To some people, our menu plan right now is boring. But that’s okay. If you need permission to keep your meals simple, consider this your hall pass.
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When I shared my menu plan recently, someone commented that it looked a little boring – “are you really only eating chicken and rice or taco salad for dinner this week?”
Yes, kind of.
The reality is that sometimes dinner time is an opportunity for creative expression. And sometimes it’s just a chance to feed the people and keep them alive.
While we don’t eat the same two things for dinner every night (usually), in this season of life simplicity is king.
If you struggle with putting a healthy dinner on the table every night, let me encourage you. You are not running a restaurant, and you are not June Cleaver running a 1950’s kitchen. That’s okay.
Your life is full of interesting work and activities right now. That does not mean you can’t provide delicious, healthy dinners for your family. However, if you need permission to make dinner a little more boring – a little more simple, to use the trendier word – consider this your hall pass.
There are a couple of reasons we keep our menu plan simple. You may relate to some of them:
1. Cooking all the time is exhausting.
Most of us don’t want to be chained to the kitchen. But it is difficult to separate saving money and eating healthy from cooking. It just is. So while I am committed to providing my family with real food that falls inside our budget (and I enjoy the process), I am not a full-time cook.
About once a week, I make something fun and creative in the kitchen. The rest of the nights, we eat what we eat, and everyone is fed.
2. My family enjoys it.
Believe it or not, my family prefers eating this way. They have their own favorite meals, which we make occasionally, but for the most part, everyone loves our simple menu. So it’s okay if they look boring to someone else. It’s okay if this doesn’t work for some families. It’s what works for us.
Don’t make more work for yourself based on an arbitrary rule that no one in your family has ever confirmed. If you love making a different meal every night, and dinner time is your creative jam, do it. But make sure it is something that works for you and our family in this season.
3. Fitness & Nutrition
I have talked on and off about our journey into fitness. It rescued our health and energy, and we believe it drastically altered Chris’ future after a horrible accident.
One of the habits we picked up in our fitness training was eating to live, not living to eat. So while we enjoy a well-crafted meal, we don’t need to eat our favorite dinner every night. 80% of the time, we eat to fuel our bodies so we can live well and enjoy life. We eat delicious, simple, frugal, healthy food. And then we really enjoy that burger on date night.
4. It Simplifies Meal Planning, Shopping, and Food Prep
We eat certain foods all the time. So when I come across a sale on eggs or salad stuff or certain cuts of meat, I don’t need to wonder what we are eating that week and how many I should buy. I can buy all of them because those foods are in our regular rotation.
Menu planning takes me about 3 minutes. I throw in my fun, creative meal (or if I’m honest, a dessert or baked good) and round out the rest of the week with our normal stuff.
This may sound supremely boring, but we love it.
Maybe you are stuck in a season where you struggle with meal planning and grocery shopping – where every week you start from scratch, wondering what to plan for dinner. Or maybe you feel like you don’t have time to make a homemade meal, and you keep busting your budget and missing your health goals.
Maybe the pressure to make healthy food that is budget-friendly and creative is completely stressing you.
This is your permission to be boring. It’s okay to make the same 7 meals every night of the week. It’s okay to have a 21-meal rotation that you cycle through every three weeks. By all rights, you shouldn’t call it boring. It’s smart. It’s simple (simple living is trendy, right?). It’s what works for you in this season.
In the end, that’s all that matters.
(Note: If you prefer eating different meals every night, but you want all the planning done for you, check this out! I tried it, it’s great, and it could be exactly what you’re looking for.)
What You Can Do Now:
Do you prefer to keep things simple or is dinner time your creative jam?
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Thank you sooooooo much! This is uber-encouraging and helpful…and washes away the “guilties” I sometimes get. 😁
Yeeesssss! We all need this reminder, more often than not. It’s how people have cooked and eaten for many generations. Way too much pressure on feeding these days!!