Dinner Decision Jar

We’re sharing another quick and easy Valentine’s Day gift idea today, a dinner decision jar!

Truth be told, this idea is not a new one.

In fact, if you Googled “Date night jar activities,” millions of suggestions like this one would probably come up.

I didn’t even know I needed a dinner decision jar until I was writing out my birthday bucket list and realized I had more restaurants I wanted to eat at than we actually had time for.

How to Create a Dinner Decision Jar-The Crowned Goat

So, after my birthday, I took all the places we couldn’t make it to and created a restaurant bucket list.

And then decided to turn it into a dinner decision jar that will hopefully not only help address the “What do you feel like tonight?” and the “What’s for dinner?” dilemma we sometimes face on the weekends when we don’t feel like cooking.

I’m also hoping it will help us rediscover old favorites and push us out of our comfort zone in search of fresh culinary experiences.

As a picky eater, I could definitely use a gentle nudge.

How to Make a Dinner Decision Jar-The Crowned Goat

Here’s a look at how you can create a dinner decision jar too…

Dinner Decision Jar Supplies:

  • Jar or Container
  • Slips of Paper or Store-Bought Tags
  • Pen, Pencil, or Markers
  • Restaurant Ideas

Dinner Decision Jar Steps:

Make sure your jar or container is free from dirt and debris.

To make things festive, I’m placing our restaurant ideas in this DIY pink glass gumball machine I created over the holidays.

But you can use any clear container you have on hand.

I’ve been trying to use up as many craft supplies as I can lately, so I cut slips from decorative scrapbook paper.

Using store-bought gift tags would make this idea quick and easy as well though.

Remember to decide in advance how many weeks you plan to go out. That way, you’ll know how many tags to buy or slips of paper to make.

If you plan to do this for an entire year, you’ll need 52 slips. If you usually go out to dinner once a month, you’ll need 12.

Write down one restaurant on each slip of paper.

Fold the slip of paper in half, then place it in the jar.


Things to Keep in Mind…

Be sure to keep your dinner decision jar in a convenient place so you can use it often.

If you run out of ideas, ask friends, family members, or coworkers for their recommendations.

If you want to make this dinner decision jar family-friendly, ask your kids to add their favorite places. Then rotate who gets to pick a new place to eat each week.

You can also make it a date night jar by adding special activities you and your significant other enjoy like “sunset cruise” or “miniature golf” or “a night at the theater.”

Truthfully, you can make it as simple or as detailed as you like. The most important part of this project is to make time for those restaurants and activities you love most!

For more meal planning resources you can read our quick and easy guide, How to Meal Plan by the Month here, or check out our Monthly Menu Ideas here.

If you need more Valentine’s Day inspiration, check out these posts…

17 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

17 Simple Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day-The Crowned Goat

25 DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

25 DIY Valentine's Day Gift Ideas-The Crowned Gaot

Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift Guide-The Crowned Goat
Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. What a cute idea CoCo! My husband and I have so many places and restaurants we want to explore. This would be so helpful in deciding where to start. Have a great week! – Meagan

    1. Thank you, Meagan! It’s already been helping us discover new places to eat. I’m a picky eater so I was a little skeptical at first but it’s been so much fun. Hope you guys love it too. Hugs, CoCo

  2. You have no idea how much frustration this could save us! We constantly play the, “I don’t care, where do you want to go?” game. I’m definitely doing this! 😃

    1. I can completely relate, Susan! We do that when all 12 of us are together as well and it drives us bananas 😂 We’ve already tried this and it worked out well. I hope it does for you guys too. I think the trick is coming up with a good balance of old favorites and new restaurants to try. Hugs, CoCo

  3. Ooh, I love this. I’ve made a very utilitarian chore jar in the past, but its non-cuteness made me never want to use it.
    I love how you used scrapbook paper. I’m going to try your idea!

    1. That’s exciting, Corrie! You can use a variety of containers for this project and lots of different colors of scrapbook paper too. I swear the hardest part was trying to find new restaraunts. We’ve used this idea already and worked out well. I hope it does for you too. Sending you hugs and hoping you’re on the mend, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much sweet friend! I knew I had to do something drastic to help us get out off the “What do you want?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” hamster wheel. It was too much 🤣 Thinking of you as you recover from surgery and begin the healing process. Big hugs, CoCo

  4. I love this idea! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with dinner, and not really know what you want.

    1. It is! Choosing restaurants out of our comfort zone made me a little hesitant at first but it’s been a lot of fun to try new things. Hope your week has been filled with all good things, CoCo

  5. Coco I love this idea! how fun to mix it up a little bit too!

    1. Thank you, Nicolle! It has definitely helped us to mix it up and to have fun being surprised too. Hope you’re week has been a fun one, CoCo

  6. I often here about a new restaurant and then can’t remember the name when we do decide to try it. Great idea and it would may nudge Hubs as well.

    1. I can completely relate to this, Leanna! I swear I’m going to make a notes folder in my phone of new places to try and then I totally forget. I hope you guys can find lots of fun places to enjoy. It’s hard to get out of your food comfort zone sometimes but it’s definitely worth it. Hugs, CoCo

  7. I love how you can take a problem and find an amazing solution to it! Not only that, but you make everything you touch look so pretty! This is such a great idea and a fun way to decide where to go out to dinner! We love eating at Disney restaurants because the chefs can prepare anything that’s gluten and dairy free! There are so many great restaurants we want to try but we just keep going to the same old places! This idea will put a stop to that!! I’m going to implement this at my house! Thanks for sharing your amazing creativity with us!

    1. That’s such a sweet and thoughtful thing to say, Donna, thank you. I definitely want things to be beautiful and I love simple pleasures but goodness our lives can get so hectic at times I need things to be easy. I had no idea the chefs at Disney could prepare anything gluten and dairy free. My sister and my niece are both lactose intolerant so I will that along to them. Two of my nephews also have food allergies as well and every time we eat with them I try to be mindful. They’ll all be tickled pink to hear this news! I hope you, Rich, and the boys find lots of fabulous new places to enjoy. Hugs, CoCo

  8. I love this idea. It’s also a great way to remember new restaurants that you want to try. Just write the name on a tag and add it to the jar. Using your pink gum ball machine is perfect for this activity. So creative CoCo. Hugs to you.

  9. Hi Coco, I am visiting from Tiny Nest. Initially I thought your dinner jar was what to make for dinner, not what restaurant to visit, but regardless I think this is a great idea. I hate trying to figure out what to make, and this would be perfect to take the guess work out of it! Thank you for sharing!

  10. This is such a great idea and the cutest way to decide ANYTHING! Thank you for sharing it with us on Farmhouse Friday. Featuring it tomorrow! I always love it when you link up. pinned

  11. Pingback: May Menu Ideas –

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