Plan + Prep

How to Simplify Dinner Planning: The NFL Strategy Every Busy Mom Needs

Get ready to save time and stress from deciding on dinner ONCE.

Everyone who knows me can tell you how much I LOVE football. I grew up watching the sport with my dad and never stopped. 

There are 52 players on every team, but only 11 of them can play in the game at a time. I always wondered why NFL teams hire more players than they can actually use in the game. 

Their strategy makes sense: they need to be able to rotate players at a moment’s notice. These backup players are necessary in case of injury and many other things. 

Learning to Meal Plan like The NFL 

I realized family meal planning is a whole heck of a lot easier when you have several menus lined up, instead of planning dinner one week at a time.

Today, I will show you how to simplify your dinner planning with a rotating menu. This is for all the mamas sick of spending their weekends making dinner meal plans for the week!

I used the NFL’s roaster approach as the strategy behind my 8-Week Rotating Menu Method. Here’s how I did it step by step:

Step 1: Draft Your Dinner Ideas

I want you to come up with 40 meals your family already loves. This can be meals you know how to make and recipes you’ve tried and they were a hit! 

I did this inside the Notes app on my iPhone before transferring them onto paper. 

Give yourself about 30 minutes and if you get stuck, I’ve got a ton of dinner ideas you can use to inspire you. You can download that list here! 

Step 2: Print Your Rotating Menus

I created 8 weekly menus to make this process so much easier. 

Once they’re filled out, you can staple the pages together or keep them in a folder to help you stay organized. 

Step 3: Fill Up Your Weekly Roaster

It is time to start filling up your menus. On your printable, circle which day of the week your menu will start on Sunday or Monday. 

Then, select five dinners you will cook each week from the ideas you drafted in Step 1 in no particular order. I choose five meals instead of seven because I personally don’t like to cook every single night (and if that’s you too, you’re my people!).

Those two days I’m not cooking in the kitchen, I intentionally plan for us to eat leftovers or order takeout. But if you have room in your food budget, you could use both days for takeout — it’s totally up to you! 

I’m not gonna lie, it took me three hours to create all 8 menus, but it was sooo worth it!!! 

You will feel amazing too once you’ve got all of your menus done.

Don’t Be Afraid To Make Trades

I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know that NFL teams trade players all the time when their not happy with them, so please don’t think your 8-Week Rotating Menus have to be set in stone!

It’s actually more like a blueprint, and thank goodness because sometimes you will want to make changes without having to start from scratch.

So if you ever stumble across a new recipe you want to try (and you will!), or you see a meal on your rotation you’re tired of, just swap it out for something better!

This post was all about how to simplify dinner planning with rotating weekly menus.

My hope is that this meal planning method makes your life a little bit easier. I can’t even begin to tell you just how much time and stress I’m saving from deciding on dinner once!!!

Download everything you need HERE and don’t forget to share this post with all your mommy friends!

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