February 20, 2009

Dinner and shopping Part One

First it is SNOWING - I love the snow but this caught me off guard - I swear I checked the weekend weather a few times today and I saw NO snow in the forecast...and yet I can't see my yard, I can't see my driveway and it is frigid cold out! Guess that is why we had 40mph winds today!!

OK OK....I am FINALLY posting my meal/shopping planning plan. On popular demand I must say. I hesitate - what if you don't like it, what if it won't work for you? Well then I am SORRY! But maybe you will be able to use parts of it to simplify your life a little bit!

I am going to do this in a 3 part post over the weekend. Why?? You might ask...because it can be very overwhelming - especially at first. If you are up for the challenge over the weekend you will be done by Sunday Night and ready to shop (though I kind of recommend that you start on the first week of month...(and probably save a fair amount money too)! If you are not ready you can print the posts or bookmark them and come back when you are!

1. Planning family meals

Get yourself a notebook, a spiral will do you well. I prefer the little lined ones (college ruled) cuz you can fit more on a page!

Get yourself a pencil and a sharpener (you will need it) and make sure it has an eraser that works too...non of that black smeary junk it will be frustrating for you.

Now put your notebook and your pencil someplace you can get to quick and jot on fast!

Title one page DINNERS
Title the next page SIDES
Title the next page DESERTS
and finally make a SNACK page (if you want)

Now it is time to put the wheels in motion. You have to write down EVERY dinner that MOST of the family will eat (excluding babies of course) and I mean EVERY dinner soup and sandwiches all the way up to Fillet Mignon.

You have to write down all the sides you ever put with dinners from rolls to veggies and even more complicated sides..

and obviously start jotting down favorite desserts, easy desserts and snacks.

If your family does not eat dessert often that is OK write them down anyway! (we don't eat dessert often in our house but having it down really helps in this process)

Once you feel comfortable with your LISTS ignore the second three and focus on the DINNERS for a while. Turn to a blank page and break them out into sections (beef, pork, chicken, fish, veggie, other)

Now that you have those separated by food type, devise a code (makers or crayons work well) I use colors -
RED = HARD (as in takes more than 30 min to get ready, requires a boat load of ingredients or simply the fam loves it but you hate to make it)

Blue = EASY

Black = SPLURGE (the meals you wont make often because of cost or time commitment)

Now - take a deep breath and wait till tomorrow night for the next step.

NOTE: you will need to think about the list of dinners for a while before you move on to seperating them by type (or you could roll as you go but you are more apt to forget meals that way) - you don't want to think of another one later that will really bum you out.

NOTE 2: if you want the list of "our" dinners here it is - my family is PICKY so our meal list is fairly boring but you mind find some inspiration!

REMEMBER - 2 more parts of this process are pending! Check back tomorrow night for Part 2.


Allison said...

I think this is gonna save me big time! Can't wait to see tomorrow's post and possibly get started!

The Blonde Duck said...

Those are really good tips!

Bonnie said...

Thank you for doing this post.. I've started organizing my recipes in a book so this should go along perfect. Good timing!

jen@odbt said...

This is a great start. Can't wait to read more as I am in serious need of dinner planning. Soccer season is coming up which means no time for "what's for dinner?" at 4pm.

Candi said...

Very interesting. Can't wait to hear more.

Kim H. said...

I so need to do this with you.

I often think of making my weeks meals on the weekend -- or like on Friday nights when I'm usually just home alone with the kids.

When my Mom was here she made a bunch of meals on the weekend for us to have the week after she left and it was WONDERFUL to not have to think about what to make -- let alone make it.

But I'm gonna keep coming back for tips and other meal ideas. :)

Amber said...

You are my inspiration with this post! I need to start organizing all my recipes and mealtimes.

The snow caught me off-guard, too!

Lindsay said...

oo some great ideas here. I have been doing meal planning for almost a year now. I do mine ever other week. I go the day we get paid its an easy way for me to stay consistent. I however browse through all of my cookbooks to the recipes I like.. I need to put them all one place based on type of food and all of that :-)

Courtney said...

I am already dizzy. is that a bad sign? however, it maybe the fever.

but I know as soon as I breathe normally again -- this is going to get me on track to be that domestic diva I want to be :)

you're the best!

Alicia said...

You lost me at 'get yourself a notebook' ~ any task that half-way resembles a school project is not gonna work for me. :o) Great idea, though.

jenjen said...

Great ideas Terra! I am hopeless at this. But I am going to try to get better about organizing our meals.

Thanks for the tips!


whoopsadasie said...

Wow...this was great! I hope that I can get to this after my surgery tomorrow!