Three words I dread: What's for dinner?

On any given night at the Young Château, this conversation can occur:
"What do you want for dinner?"
"I don't know. What do you want?”
"I don't know. Do you want me to go out and get something?"
"If you want to."
"Do you want me to?"
"I guess. What do you want?"
"I don't know. Anything I guess."
"Okay, how about pizza?"
"No, I don't really want that. We’ve had pizza three times already this week.”
"How about tacos?"
"No. I don't feel like tacos tonight."
"Spaghetti?"
"No."
“How about pancakes or cereal?"
"I don't know. Anything I guess."
“How about a ‘Cook Your Own, Clean Your Own Night?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, we better decide on something because the savages will be home in 10 minutes and they’ll be ready to eat the drywall off our walls.”
 
Let’s face it. We stink at answering that three-word question. For me, it isn't so much the cooking itself that I don't like, but rather the task of meal planning that makes me want to throw in the towel and dial up delivery. It always turns out that whatever we prepare was also the main course of the lunch at school.
 
Of course, it would be waaaaay simpler I were at home all day, so I could peruse cookbooks, plan menus, do the shopping once a week, and start cooking it at around 3 p.m. each day. 
 
I’ve done the crockpot thing, and that works great, but even those dishes get old after a while. I mean my kids really like the change in pace from always having to dish their meals with a ladle.
 
So, like all parents searching for the holy grail of dinner preparedness, I went to the internet. It turns out, like with all things electronic today, there are apps (short for “applications” for you non-tech folks) that help you decide what’s for dinner. Here are a few:
 
• “Supercook” lets you enter in everything you have in your pantry and it will find a recipe with those ingredients.
 
• “Once a Month Mom”. First, I find offense to this, since I’m a dad, and I like to cook. Anyway, this program helps you plan and freeze an entire MONTH of meals for your family. Once a month you will spend up to 12 hours  in one day cooking for the entire month. There’s no guarantee either that the family will like what you’ve prepared.
 
• Menu Planner and Ziplist both help you create shopping lists and meal plans. (Funny, but doesn’t a piece of paper do the same thing?).
 
These are all fine and good, but they fail at the basic problem highlighted in the conversation at the beginning of this piece. We are indecisive at what to prepare. I can make lists and cook the food, but it’s the deciding part that we stumble over. 
 
That’s why the phrase, “OK, let’s just go out to eat.” is a sure-fire winner every single time.