Family Food

Meal-Planning in 3 Simple Steps

July 22, 2015

What’s for dinner? For our family, beef is rarely the answer. In an effort to save calories and cash, I decided to become more intentional with planning, prepping, and preparing our meals, specifically with planning dinners. Not only had we been eating out more, but it seemed like we were eating the same meals each week.

So, how did we solve the daily 4 o’clock scramble for dinner? I got out my journal and starting penning. (Where the majority of my ideas are born!) Before long, I had a simple 3-step solution for our dinner problem. So far, it has been working quite well for us!Reclaimed-Barnwood-Chalkboard-del_1_0_Hutson5666

The key is a { T H E M E } for each night. After making a
list of our favorite meals, recipes, and restaurants, I quickly realized I could organize many of
our favorite meals into categories by food types. Duh! Our initial themes looked something like this: Mexican, Italian, breakfast, etc.  you get the idea?  Then I needed an “easy” night for girl’s night or bible study, so I added a “leftovers” category.  On the weekend, we usually eat with friends or family, so I combined two of the nights into one and labeled it “Soup/ Salad /Sandwich.”  Finally, I created an original “Farmboy” theme to include my favorite recipes from a southern childh
ood & the ever so lovely Pioneer Woman. ☺️ After going through that process, I discovered how easy menu-planning could be!

Try these 3 simple steps to spice up your menu for next week!

Step 1: Brainstorm themes with your family!  My husband and I typically planned our menu together each week.  You could also include the kids!  They always think outside the box and will appreciate being a part of the process.

Step 2: Create a list of recipes for each theme.  Think about your favorites from family, Pinterest, etc.  With just 4 or 5 recipes per category, you’ll have an entire month’s worth of menus!

Step 3: Build your weekly menu! Use your list of favorite recipes from step 2. (Don’t forget to look at sale ads and coupons, too.

Some Tips:

1. Branch out and try new recipes. This type of menu-planning makes it easy to mix things up.

2.  Save time by prepping early.  There are tons of blogs and websites about prepping foods ahead of time.

3. One of my favorite time-savers is to create my grocery list in the order of the store.  The next time you’re at the grocery store, make a map! (Yes, you will probably get some funny stares.☺️)

4. Be flexible! Life happens, and you may not be able to stick to your schedule.  We shift and move our menu around more often than not.

Good Luck planning your next week’s meals.  I know you will be great!  Before you go, what are you’re families’ favorite themes & recipes?

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  • Reply Pam July 22, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Great ideas Bobbie Lou!

  • Reply Meal-Planning ~ responses from viewers – The Bobbie Pen October 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    […] I hope you’ve enjoyed using my theme-night solution for planning your family’s meals!  Since that post, I’ve heard from many followers and wanted to share some of their  T H E M E – N I G H T ideas.  (Oh! And if you didn’t read how to conquer meal-planning in 3 simple steps, you can check it out here!) […]

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