Saturday, September 3, 2011

Project organization: menus

As the kids head back to school I am ready to get serious about organizing my life. 
Organization isn't really my strong point but I am determined to have my weak things become my strengths...

Here's something I've been trying for a month or so now--

I write our menu on the front of the fridge where everyone can see what's coming up and I can plan ahead before it is 5 pm and everyone is starving.
I love the   Crayola dry erase crayons.  They come in lots of colors and the writing doesn't just brush off if someone bumps the fridge.  They wipe off really easily with water.  Awesome.

Before I can actually write the meals down I have to plan them.  I hate thinking of things to eat.  Isn't thinking of meals the worst?

To begin making things easier I went to my favorite food planning site at food storage made

The site has lots of interesting food storage ideas but my favorite is the excel spreadsheet.  It is programmed to calculate how much food is needed to have a one or three month storage of regular meals that we eat all the time.
I love it.
I went in and put in all the meals I could think of right off the top of my head and I had 30 meals before I knew it.  I change some meals according to the seasons {in the summer we grill pizza outside...} but I still use pretty much the same ingredients.

I took the list of meals from  the spreadsheet and printed them off on the computer and stuck them to some cute paper...

Whoever is helping me with dinner for the week can choose from the pile of meals and I know I have the ingredients for that meal.
Some meals are in more than once--we eat pizza at least twice a month so I entered pizza twice in the meal planner spreadsheet and I put two pizza strips in the pile.  When we finish the pile then we can start over and I know I need to stock up on another month of food.

So far it works really well.  I especially like having the plan in front of me so I can remember to get the chicken out of the freezer ahead of time.  

Okay really---we don't always eat all the meals like I plan. Sometimes I just don't get it all done so I have a few easy meals in the freezer. 

Sometimes I bring home roasted chicken when I go to the store.  Actually we are a two chicken family these days and I suspect we are well on the way to becoming a three chicken family...
Sometimes I buy pizza instead of making it {we are now a three pizza family too!}.

Sometimes we just eat eggs and toast.
I tell myself that when I don't have a baby nursing 6-8 times a day I will have more time but I know it's not true.  I never have more time.  Something always comes up. 

But having a plan always helps! 

Next up in my organization plan--school stuff.


Juli said...

I love your idea of writing the menu on the fridge. You told me about it and we have been using it lately. The girls love to "embellish" my menu with art.

sariah said...

I like this idea! I am terrible at planning meals! They happen waaaay to often, don't you think? :-)

zombie_kitty5 said...

My Gran used to have a menu just like this (sans crayons). She would make her menu, then make her grocery list according to the menu. It was marvelous!

I am planning on doing this, or at least trying this, when we get into a house.
You rock!