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Make This One Easy List To Save Your Sanity At Dinnertime

"My Go-To Dinners" Printable List

It can be a pretty formidable task to get dinner on the table at the best of times, but during December it seems almost impossible! The whole family is busy with various parties, programs, gatherings, and events all month long. In all the holiday hubbub, any plans for dinner can easily slip your mind. By 6 o’clock I’m usually scrambling to figure out a quick and easy meal that I can make for dinner…and that’s when I pull out my “secret weapon!”

"My Go-To Dinners" Printable List

My “secret weapon” for solving dinner crises was actually something I first started doing years and years ago, when my kids were little. Some of my kids were pickier eaters than others, and it was getting hard to remember who liked or disliked a particular meal. So I started keeping track of the meals that all of my kids seemed to like (or at least tolerate,) and I wrote them up as a list. I stuck that list to the inside of one of my kitchen cupboards, and would refer to it when I was in desperate need of dinner inspiration.

Related: 7 Easy Meals To Make When You Have Zero Time

"My Go-To Dinners" Printable List

This list of “go-to dinners” ended up being extremely helpful, and that’s why I wanted to share my list method with you today! I think everyone could benefit from keeping a list like this, especially during times like the holidays where cooking or meal planning tend to get put on the back burner. (This list has saved me from calling the pizza delivery service many times!)

But rather than having you write down your list on a small notepad page like I did originally, I thought I’d put together a much cuter version, just for you! Happy early Christmas! :-)

"My Go-To Dinners" Printable List

“My Go-To Dinners” Printable List

Use the link below to download this free printable list. Then print it out, fill in the spaces with your family’s favorite quick-and-easy dinners. (Just the hits, people! There are only 10 spaces, so make sure you’re writing down the recipes that are most frequently requested and most popular in your house.)

"My Go-To Dinners" Printable List

Then the next time you’re in need of a quick dinner idea, or you just can’t decide what to make, refer back to your list. Pick one of those meals, get it on the table, and stop stressing! :-)

"My Go-To Dinners" Printable List

What Are My Go-To Dinners?

In case you’re curious, here’s what is on my Go-To Dinners list these days. (I’ve shared a few of these recipes in past blog posts, which you can view by clicking on the linked items.)

I hope my Go-To Dinners printable list helps make your holidays a little less hectic! :-)

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • My kids used to always ask for grilled cheese sandwiches and now the grand kids ask for them also! When I have time I fry up some bacon to add to them also. Tomatoe soup is always a good choice to go with them too.

  • Jillee,
    I use Planner Pad. It is the best Planner I’ve ever purchased. It has a funnel effect. It’s wonderful. Its good for business and personal all in one planner. Just a suggestion.

  • I keep a journal in my kitchen where I enter in holiday menus and hand-write all the recipes. A few years ago I started adding the everyday favorites to the journal. It was like hitting the jackpot when I inherited all my grandmother and mother’s handwritten recipe cards. I wanted to give my children a similar gift but make it more useable than 5 file boxes worth of cards to sort through each time we wanted a special recipe. Both children are grown but I have seen then looking through my journal and snapping a picture of a recipe they want to make at their own home.

  • I started to do something like this the other day, but then I made a different list instead. We eat out WAY TOO OFTEN. So I made a list of each restaurant we like to go to, and what our favorite meals are there. Then I’ve started making the time to research recipes to recreate the same thing at home. Whenever we’re feeling lazy and don’t want to cook after work, or just craving a particular eatery, we can make it at home instead. It’s a lot easier to resist the urge to eat out when I already have the ingredients and recipes at home!

  • Duh! I’ve heard elsewhere of listing the family favorites, but I never thought about keeping a running list and adding to it AS I SERVED a successful meal. I always tried to sit down and write out my list cold turkey. No one can remember things like this! Thanks so much for improving an old idea that never worked for me, into something I see being super helpful!

  • I love this “Dinner List” idea!! Another great idea is to sit down on Sunday and plan out your meals for the entire week. Write them down and post on your refrigerator so that you have easy access and anyone else in the family can see what is planned for any day of the coming week. Also, you can shop around your weekly menu. And I include all meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This saves me a lot of time and energy. And I don’t have to “stress” about what’s for dinner.

  • I keep this same list, but I keep it on my Google drive so I can easily access it at work or on my phone. It also has a short list of ingredients by each meal so I know whether I need to go to the store or not on my way home.

  • Several years ago, (at least 8 years), I came upon the ‘picky eaters’ in adults. Since I my ‘keep’ recipes are put in Word documents and kept on my computer, I also made a recipe section called ‘Tips on People’s Likes – Dislikes’ and added it to that file. Each person has their own page, and I add to it as I learn more about them in this regard. I have less than ten pages for people in this file heading, as I only put someone in it who has issues with some foods, whether it be gluten or the texture, or a nightshade avoidance, or whatever the issue is. Another way would be to make an Excel type spreadsheet for this, where you can see everyone at one time and what the issues are that you need to avoid for a meal, party, or function of some sort. This has made my life with serving others much easier with less accidents regarding remembering who has an issue and what it is that I need to avoid. My friends with these issues also know that I do this, thus it makes them much more comfortable in coming to our house to eat for any occasion, too! (These pages of ‘issues’ stay on my computer – they are never printed/kept in a physical recipe notebook to respect these friends privacy – they are for my eyes only.)

  • Great ideas for easy meals!! So many times I draw a mental blank when trying to fix a quick, nutritious meal. Thanks! ….and a little suggestion,…you can do a tutorial on switching your refrigerator and freezer handles to the opposite side of the doors. It only requires a screwdriver, I’m pretty sure. I have done this, but it has been many years ago. It’s very easy. Makes a huge difference in the efficiency of your kitchen. So the door opens up toward you instead of against you.

  • Love all that you do Jillee!!! You are the absolute BEST!!! I’ve implemented sooo many of your incredibly wonderful ideas!!! Love, love, LOVE receiving your helpful emails! This is another winner. Thank you!

  • Great idea. My Mom does something similar to this. She has a little chart with ideas for planning menus. What’ you could also do with this idea is have meals that are quick and easy.

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