Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Organizing your meal list

Welcome back to Meal Planning 101!

Hopefully, you've taken some time and have a list of 15 main dinner meals.

Today, we're going to find a way to organize those meals!

There are many ways to keep track of what meal is going to be done on what night. Some examples include:

Paper Calenders
Computer calenders

We'll go through each method, and the problem I have with each ;). Keep in mind, that while an idea might not work for me, it might be perfect for you!

Paper Calenders

The most basic way to keep track of your meals, paper calenders are simple and easy to use. You can use your existing calender, or print out a template from Microsoft Word.
Then, you simply write the meals you are having in each box.

Here's my problem with paper calendars. I write in pen.
I could use pencil. But I dare you to find a pencil in my house that is both sharp and has an erasure. then, I dare you to keep that pencil for 7 days straight.
Good Luck.

So my calenders started becoming very messy!

What happened? We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and bought some Basil. Well, I could either make a whole bunch of Pesto right then and there and freeze it... but we know that isn't happening. So, I have to use it within a few days before it goes bad.

So, we cross off Sunday's meal, and substitute the Pesto.
But, then the In-laws call Sunday morning, and invite us to dinner.
So, we cross off Monday's hamburgers instead, and put the pesto there.
But what happens to the produce I bought for the hamburgers?
So, they get moved to Tuesday, and both Sunday and Tuesday's meals get canceled.

It's a mess.

Computer calenders don't work for me because I like to have something tangible in my hand. I also need it to be in the kitchen so it's near the food I'm preparing.


When putting this presentation together for my church, I talked to a lady who schedules her meals SIX WEEKS in advance! (is your jaw open in astonishment? Mine was!)
Oh, just wait. It gets better. She doesn't repeat meals during that time!
NO REPEAT MEALS!!! Can you imagine?

Now, that's not a goal that you have to strive for, especially if you really don't care for cooking.
But, I do! So I did it.
I created a 6week menu plan without repeats!
Now, you'll see "Mexican" in there more than once, and of course "leftovers". And I left some spots open for "new meals" that I find recipes for. But, overall, there are 6 weeks of unique meals!

I organized these 6 weeks in my binder.

The current weeks menu goes in the front.
There is a grocery list for every week, and relevant recipes as well. Everything is in one place.

Hopefully, I gave you some new ideas!

Do you have a different one? Let's hear it!

Day Two assignment! You'll have a few days to accomplish this one.

Discover a system that works for you. Write down at least 2 weeks of meals.

Next, we'll talk about grocery shopping!

1 comment:

  1. wow you are organized, and what great ideas!! You live in my same state, so I had to check you out. Your blog is darling--go UTAH! I love the thought of planning out meals....i just wish someone else would do it for me!! You are great!
    check me out: