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Best Of The Playdate Crashers: What’s For Dinner?

I’m not going to lie. I am worn out, y’all. I shouldn’t be — my Mr. Playdate Crasher and I got away (without the boys!) for our anniversary weekend!  But it wasn’t just to lounge about, we helped some friends get ready for their wedding, which my husband officiated on Saturday (our 6th anniversary)! So I’m pulling out an old post today, but not just at random — our newest podcast episode (which will be released this week! I promise!) talks about this very subject! Leave your comments below!

One of the motherly/wifely duties I struggle with staying on top of is menu planning. I always feel this pressure to come up with cute little meals that everyone will love, cleaning their plates and asking for more. As you can imagine, this rarely happens.

I have tried several Fantastic Ideas which worked for maybe a week before I got bored or overwhelmed with them. That tends to happen to me a lot — I get all psyched about something but it ends up being too much work and I stop doing it or using it.

One of the ideas I tried was going through my recipes, fixing ones I chose, then Brandon and I rated the recipes on a scale of 1-5. If they were a 4 or 5, they went into a rotation of 15 recipes that cycled through. Wow. That was ambitious. Let’s just say there is no “rotation” talk in our household these days.

Another thing I tried was a program called E-Mealz. While I like the concept (pre-planned meals and shopping lists based on your needs), I ended up trying to customize the meal plans and it ended up being more work than it should have been.

I also tried doing a basic “theme night” every week. Monday – Grill Night, Tuesday – Casserole, etc. Then our schedules got weird and I couldn’t find any good casserole recipes with low enough PointsPlus Values (Weight Watchers).

So now I’m back to a pretty basic meal plan: meat + veggie + grain = meal. It’s working well and I don’t feel nearly as stressed about grocery shopping as I used to be. Less stress means a happier me.

One thing I’m proud to say that I mostly keep up with is a laminated (contact paper covered) meal outline on the fridge. It’s laminated so I can use a dry erase marker on it and can erase it easily. I got the menu outline from, their printable Household Notebook section. Some day we need to talk about my laminating obsession…

I want to hear how you plan your meals. Are you a Meal System kind of person or Go With The Flow? Does planning meals stress you out? Tell me. I’m all ears.

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.


  1. There is a website called Freeze Happy that has a bunch of recipes designed for freezing. Lately I’ve been spending one day cooking as much as I can and freezing it. Then I always have a meal handy for those days when its too chaotic to cook. My favorite so far is the meatballs because you can use them for so many different things. I haven’t tried very many of her recipes yet, but so far so good!

  2. Ooh, I’ll have to check that one out! I think if I could get a friend to do it with me, it wouldn’t feel like such a chore. We could split everything we make and it would be fun!