If you can jazz up a party with a theme, why not do the same thing at your dinner table? Beat taste-bud boredom and take-out temptation with theme nights!
Plan ahead and make a meal schedule that takes into account the types of foods your family loves, then get creative. By planning ahead, you’ll cut down on the six o’clock scramble and be less likely to turn to take-out or eating out.
Bonus: theme nights are a great way to introduce new foods and flavors using the comfort of a familiar dish.
Here are a few theme night examples to get you started:
Description: Get the family involved! Kids can choose the shape, cheese and add-ins for a pasta meal.
Suggestion: Baked Pasta.
Money-saving tip: Dried pasta keeps for a while so look for sales and stock up on your favorite shapes.
Description: Pizza pies, pot pies and hand pies…not to mention tarts and quiches.
Suggestion: No time? Reach for a 365 Everyday Value® Organic Chicken & BBQ Sauce Individual Size Pizzas (download coupon)and Gluten-Free Apple Frangipane Tart (download coupon).
Money-saving tip: To make it an affordable, full meal, serve your pie alongside a tossed green salad with chopped apples or pears and toasted nuts.
Around the World
Description: Pick a country and focus your meal on its native cuisine.
Suggestion: Indian Dal with 365 Everyday Value® Original Tandoori Naan (download coupon).
Money-saving tip: Don’t go overboard! Invest in just a few world-flavor condiments for a cuisine your family likes and use them up before trying new ones.
For a few weeks designate Mondays “Sandwich Smorgasbord Night”, Tuesdays “Breakfast for Dinner” Night and Wednesdays “Dinner on a Stick Night”, and watch the payoff. You might just find that your family is more engaged in the meal planning process and that you’re less likely to turn to more expensive last-minute mealtime solutions.
Find more theme night ideas and tips for saving time and money in The Whole Deal® value guide.
Veggie Mondays. Seafood Saturdays. Stir-fry Sundays. Have you discovered the reward of theme nights yet? Tell me about it in the comments section below.