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!
The Dinner Planning Solution
The 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. 🙂
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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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