Post by Jessica R.

Back before I had kids I’d start thinking about dinner somewhere around 4:30pm. I’d head to the store after work and, basket tucked under my arm, I’d shop for the four or five ingredients I needed to make whatever had tickled my fancy earlier in the afternoon. Then I’d head home and make a lovely meal.

That lifestyle is clearly a thing of the past. Any mom will tell you that to venture to a grocery store with kids in tow minutes before the evening witching hour is just asking for trouble. Tantrums nearly always ensue and odds are, in your haste to vacate the premises before unmitigated disaster unfolds you’re going to forget a key ingredient or four.

In our home we try to plan a week of meals over the weekend and do one big grocery run on Sunday evening. When that fails we just wing it, which inevitably means we eat a lot of no0dles over the course of the week or unfreeze something that has been lingering in the freezer for way too long.

Aside from not always having time to put together a weekly plan, we also face the repetition issue. Come Sunday afternoon I’m usually too busy to sit down and look through cookbooks and find new recipes, so we tend to rotate the same five over and over again. It’s gotten to the point where my husband doesn’t even need a shopping list any more; we always get the exact same things.

How do you deal with the dinner question? Do you also have five meals you rotate again and again? Or have you found the solution to making tasty original meals for your family?

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Category: Mom Talk, You Tell Us
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4 Responses

  1. Ellie says:

    Tonight I am having tater tots for dinner.

    Kind of funny, I decided to finally learn to cook and plan meals and all that stuff, and my husband started taking classes four nights a week. Coincidence?
    🙂 Actually, I was doing pretty well, but now I only cook on the weekends.

    Eating like a single person again. Four or five ingredients? Try 2, tots and BBQ sauce!

    I know, I know, not at all helpful.

  2. Nancy says:

    I totally relate to this article!! Every week we will have spaghetti & garlic bread – although the noodle style will vary, then there is usually a Mexican meal – either bean & cheese burritos or a full taco bar (which the kids love!!) and there is always a pizza on Friday nights. Throw in a chicken casserole at some point in the week. It is so easy to get in a rut with cooking!

  3. Beth says:

    Wednesday night seems to be the busiest night of the week for my family of 4. After many complaints about eating the same old, same old, I challenged my family (husband and two preteens) to come up with the Wednesday night meal. We’ve decided Wednesday night is sandwich night (a no-cook night) and we rotate the assignment (1x every fourth week.) We’ve had some tremendous meals so far: steak & cheese subs, NJ-style sloppy joes, Four-cheese grilled sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and spaghetti tacos.

  4. Amanda Cowan says:

    We are in the same place. It seems like we absolutely rotate the same things. OR I make a big pot of soup or chili and we live on that, fruits and veggies for several days. But I know that a lot of that is down to the ‘me being pregnant’ thing. I’m just not in the mood to put in a huge effort in that area. BUT in an effort to be more efficient and also spend less money (have you also noticed that when you don’t plan you might tend to order pizza/chinese OR just eat out more often?).. I plan to try to utilize the variety of grocery stores here and join http://www.couponsense.com AND another website that kinda rocks is called the 6 o’clock scramble. I’ve used lots of recipes from here and even though I don’t go by the actual weekly menus, I have found lots of new recipes to throw into our rotation. Great post Jess!

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