Easy Mealtimes for Busy People

I used to leave my house and work 40+ hours a week. There are only three of us in the household, but I still found it impossible to keep the house clean, the take-out off the table, or the cupboards full; and I worked in a grocery store, y’all.

When I decided to write full-time, I thought meals would be easier but I’m pretty sure I work more hours per week now that I’m at home. So, I decided to make a menu. At first, I did this weekly, based upon the store’s sales. This worked for a while but inevitably I would forget to make the menu and we were right back to “I’m hungry, what’s for dinner”.

Then I decided to make monthly menus. That worked like a charm, spend a few hours once a month and then it was a matter of shopping online each week based upon what ingredients were needed for that week’s menu. Only problem was, I ran out of dinner ideas and spent hours on Pinterest trying to find ideas or worse, fussing at the family for ideas. Have you ever been in the car intending to grab a bite and played the “well, I don’t care what we eat, what would you like game?” Ten times worse when menu making, trust me.

Then I saw Facebook posts from friends saying they were having xyz for “Meatless Monday” or “Taco Tuesday” and inspiration struck. I now make menus for an entire month in about an hour, sometimes 90 minutes, and never play the ‘what would you like to eat’ game!

The hardest part is assigning themes to each night. I did some Pinterest research and finally settled on themes that work for our family. Don’t do Meatless Monday if your family don’t really like vegetarian meals. I do Mexican Monday, and meals encompass everything from TexMex to Vaca Frita, but there went Taco Tuesday! So, in our house, it’s Traditional Tuesday, the day my husband gets “Mama’s Chicken and Dumplings” or “Country Fried Steak and Gravy”.

Figure out what types of meals your family most likes and then assign your themes. Then make Pinterest boards and add recipes. Follow me on Pinterest to see my most loved recipes. This has taken so much stress off me! I’ve posted a sample of our menu and our themes below. Do you do something similar or are you going to try monthly menus?

Daily Meal Themes Mexican Monday: All things Latin America, Caribbean, etc.

Traditional Tuesday: For us, this is food that ‘Mama’ or ‘Grandma’ made. Fried chicken, Pork Chops, Chicken and Dumplings, Yankee Pot Roast.

Worldly Wednesday: Usually Greek, Thai, Chinese but I’ve done French a few times, and a couple of German meals.

Tuscan Thursday: Husband is of Italian descent; Italy gets its own night.

Fish Friday: This is any type of seafood. I have also sub themed this ‘family favorite’ night. Order Pizza, Chili Dogs and Onion rings, ‘fun’ foods. Or we go out to eat.

Soup, Salad, and Sandwich Saturday: Open a can and buy subs or put something in the crock pot. It’s all good and really easy.

Sunrise Sunday: Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner?

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