at a time.

I sit down at some point the day before my weekly shopping trip {Wednesdays, currently} and hammer it out.

Tools of the Trade: A notepad and pen for my plan and shopping list, my planner, recipe box, and computer.

If Niall or the kids are around I'll ask them if there's anything in particular they'd like for dinner the coming week. My sweet six year old is always full of opinions. She would be happy to eat spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, and chicken pot pie on repeat forever. No one else usually has input, so I'm on my own from there.


Considering whatever ingredients are already in my freezer and pantry, I peruse my recipe box and handy Pinterest board for inspiration. As I come up with ideas, I'll loosely schedule them for certain week nights, considering which days we will need a quick meal because I'm low on time or energy.

That's really it. The next day I shop, and as the week progresses I might switch meal order around depending on what sounds good to me. As long as a basic framework is there, I can be flexible within the plan while still enjoying the solid structure it provides.

I've been considering switching to a monthly approach to cut down on my time and effort, but have yet to take the plunge. If I did it, I would organize week nights by theme.

Here are the themes I came up with {as well as a handful of actual dinner ideas that go with the theme!}. I've linked recipes that are available online, but if you are curious about one I haven't linked I'd love to send it to you- shoot me an email at thepurposefulwife@gmail.com. I hope it inspires your culinary endeavors and answers the dreaded dinner doldrums!


Monday: Slow Cooker 

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Pair one of the following with bacon, sausage, or scrambled eggs.
Wednesday: Mexican 
Thursday: Meat and Potatoes, or Classic Comfort Foods
Pair the following with some variation of potato {mashed, baked, roast, fried?}, cooked vegetables or salad, and biscuit or roll.

Friday: Asian
Every Sunday we have a potluck lunch at church, so I always plan what I will bring as contribution when I do meal planning. Since that is our big meal of the day, we usually eat a snack dinner or leftovers later that evening. Keeping it simple!

Your turn to spill. Do you meal plan, and how? Any theme ideas or awesome recipes to share? 

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