Want to know a secret? We RARELY, if ever, eat out anymore. Or do takeout. Perhaps once a month, if that.
But it never used to be like that around here. We would go out or order in at least once a week or more. It was really hard on our budget—and on top of that, we weren’t fueling our bodies well with all the fast/convenience food that we were consuming.
So how did it all change? I scrapped weekly menu planning and instead, we started using a weekly menu rhythm. It saved so much mental energy, and cut down on decision making. It made grocery shopping easier, as instead of shopping for specific recipes, I purchase the same basic staples, and simply mix up the proteins and fruits veggies to whatever is on sale. And my kids, LOVE it. They like knowing what’s for dinner each night, it has saved a lot of the mealtime arguments of “but I don’t like that…”. They know what’s on the menu, and they know that if they don’t care for it, the next night will be different.
So here’s what a weekly dinner rhythm looks like for our family.
◦ Monday—Breakfast for Dinner
◦ Thursday—Stir Fry/Asian
◦ Friday—Copycat/Homemade Fast Food
◦ Saturday—“Fancy” Family Meal/New Recipe
◦ Sunday—Slow Cooker Meal
Mondays are Breakfast for Dinner because my husband often has meetings Monday night, and I could get a hot breakfast meal on the table more easily than other dishes. Wednesdays are pasta because we often have something going on in the evening and pasta is quick to make. Sundays are Slow Cooker because by the time we all get home from church, Mama is tired, and it’s REALLY nice to walk in to a meal already made. And the other nights are family favorites that can be made in endless varieties (blackened chicken, garlic like salmon, or steak tacos) and are “assembly style” meals that even our pickiest eaters can find something to appreciate.
Never tried a weekly rhythm? I’d encourage you to give it a try for a month! See if you can eat out one less meal this month!