“Date Jars” Reimagined

Do you ever see those cute little Date Jars on Pinterest? I have absolutely fallen in love with the idea of them, myself. 

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For those of you who do not know what a Date Jar is, it is essentially a jar filled with a collection of paper scraps or Popsicle sticks on which date ideas are written. The structure is divided up however you like it, but my personal favorite paints the tips of the sticks with a color corresponding with a price tag- or estimated cost of the activity. I have seen them done as simply as all being one category and unlabeled, however, so it really is up to you.

When you want to go on a date with your partner, you simply pull one out and do the activity listed. It is such a simple way to solve indecisiveness or fix that cycle of “whatever you want to do”. But then I thought “my Husband and I are both terribly indecisive about what we want for dinner most nights”, and an idea was born using the date jar as a foundation.

I apologize for the terrible picture. As we are both still living in the basement it is rather difficult to get any decent pictures down here. Regardless, this lovely little jar of multicolored beauties has been a life saver lately when it comes to my Meal Plans. I jokingly call it the “what’s for dinner” jar and its creation is so unbelievably simple.

Like with the concept behind the Date Jar, I divided sets of popsicle sticks up into groups of 12, then painted them different colors for different categories. After the paint was dry I wrote various recipe names on the sticks and placed them in a jar I had on hand. Below you can find a color key, as well as the individual recipes my Husband and I have chosen to include in each category.

Blue for Seafood dishes:

  • Fish Fillet
  • Mahi-Mahi with Mango Salsa
  • Tilapia
  • Cod Fillets
  • Honey and Walnut Shrimp
  • Sun-dried tomato, Spinach, and Marinated Shrimp Pasta
  • Seafood Pasta
  • Tuna Helper
  • Mussels
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Tilapia with Sweet Sage Cream
  • Scallops

Gold for Poultry dishes:

  • Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells
  • Rosemary Roasted Turkey
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Baked Chicken
  • Honey Barbeque Chicken
  • Fried Chicken
  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Quiche
  • White Chili
  • Chicken and Dumplings / Chicken Noodle soup
  • Sun-dried Tomato and Herb Egg Bake

Green for Vegetable and non meat dishes

  • Tofu
  • Lo Mein
  • Pancakes / Waffles
  • Vegetable Stew
  • Stuffed Squash
  • Curry
  • Fried Eggplant
  • Mozzarella and Vegetable Manicotti
  • Potato Soup
  • Spaghetti
  • Homestyle Pizza
  • Crockpot Tomato Soup

Bronze for Beef dishes

  • Hamburger Helper
  • Hamburgers
  • Meatloaf
  • Goulash
  • Stroganoff
  • Lasagna
  • Steak
  • Fillet Mignon
  • Beef Stew
  • Meat Pie
  • Chili
  • Pot Roast

Red for Pork dishes

  • Sweet and Savory Apple Porkchops
  • Pörkölt
  • Pork Loin
  • Barbeque Pulled Pork
  • Pork Chops
  • Pork Steak
  • Fried Pork Chops and Applesauce
  • Ham Steak and Eggs
  • Sweet and Sour Pork
  • Pork Ribs
  • Sausage and Eggs
  • Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches

Silver for Fast Food and Dining Out

  • 6 Fast Food Restaurants
  • 6 Dine-In Restaurants

My husband and I are both terribly indecisive about what we want for dinner most nights so this has been absolutely amazing for us- especially since I started doing the Meal Planning and Meal Prep at the beginning of the year. And the great thing about this, too, is that we can add recipes just by painting more sticks.

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