Meal Planning: Theme Nights Rock!

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Meal Planning with Theme NightsCarnitas Soft Tacos

Meal planning is one of those household tasks that I have traditionally enjoyed. Since I am such a glutton enjoy cooking and eating so much, thinking ahead to future meals has always been a favorite pasttime.

However, real life interferes with my dreams of elegant, four course meals. And that’s okay. Someday my nest will be empty and I’ll have way too much time to prepare fancy-schmancy meals.

Hopefully, I’ll still have some teeth to chew with.

One happy compromise between creative food choices and getting food on the table that my kids will actually eat has been to create theme nights. Theme nights not only help me plan our week quickly, but they give constancy to my kids’ week — and something to look forward to.

It helps that my current themes are easy, easy meals.

Sundays – Grilling
Mondays – Noodles
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Sandwich Night
Thursday – Mexican
Friday – Pizza
Saturday – Burgers, Hot Dogs, and Other Hand Held Items

Meal Planning with Theme Nights

We’ve still got warm weather here in San Diego. So, these themes will be sticking for at least another month. Then, I’ll be working in a regular Soup Night and a Crockpot Night. Golly, I might just revamp the whole list. But, for now, this makes my meal planning really easy.

Here’s how this meal plan plays out this week:

Sunday – Grilled Steak Gyros on homemade pita bread, Couscous Salad
Monday – Spaghetti with Red Sauce, green salad, Cornbread
Tuesday – Carnitas Soft Tacos, Mexican Rice, Cooked Pinto Beans
Wednesday – Taco Joes on Homemade Buns, Veggies and Dip
Thursday – Beans and Rice
Friday – Pizza Night
Saturday – Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Fruit

What have you got cooking this week?

For more meal planning inspiration, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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  1. Meal planning is a must at my house. Otherwise, my children will starve!

    Love how you identify a theme for each night. I’ve thought about doing it 100 times…. I so need to!

  2. Your menu always sound so good. I bookmarked that Couscous Salad:-)

  3. I love the idea of theme nights! I meal plan every week, but I never thought of doing it the way you do. Excellent idea. 🙂

  4. I’ve thought about incorporating theme nights into my meal planning, and have even written one out once upon a time, but have never stuck with it. You’ve inspired me though…I’m going to give it a try again!

  5. I am back on my meal planning and have planned some goodies for the week!

  6. I giggles when I read this because we just started “Soup Night” here on the east coast 😉

  7. Wih school starting again, we plan “theme nights” based on what the kids are studying at school; ie, letters, social study units, world history, language arts, customs, science units, etc. Ex. Dinner brought to you by the letter “B”. Brotwurst, bagels, banana boats with ice cream and toppings, etc. This also helps the creative juices of table conversation flowing.
    Loved the theme night ideas you shared.
    Happy Cooking.

  8. Pizza is almost always on deck for Friday nights. Such a great way to end the week!

  9. I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate theme night at this spot in our life. Last year we had great success with this meal planning setup.

    This year, my husband is very interested in cooking, wants to eat Asian food 4+ nights per week, and isn’t interested in having a specific plan. Well, that’s fine, but it means a lack of control over our food budget and schedule and that makes this mama nervous. Guess what happens when hubby isn’t interested in cooking, or what I cook? Yep, eating out. And no, my budget doesn’t like that. one. bit.

    I’d love to know if other women have trouble getting into the kitchen, if their hubby prefers to cook while mama tends to the kiddos or at least stays out of the kitchen…


  10. I’ve had “meatless Mondays”, soup nights, breakfast dinner nights. Saturdays are better for pizza for us for some reason. Sundays are small groups with church so the menu varies. Mostly Tue/Thursdays tend to be crockpot meals so I have a rotation in that manner.

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