Are you determined to prevent the chaos of last minute throw together dinners?
Do you have a plan for your dinners? Often this is the first questions after school that my kids will ask. Over the years I have been extremely organised... this was when we were on a very tight budget and I had really little kids. I planned my dinners for 40 weeks!! I knew exactly what was in my pantry and I shopped weekly.
Then.....I started working full time as a kindergarten teacher. This season was characterised by more of the "wing it" approach. Whatever was quick, no fuss this was it. Just getting some resemblance of dinner was the aim.
Now I am home with a little one and I have 2 at school. So I am going back to a more planned approach. As time is precious and I don't want to spend HOURS laboriously planning, my philosophy is....
"Plan it once and make sure it can be repeated."
Give Each Night a Theme.
As I am at home now I find being organised is key to saving money. First thing I do is print off and fill in my "What's For Dinner?" printable. I give each day a theme and this means I can fill in our dinners very quickly.
Of course you can have whatever theme you like - Italian, Mexican, Vegetarian. Whatever suites your family. You can of course include ideas from your family.
Themes work well because you can change the dinner recipe and have common ingredients on hand for the month which helps to keep the cost down.
Now For Each Theme Pick 4 Dinner Ideas
It's alot easier to pick 4 recipes with a particular theme. It gives a focus and helps to keep some order when you are meal planning. Now you can repeat a recipe or have a variation of a particular recipe. From your theme you can build out your ideas and variations.
- BRAINSTORM with your theme in Mind
Fill in your planner & display it for the month.
Below is my A4 "What's For Dinner?" printable. This allows you to plan for a MONTH of Dinners.
- FILL IN YOUR A4 MONTHLY PLANNER & DISPLAY
A4 What's For Dinner Monthly Planner
- Plan your meals a month in view. Planning ahead will help you to always know what you will be preparing. You will save money and best of all everyone in the family will know “What’s For Dinner?”.
- Buy Planner + 200 Weeknight Dinners
- Get some of my really simple dinner ideas
200 Weeknight Dinners + Planner - Watch the Explanation Video
When I had my two little ones at home I created this e-book called 200 Weeknight Dinners. It is 40 weeks of dinners all planned for you. Watch the video to see how I set it up so you can get some ideas when you plan your dinners.
It brings back so many memories! My first two were about 4 - 5 years old when I created the 200 Weeknight Dinners. They were so cute!! Funny how food just takes you back to memories!!