10 solutions for the what’s for dinner dilemma

Dinnertime comes around every night along with that dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”

It is always a challenge to come up with ideas for dinner, to keep dinner interesting and to still make it simple, easy and not stressful.

Plate with question mark

Here are 10 possible solutions for the “what’s for dinner” dilemma.

Find dinner ideas:

1. Look through the coupons in the Sunday’s paper or gather coupons online. Not only could you find some coupons for meals you typically make, but you could also find new dinner ideas.

2. Grab a cup of tea, dust off your cookbooks and take a look at them! Also check Facebook and ask family and friends.

3. For 40 quick and easy recipes, you can download The Confident Mom Got Dinner? e-book for $4 (affiliate link).

Got Dinner? Quick & Easy Recipes

4. Look at various sauces or marinades while at the store or online. If you find an interesting topping for meat, you can just add some complementary side dishes (potatoes, rice, noodles, vegetables, etc.) and you’ll have a new dinner idea.

One of my favorite brands is Stonewall Kitchen. They have several different sauces, seasonings, chutneys and more. Look under Specialty Foods on their site (affiliate link).

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

5. Check the back of boxes, cans and other packages for recipes you can use. See my post on 5 simple back-of-the-box recipes for some of my favorites.

6. Use sites and apps to find recipes based on ingredients. Here are a few you can try:

Free version:

Pro version:

7. When people ask you what you want for your birthday and you are not sure, suggest restaurant gift cards. That way you can have a night off from making dinner, guilt-free!

Get Organized:

8. Take a few minutes to write a meal plan for each week. Grab a piece of paper and write down each day of the week. Then next to each day write a dinner idea. Start with some meals you typically make to get you started. Try to add one new recipe every week.

When creating your meal plan, consider the ingredients. If one recipe requires carrots and celery, or example, think about something else you could make that would use those same ingredients. This will make sure no food gets wasted, will reduce costs, and will shorten your grocery list.

Try to make at least one or two of the meals on your weekly plan ones that usually have leftovers. This will give you a night off from cooking. Pasta meals typically work well for this, but you can always double a recipe to make extra as well.

9. Make a shopping list based on your meal plan so you buy everything you need to make dinner each week. Remember to also add items you buy regularly to your shopping list so you don’t forget them (milk, yogurt, juice, bread, etc.).

Organize the items on your list the way your grocery store is laid out. This will get you in and out of the grocery store faster.

10. Organize your recipes. This may seem like an overwhelming task but if you work on it 10 minutes at a time, you will be amazed at how quickly you can get them organized. This will make it easy to find recipes, and to get a sense of what recipes you already have to work with.

When you find a recipe you like either in a magazine or online, make sure you save it and/or print it, if you want a paper copy. You will need something to store and organize your paper recipes. You can buy the Collected Recipes organizer from my Clever Container website in the Kitchen category. This recipe solution has 8 pocketed tab dividers and 36 two-sided magnetic pages to hold your recipe clippings.

Bonus: If you collect and organize a book of recipes, you can share this treasure with family members. My husband’s family gave me a “collected family recipes” binder as a wedding gift! 🙂

Collected Recipes Book

If you like to store your recipes electronically, create a Recipes folder on your computer or a folder in your browser bookmarks so when you find a recipe you like, you have a place to store it.

 How do you solve the “what’s for dinner” dilemma? 

 


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