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Monday, February 18, 2013

Meal Planner

Do you (some of you I'm sure, do) know how much I hate asking, "What sounds good for dinner?"?!  I HATE it! I love cooking and baking, but I do not always like being the one to come up with what we eat.  I mean....sometimes, can't a girl get a little help?
You know what you need to do?  Make a menu board and get everyone to pitch in with what they want....makes life a breeze!
Yesterday, I decided the menu board I made last spring* has been hanging out behind the couch for far too long! In fact, it's been there since we moved here in August (that's a tad embarrassing!)
I told Ze-Ra to go grab a piece of lined paper, number it 1-30, but a Z next to lines 1-7 and a D next to lines 8-16.  She was then told to write in what she wanted for dinner in the next month on lines 1-7, she got so into it, she even came up with a list of side dishes she wanted so she made a second list on the back.  Wolverine then filled in his lines, 8-16.  I then filled in the rest with what I wanted, a few left over nights, and a few "adventure" nights for new dishes.

Now, all I had to do was find all of the selected foods on the cards I made last spring - but there have been some new additions to our menu since then, so I used some blank ones, and some backs of other cards.  I got all 30 main dishes set out and set to laying them out on the calendar.
Then I went through the side dish cards and paired them up with a coordinating main dish.
All in all, it probably took me about 30-45 minutes start to finish, but I also went through and organized all the unused cards (because I have a sickness). :)

Now....I can plan my grocery list out and always have what I have on hand.  I NEVER have to say, what do you want to eat?!  I know we usually end up moving a few things around and there might be some food that gets bumped to next month due to a large amount of something in the reclaimed produce boxes, something coming up, or just a massive craving, but it feels so liberating!!! :)

Do you plan your meals in advance?  What system do you use?

*Here's how I made mine:

How to Make Your Own Menu Board 

Step 1:  I took a piece of plywood we had laying around the house, covered it with quilt batting and stapled around the edges.
Step 2:  I then covered the batting with a fabric scrap and stapled that on as well.
Step 3:  Using ribbon, I divided the board into a "calendar".
Step 4:  I then also used ribbon to make a loop for hanging it and three loops for hanging the food cards.
Step 5:  I used scrapbook paper cut into squares for the cards and I just punched a hole in the corner to then thread them onto a binder ring.
Step 6:  I used mini clothes pins from Hobby Lobby to make sure the cards don't slip from behind the ribbon.

I thought I'd include a picture of the back so you could see what it looked like in case you were curious.

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