Fun way I got my family involved in meal planning

The last few months have been quite the roller-coaster ride for me. Not the usual ride, though. We’ve only had to deal with 3 issues regarding the VA in the last few months. And Eli has been doing quite well.

A while back, I wrote a Confession and admitted that I have struggled on so many levels and have pretty much lost it over the last few months.

So in an effort to catch myself again and get back on track, I wanted to start with one of my biggest challenges:

Meal Planning!

meal plan, family, caregiver, mom, autism

My husband is such a picky eater now that he’s out of the Army:

I hate Pasta. That’s pretty much all the Army fed me. Chicken and Pasta.” – my husband.

Elijah’s aversion (or just pure hatred) for certain textures doesn’t help my cause either:

I hate meatloaf! The texture is disgusting. But I will eat a Hamburger, as long as it has nothing else on it and I have extra ketchup to dip it into.” – Eli


Every day, I tried to figure out what to make for dinner. And since I seemed to have lost my marbles, my meal planning was lack luster. Who am I kidding. It was non-existent!

So when we had cereal and corn dogs for the 7th or 8th night in a row, my husband suggested we go back to using a meal plan. He said he liked the idea of knowing what we will have for dinner. The problem? They NEVER have any suggestions for dinner!!! Which means that I have to come up with a meal plan. Ever. Single. Week.

Let’s have Breakfast Monday” my husband suggested.

“Oh! And Pizza Friday” Elijah said right after that.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Were they actually suggesting dinner ideas?

Ohhhh…how about MEGA Breakfast Monday?” – my husband as he turns around to look at Elijah with a massive grin. Elijah’s response?

YES, YES, YES! With Bacon and Sausage!


And that is how it started.

We ended up coming up with a theme for every day of the week.

Here is our Weekly Meal Plan Menu Theme:


Mega Breakfast Monday
  • All things Breakfast. If it has eggs, bacon, sausage, or hash browns with it, it is deemed a breakfast in our house and will be considered for consumption.
Taco Tuesday
  • We’re from the South. We love Tex-Mex foods! I don’t care how far north we travel, I will get me my Mexican food fix!
Around the World Wednesday
  • This one came about, because my husband loves German food. I cannot, in any way, shape, or form argue with him on this. It’s kind of like Mexican food: No matter how far away I travel from Germany, I will make sure I get my German food fix! Good thing I learned some awesome dishes from my Opa (grandfather) and Babi (aunt) [pronounced like Bobby]!
  • But we also make dishes from other areas around the world. Pinterest will be one busy search engine. =)
Pasta Thursday
  • My husband HATES this day. But if I’m going to be cooking, I will get me my Pasta fix. At least, this will give me the chance to try different recipes. I really want to try a Cajun-inspired pasta dish.
Fantastic Pizza Friday
  • Of course, we cannot go a week without Elijah’s favorite thing to eat. So this day is all about Pizza inspired dishes.
Eat-whatever-you-find-night Saturday
  • This is my favorite day of the week! I don’t have to cook! Everyone in the house (except our doggies, of course, they still need to be fed) looks for their own food. Pretty much anything goes this night: cereal, corn dogs, sandwich, oatmeal, hot dogs, hot pockets, soup, etc. As long as this mommy doesn’t have to cook a gourmet meal. =)
(Super) Meat Sunday
  • My husband thought Super meat was a little corny. Who am I kidding? It’s extremely corny and there may even be a hint of sexually charged euphemism, depending on whom you ask. BUT Elijah thought it was funny, so I’m sticking with it! =)
  • Anyways, the point of this day is that we cook anything meats related: steaks, pork chops, burgers, etc.

I cannot tell you how much this simple and fun activity has helped me create a weekly meal plan. – If you want to get started on a meal plan check out these very simple meal plan printables

The meal plans help me cut down on stress. It is one less thing I have to worry about on a daily basis. And because I am planning meals ahead, I save money, (almost) eliminate impulse buying and I get to try new dishes without having to fork over a bunch of money- pun totally intended here. – Check out my post about how I save money on groceries on a limited income.

Coming up with a meal plan every week can get really frustrating. Especially when family members don’t do much to contribute other than eating the food. This short and fun activity really helped me to come up with new and different ideas for dinner. Plus, it means structure for Eli. He knows we will have breakfast every Monday and Pizza every Friday. And at the same time, I get to experiment with new dishes.

I’m excited about this. Oh, and today is Saturday…which means this momma right here does not have to cook! =)

What are your thoughts on creating a theme based meal plan?

Disclaimer: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. This page contains affiliate links. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.

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