I’m not sure how everyone else gets dinner on the table every night, but for me it wouldn’t happen without meal planning. I would be a wreck at 4pm every day if I didn’t know in advance what we were eating and that we had the ingredients to make it.
To make this happen every week, I sit down for an hour (or less) on Saturday or Sunday and make a plan. I get down the binder of recipes , maybe a cookbook or two for inspiration and the calendar. Some weeks are built on easy favorites because our schedule is full. Other weeks have a bit more space and time to try something new, or something that takes a bit more prep. But having the calendar in front of me to make sure that the ambition of the meal matches the activity level for the day is key.
I don’t have formula for the week, as I’ve heard others do: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, etc. But I do sketch out a rough idea this way:
- main dish salad /soup (depending on the season)
Then I feel like I have some kind of framework to build on. I also call out to anyone who is around and ask, “Give me one thing you’d to have for dinner this week.” That usually gets me started. It’s important to me that at least one day a week no one is unhappy about dinner, so I aim to please on Friday. One other consideration is to not have too many meals in a row that one child doesn’t like. I’ve got one kid who hates rice and anything Asian (the rest of us love it) and another who despises anything involving cheese. So, dinner can be somewhat of a diplomatic endeavor.
I also only need to plan out five dinners because the Husband cooks on Saturday and the kids cook on Sunday–and they don’t plan ahead. And though I plan and shop for them, the Husband actually cooks dinner on Monday and Wednesday as well, since Boy #2 and I don’t get back from soccer practice until 6:45 pm. I’m sounding a little spoiled, don’t you think? Still, the plan is key to making it all happen.
I thought I’d start to share some of our meal plans here, since I love getting a glimpse into other people’s ordinary days.
Monday: Panko-crusted pork chops, rice with gravy, green beans and salad. We don’t have a “recipe” for this, but here is a similar one.
Tuesday: Apple chicken sausages with rolls, tater tots, broccoli
Wednesday: Heuvos Rancheros
Thursday: We will be at a school performance, so dinner will be from a Taco Truck
Friday: Spaghetti Carbonara and salad
In addition to those dinners I’ve got apple crisp and some pumpkin muffins on the list to make as well.
What are you making for dinner this week? Check out I’m an Organizing Junkie for some more inspiration.