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We came up with a fun theme night menu plan a few years ago and it worked really well for us. Life got crazy busy, we threw in a major move, and I had all but forgotten about it.
We are about to start a new school year and I need a menu plan in place so we can keep our trips to the drive-thru to a minimum. I remembered our old menu plan and decided to revamp it to fit our current schedule.
Typical weekly menu plans, where you decide on a recipe for each night, don’t work for me. Spaghetti might have sounded good when I wrote the menu, but not so much when the planned night arrived. (I have to be in the mood for a particular food to enjoy it. Not saying that’s a good thing, just keeping it real!)
Our theme night menu assigns a food category to each night. I choose our meals based on what is in our fridge & pantry that week. I try to keep staples on hand for each category to make it easier – tortillas, pasta, tomato sauce, etc. – so that several recipes are interchangeable. I keep track of it all in my beautiful Mama Miss planner – in pencil of course, for when I change my mind.
An overview of our themes
Mexican Monday – This could more accurately be called Tex-Mex Monday, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily. I try to find little ways to brighten up Monday since it seems to be a more difficult day for everyone, so I serve our favorites on this night.
Italian Tuesday – I attend a ladies’ Bible study off and on throughout the year on Tuesday night. Italian food is simple and quick – add some garlic bread and salad or green beans, and I’m done!
One Pot Wednesday – This a new category for us. Starting mid-October, Sweetpea and I will be heading to church for Christmas play practice an hour & a half before the rest of our gang. I learned the hard way last year that I need to have dinner made ahead of time. I am sticking to meals that can be made in one pot – casseroles, stews, and crockpot recipes.
Thrifty Thursday – Meals on this night will be focused on inexpensive ingredients or using up leftovers. I jokingly tell my husband that we are having CORN for dinner – Clean Out the Refrigerator Night.
Pizza Fun Friday – We tried several homemade pizza crust recipes before we found this delicious New York Style Pizza Crust. It is so yummy and almost foolproof! I double the recipe for the seven of us to make individual pizzas, and there is enough dough left over for a dessert pizza.
My Theme Night Menu Plan
I am linking to some of my favorites, and I will also try to add my own recipes as I get a chance. I tend to just throw things together without knowing exact measurements.
Sides: Spanish rice, chips & fresh salsa, guacamole
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Carne Asada
- Taco Salad
- Salsa Verde Beef
Sides: salad, green beans, garlic bread
- Baked Ziti
- Pesto Pasta
- Chicken Parmesan
- Fetuccine Alfredo
~One Pot Wednesday~
- CORN – Clean Out the Refrigerator Night (made with leftovers)
- Breakfast – burritos, biscuits & sausage gravy, pancakes, stuffed french toast
- Salad & Baked Potatoes
- Cheeseburger Macaroni
~Pizza Fun Friday~
- Cheese Bread
- Dessert Pizza – brown sugar cinnamon, s’mores
Check out more tips for Feeding the Homeschool Family from the iHomeschool Network bloggers.