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.