After a long day at work followed by picking everyone up from their afternoon activities, you finally make it home. You’re exhausted and would love nothing more than a few minutes to rest and have it just be…quiet. But instead, everyone in your gang starts asking the same question: What’s for dinner?
I have no idea. How about cereal? You think to yourself. But instead, you start racking your brain to try to come up with a simple, healthy option that’ll maybe (maybe!) make everyone happy. Which, after you’ve been on the go for hours, is no easy task.
Putting together a weekly meal plan can help you avoid this nightly conundrum. But sometimes that in itself can seem like too much effort. After all, doesn’t mapping out a week’s worth of dinners take a lot of time?
It doesn’t have to. My Sticky Note Family Meal Planner is one of my favorite life hacks for busy moms. In just minutes, you can put together a family meal map for the entire week. You’ll save yourself the stress of trying to figure out dinner at the last minute. Even better, you’ll avoid playing short order cook when everyone chimes in with a different request. (Or spending way too much money on delivery.)
Here’s how it works:
- Step 1: Before going shopping on the weekend, write down seven different dinner options on seven different sticky notes. Get your whole brood in on it by having each family member share a meal they love. Need some inspiration? Check out my quick and easy dinner recipes.
- Step 2: Take the sticky notes and place them on the calendar, one for each night of the week. Now you know exactly what’s for dinner. Use this plan to create a shopping list for the week, then head to the market to stock up on whatever ingredients you need.
- Step 3: Use the same sticky notes for the following week. To switch things up, you can rotate the notes so each meal lands on a different day than it did last week.
You can use these same sticky notes to create dinner maps for several weeks just by moving around your different meal options. When you’re ready to try something new, swap out some (or all) of your sticky notes for different recipes. But hang on to the old ones! After some time off, you can bring them back into the rotation.
Answering the What-for-dinner? question doesn’t get much easier than that.