Episode 167 Get Out of a Dinner Rut

January is often a time when we want to freshen things up in our home and lives. It is also a time where we can feel like we are in a “dinner rut.” This podcast has four tips to get you out of a dinner rut and freshen up your weekly meal plans.

Tip 1 – It’s Okay to be Boring

Episode 90 is all about how there are seasons of life when it is okay to be boring. You may want to freshen up dinner, but if you are in a season of “survival mode” do not feel like you are failing if you have very simple meals over and over again. 

Tip 2 – Make Small Tweaks to Your Regular Meals

Small changes can make meals feel fresh and new.

  • Swap chicken for beef in your favorite taco meat,
  • Change up the shape of the pasta.
  • Mix pasta and sauce and put it in a casserole dish and bake for a twist on spaghetti.
  • Add some cream to broth based soups.
  • Swap sausage for beef in your favorite recipe.
  • Swap dumplings or tortellini for the pasta or rice in your favorite soup.

You don’t have to make all new recipes to freshen up dinner in your home.

Tip 3 – Try a New Recipe

I know this may sound obvious, but hear me out. The hardest part of making a new recipe is finding a recipe that meets your family’s set of preferences.  Episode 146 is all about how to pick a recipe your family will eat.

When you look at a recipe ask yourself two questions:

  • What about this recipe is familiar?
  • What about this recipe is new?

Aim for recipes that have a little familiar and a little new for your best chance at your family liking the new dish.

Tip 4 – (My best tip for getting out of a dinner rut) Go to a New Grocery Store

There is something about seeing foods in a different environment that can spark creativity in the kitchen. 

  • Give yourself some time to slowly walk through the store (this is not a 15 minute grocery run)
  • Give yourself a little extra money (even $10-20) to buy something new or unique.

You will likely see an ingredient that reminds you of a recipe you made a long time ago or you will find a new product to try. It might be a new veggie or cut of meat or fish or you may find a new convenience item that inspires you. 

When you try new ideas or recipes put them in your recipe index.

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Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active teens. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. Check out her YouTube Channel or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

This podcast was sponsored by Yummy Crate. Get 50% off your first month and free shipping with code FYFT.

Episode 131 A New Way to Look at Recipes

Episode is about Recipes

Weeknight dinner success is more about time management than it is about recipes. To be successful you want to choose the right kind of recipe for the amount of time and energy you will have on a given day.

In this episode Marie walks you through six ways to categorize recipes by the amount of time you need to prepare them. 

  • Long Prep Project Cooking
    • These are special occasion meals like homemade potstickers or baklava. 
  • Long Prep Bulk or Freezer Prep
    • These are recipes like Big Batch Taco Meat, or making 3 Lasagnas at a time. You have one for dinner and several for your freezer.
  • Short Prep Long Hands Off Cooking
    • These are recipes that take a few minutes to prep and cook for a long time but you do not have to tend to them while they are cooking. Roast Chicken and Crock Pot meals.
  • Short Prep Moderate Hands On Cooking
  • Short Prep  and Short Hands Off Cooking
  • Freezer Revival Meals
    • These are things you have prepped earlier that you can quickly put in the oven or defrost and serve. Frozen Lasagna and Taco Meat are examples. 

Start thinking about what meals you make and where they fit in these categories. It will help you when you fill out your weekly meal planning sheet. How much time and energy will you have on a given day? Can you prep in the morning or the night before? Do you need to use something from the freezer you made earlier? Do you have time to do a little freezer prep?


Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.