Simplifying Dinner

I just finished reading the book Simplicity Parenting, and thought it was great. The title, “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids” is pretty self explanatory, and it’s full of great information.

 book

One thing we were already doing, but not to the extent in the book, was simplifying dinner. We have the same basic meals over and over again. It does get a little boring sometimes, but it was the only way we wouldn’t deal with random “ew, I’m not eating that” nights (even though we still get that with our usual rotation). I figured out a basic schedule that we did, spaghetti once a week, pizza once every two weeks, tacos/enchiladas/something Mexican once a week, etc. It made it simpler for grocery shopping, and it was full of no conflict meals. (I already tried the usual tips, have kids help cook dinner, pick out colorful veggies, etc.)

calendarBefore

After reading the book, I wanted to simplify it even more. Stirfry night was sometimes an issue, and for some reason quesadillas, despite having the same ingredients as the tacos, were usually a problem. So my new schedule had even less options.

Each week we have the same things, but can have a different variation, for example, Sunday night we had portobello soup, and next week maybe we’ll have vegetable, etc. Taco night might be tacos, enchiladas, or taco salad, etc. Spaghetti night might have pesto sauce or different kinds of noodles. Pizza night could also be a calzone or pizza braid. Veggie subs might have a different variation of veggies/sauces.

calendarAfter

This way, it still leaves options for the spur of the moment breakfast for dinner, or pot pie, or stuffed peppers, or the amazing Corn Dog Muffins that we had the other night. All things that we eat semi-regularly, but now it’s even simpler…”what are we having for dinner? Oh, it’s Taco Tuesday”.

In theory, it should be shopping even simpler. I’m hoping because I seem to run to the store just about every day for *something*.

There’s a lot of good information in the book, even without regards to parenting. I think simplifying and minimizing is always a good thing. Next up is donating all the old clothes and toys!

(*Chicken patties are “chickn”, and grilled cheeses are made with Daiya.)

How do you plan out your meals? Do you like to keep things simple?

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