Monday, October 13, 2014

{31 Days #13} Breaking it Down: Food Section

From the very first week of my marriage, over 21 years ago, I have made a weekly menu and shopping list.  It wasn't because I was [necessarily] on a budget but because I couldn't stand not knowing at the start of the day what I was having for dinner.  I would have friends who would start wondering what they were going to eat at 4:00 in the afternoon.  It made me anxious!!  ~smile~  So, I have always had a meal plan, even if it was cereal one night, eat out the next and frozen meals, LOL!

Having a consistent method of planning, though, hasn't been my strong suite.  After all the many menus and recipes I have made and collected, I still find myself sitting down with paper and pen and wondering what we would eat for the week.  I couldn't recall favorites and sometimes I just wanted something simple.  Earlier this year, I started something new.  It certainly isn't an original idea; I was reminded of a system I saw on Pinterest and my idea grew from there.

It involves sticky notes of the flag variety.  I typed up a little printable to use but truly, you could just use graph paper or any note paper.  Down one side write down the meals that you are planning for.  You could do all three daily meals or, as I did, just the weekly dinner.

As I made my menu, I would write down the dishes or recipes on a sticky note and put it by the night I had planned on making it.  As I created a collection of these notes, I kept the extras on a sheet of paper behind the menu.  Now I have several and when I get ready to plan, I look over my meals and choose which ones I am going to make.  Sometimes I move them around and sometimes I move them to the next week.  Oh yeah, I actually have two "Dinner This Week" sheets in case I want to plan the following week before the current week is over.

Sometimes on the facing (blank) page, I'll make a note on a sticky that lists the side dishes I want to add, if the meal needs one.  Right now I have a note to remind me of theme nights I might want to follow (Pizza night, Crockpot Night, Kid's Pic, etc.)  Post-It Notes are your friends!

I try to keep this section simple and I don't include recipes in my planners. I keep all my recipes on 4x6 cards in a file box (I also have a good selection of plant-based cookbooks that I use regularly).  If I find one online that I want to try, I bookmark it on the computer or phone and print or write it down on a card only after I have made it and I am sure my family would like to see it repeated.

It works for me!

Be sure to check out my 31 Days Introduction for a list of topics I am covering this month!  Also, for more 31 Day topics (and there are a lot!) check out the 31 Days blog.

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