Today I am thinking about how hard it has been for me to plan, shop and cook dinners for my family....
So about a year ago I over heard a couple of women talking about how hard it is to choose, plan, shop, and make dinners for their families...totally a topic I struggle with too...so I kinda sorta listened for a little bit...one of the women said, "I have decided to assign a theme to each day...like Mondays are breakfast for dinner, Tuesday is Italian, Wednesday is Mexican, Thursday is leftovers, etc..." I heard this and somewhere in the frustrated part of my mind a light clicked on! I could do that! So a few months ago I put my thoughts about that idea into action. I thought a lot about how much I HATE trying to figure out what to make for dinners, how much I HATE grocery shopping, and how much I would LOVE if this process was easier! So here is what I came up with:
I go grocery shopping every 2 weeks so the amount of meals I need to plan for is a lot...
- I chose 7 recipe themes
- I made a list of all the recipes that we like and placed them into my categories
- I then went through each recipe and wrote down the ingredients that I don't normally have in the house at all times (this is another part of the planning struggle for me...once I pick what to make I HATE digging out the recipe for each meal and trying to figure out what I need)
- Then I created CUTE 5x7 cards in Photoshop with my lists, printed them off at Wal-mart.
Can I just say that using my cards to make my list made my meal planning a SNAP!! It took half the time it normally does before I go out the door. I am so pleased. It WORKS!!!! Instead of needing to plan 12-14 meals it was so fun to pick 2 of each category (some how groups of 2 seem less daunting) and then right underneath each meal are the things I need...no more pulling recipes! And the great part about creating the cards in Photoshop is that I can add more recipes and print off a new card super easy too!
Here are my cards on a simple small black clip board that I used E6000 to glue 4 strong magnets to the back of so that I could hang it on my fridge.
This is my meal planning/list command post. (we have a stainless steal fridge so nothing sticks to the front...) I have my meal clip board, a pen, and it wouldn't be my house if I didn't have sticky note pads. The blue one is only for writing down my shopping list. Anytime I notice I am out of something I write it down. Food items on the left...non food items on the right. (yep...I am a little crazy when it comes to organizing things...) When I am ready to go shopping I pick my meals and write the ingredients on my list as well. Hooray!!! It totally works. (also...see the orange sticky note? That is where I write the list of what meals I have ingredients for and plan on making during the 2 weeks. Assigning a theme to each day works great, but sometimes I just don't wanna cook pancakes/breakfast on Monday and so I can just pick something else off the list!
January is the month for organizing and starting anew...how can you make your meal planning and shopping easier?
Think about it...