How To Always Know What’s For Dinner

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Have you seen the Harry Potter movies where the food just magically appears in the bowls when it's time to eat?  If only we could waive our magic wands and dinner would appear…wouldn't that be wonderful?  Sadly, we must make our dinners by hand.  If you're a busy mom, then get ready for a great tip to take the crazy out of dinner prep!

Dinners can be so stressful.  What should I make?  What ingredients do I need for the meals I have planned?  How long does it take to make the meal?

I used to love cooking before I became a mom.  Getting recipe magazines and browsing for new recipes that looked delicious was so fun!  I made new recipes all the time and didn't care if they made a million dishes.  I could just wash them right up after dinner.  Remember those days?!

Then, I became a mom and all that went right out the window.

Now, it's all about what meal is the fastest to make and uses the least dishes!

Today, I want to tell you about a solution that will help your kitchen routine in so many ways!

An easy to make, rotating schedule can save busy moms time in the kitchen.

 

The Dinner Planning Solution

The 3 Week Meal Rotation has been such a lifesaver for me.  With three little kids running around, it seemed like every time we needed to go to the grocery store, I would think “oh no, I have no idea what I am making for dinner”!  Then I would have to try to think of what to make that week while my kids were asking me a million questions not about groceries.

What is the 3 Week Meal Rotation?

Just like it sounds – Choose 21 recipes that fit your family well.  Make a schedule for three weeks of dinner.  After you have made all three weeks, just start over!  I chose three weeks instead of two in order to avoid “didn't we just have this?!” syndrome. 🙂 

You can make your own planner or you can download the one I made for free.

Make It Your Own

Once I decided to create a rotating meal schedule, I created a calendar, printed it out, and filled in recipes that met our needs.  I chose recipes that had a variety of flavors, so our taste buds didn't get bored and I chose recipes that made a lot of food(my husband takes leftovers for lunch) and didn't use a ton of dishes, so clean up would be pretty easy.

When I first started the 3 Week Meal Rotation, I had 3 Mexican type meals in the same week.  I decided to shuffle them around, so we weren't overwhelmed with the same flavor that week.  So, feel free to tweak the recipes or the order once you get started.  This can really take a load off your mind if you use it right.

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How The 3 Week Meal Rotation Helps

  1. No More Odd Ingredients That You Never Use Again.  You know when you find a great recipe and it calls for something like, I dunno, sun dried tomatoes, so you buy it at the grocery store and use half the jar for the recipe.  Then the jar just sits on the door of your refrigerator for months taking up space until you clean it out or use it up in some other random way?  With the 3 Week Meal Rotation that doesn't happen!  Making the same meals every 3 weeks allows you to use up the ingredients because you use them frequently!  Less food wasted = less money wasted!
  2. No More Time Spent Deciding What To Make For Dinner.  Oh my gosh, how much time do you spend just sitting there, staring at your grocery list every time trying to decide what to make for dinner.  If you're like me, it's way too much time!  With the 3 Week Meal Rotation, just take a look at the recipes coming up for the next week and make your list.  Easy Peasy!
  3. It Makes Writing Your Grocery List A Breeze.  When you try a new recipe, you have to look it up, see what ingredients you need, see what you have, then make a list of what you need to get.  With the 3 Week Meal Rotation, you become very familiar with the recipes.  This eliminates the need to look up the ingredients every week.  Check which recipes you are making that week, make your list, and off you go!
  4. Familiar Recipes Are Quicker To Make.  I'm sure you have at least one recipe that you don't even have to look at the directions when you make it because you've made it so many times you just know it.  That's how it gets almost every night after you've been doing the 3 Week Meal Rotation for a while.  Since you are making the same meals repeatedly, you get very familiar with the recipes.  Just this fact alone makes the recipes  faster and easier to make because you aren't glancing at the recipe to see what the next step is.
  5. Grocery Shopping Becomes Quicker And Easier.  With the recurring meals, your grocery list also becomes recurring.  So, no more searching the aisles for capers or whatever because you buy the same things for each week's menu.  So, since you buy the same ingredients frequently, when you get to the store, you know what you are getting.  You can get it and get out.  Less time for a child meltdown!

busy mom meal planner

Since I have started using the 3 Week Meal Rotation, the kitchen has become such a better place for me!  No more “what to make” overwhelm.  No more “what to get at the store” dilemmas.  And, since I'm no longer overwhelmed by it all, I find that I actually look forward to it again. So, download your free planner today and get started!


Like the idea? Be sure to pin it to save it for later and share it with your friends on Facebook!

 

Moms are busy.  Making dinner should be easy for busy moms.  Now it can be! #easydinner #mealprep #mealplanning #busymom #mealplanninghelp #dinnerplanning

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10 Responses

  1. IrieDiva says:

    This was a genius post, I want to slap myself silly. I only have one kiddo but I’m just starting to work from home and wanting to pour all my time into that makes cooking a hassle. This is a big help. Thanks

    • thecrazybusymama says:

      It’s amazing how much even one child can take up so much of your time. And figuring out the whole “work at home balance” can be very difficult! I’m so glad you found this; I hope it makes your life a little simpler. And good luck working from home, what a blessing!

  2. Tina Bell says:

    What a fantastic idea! I’m the type of mom that wants to constantly try new recipes but the rest of the household all have their favorites and that is what they want on a weekly basis. I think this would definitely help keep me organized but maybe one Saturday a month I could throw in a new recipe! Thank You for sharing 🙂

    • thecrazybusymama says:

      That’s a great idea, Tina! You could just leave a few days blank for the schedule and try whatever new, fun recipes you find. I read one time about a mom who made a new food every Friday, New Food Friday she called it. Sounds fun! I look forward to trying new recipes again once my kiddos are a little older. I would love to how this works out for you!

  3. Michelle says:

    This came right on time as i was just pondering on jumping back on the meal plan train. I’m gonna try and implememt some of this for sure!!

    • thecrazybusymama says:

      That’s great to hear, Michelle! I hope you it helps your dinner plans be a little bit easier. I would love to hear how you like it!

  4. This is a fantastic idea!!!! Going to try to use this for my meal planning for my picky eater!

    • thecrazybusymama says:

      Yes, great idea! I have a picky eater as well and this really helped me, too. I was able to choose the meals that she likes, so it limits the nights when I have to make something different or have an argument about eating. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  5. Shari E says:

    Great idea! Variety and ease. Thanks for sharing!

    • Surya says:

      I’m so glad you like it! Evenings can be so stressful and making dinner can just add to it. I hope this routine helps change that for you!

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