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23rd Aug 2020

Back to school: One’s mum’s simple idea will take the hassle out of dinner planning

Trine Jensen-Burke

dinner planning

Is there anything as stressful as racing around the aisles of your local Supervalu at 5.30pm, desperately trying to figure out what the heck you are going to cook for dinner that evening?

The answer is no. No, there is nothing more stressful. Especially if you, like me, also have two tired, cranky kids in tow who is just making the whole debacle even more hellish than it already is by complaining over every suggestion you are making in regards to the dinner, and crying because no, you don’t remember that you had promised them ice cream the next time you went into a shop.

And just the (rather frequent) scenario above is the exact reason I love this clever idea that UK mum Lou Kirsty Yeoman recently came up with.

Originally sharing the idea on the Organise my UK home ltd Facebook group, Yeoman explains how, after spotting the idea on a Slimming World group, she decided to use it to create a similar plan for all the family dinners.

dinner planning

She DIY-ed a board, painted it and added screws and string, which would allow her to easily hang it to her kitchen wall. Next, Yeoman stuck a sclip beside each day, and wrote a selection of all her family’s favourite meals on some wooden lollipop sticks.

Dinner planning

Then, the crafty mum explains, each week she simply picks out seven sticks at random and clips them onto the board. The rule is that whatever the sticks says goes and she can go out and buy all the ingredients. Options include chicken orzo, crispy chilli beef, fajita, pasta bake, rogan josh, nachos, spag bol and campfire stew.

Clever? I know.

Yeoman herself runs a business printing vinyl stickers, so finding stickers for her board was not an issue – but you can also probably stencil on something similar, or head over to Pinterest, where you’ll find lots of free printables you can download and print at home on your own printer.

After posting her DIY project online, plenty other parents were quick to comment on how clever the idea was, and how they had been inspired to create their own versions.

‘This has made life so much easier,” one person wrote. “No thinking what to make every day pick a stick and that’s what we are having.’

While someone else added: ‘I’m planning to do something like this for jobs around the house for the kids. Never thought of doing one for meals too.’