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A Heart For Home: Meal Planning & Theme Nights

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meal Planning & Theme Nights

Since our move at the end of August, I've been struggling to get back into meal planning.

It's not that I don't see the benefits of meal planning, in fact I've experienced them first hand. I've also seen what happens when I don't plan: higher grocery bills, more frequent trips to the store, less healthy meals, and the after nap scramble to get a meal on the table.

So, about 3 weeks ago I finally carved out time during the kids' afternoon naps to get a plan on paper.

I decided to try theme nights to make my monthly meal planning easier. Here are the themes we're using now.

Sunday~Crock-Pot (this is actually for lunch since that is our big meal on Sundays)

Monday~Asian/Main Dish Salad





Saturday~Chef's Choice (we often share meals with another family on Saturdays because Tim is off from work, so we reserve this night for new recipes or whatever we'd like to make for company)
With themes, I've found it easy to plug in our favorite recipes as well as new ones without having to worry about having the same thing too often.

It's also easy to plan meals according to the activities of the week. For example, on a busy Tuesday a quick dinner of spaghetti or pizza can be planned to fulfill our Italian theme instead of a more time consuming manicotti or fettuccine alfredo.

For more on meal planning with nightly themes check out these resources:

Simplifying Meal Planning :: Passionate Homemaking

List of Theme Nights for Easy Meal Planning :: List Plan It

Meal Planning Resources :: Simple Mom

Do you meal plan? Why or why not? What do you think about meal planning with nightly themes? Would you like the structure or feel too limited? If you've posted about meal planning on your blog, be sure to share the link with us.

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