Sunday, August 4

Planning, Planning, Planning...

Now that I'm up and back on my feet after this pregnancy sickness, I've started cooking again.  The nice thing about not cooking, I've learned over the past 6 months, is that when you don't cook, you don't have to think about what you're not cooking.  No grocery lists (beyond bread, peanut butter and jelly), no menus, no recipes, no nothing.  I'd be lying if I said that wasn't nice.

Now that we're in the swing of things, turns out my family still needs to eat every day.  Who know that families were so high maintenance?  I've experimented with some menu planning systems, from dry erase calendars to a recipe holder with the days of the week on the front, but I just can't seem to find one that I like.  I think part of the problem was that I was over thinking it.  We eat about 15-20 different things in rotation.  If I had a way to keep track of what we'd eaten recently, an easy to read format, and a place to put all this nifty information, my Type A organizer brain would be happy.

Turns out that no where could I find such a thing.  There were some cute examples of menu boards on Pinterest, so I took inspiration from a few different ones and crafted my own.  A trip to Michael's, some super glue and one nap time later, I had myself an original menu planner board!

I used a poster frame (40% off!), two pieces of scrapbook paper, stick on letters, cute vintage clips and decorations from the scrapbooking section and some super glue.  The boxes on the bottom I made from an old box of checks.  The whole thing cost about $25, and took about an hour.  I still had time to write out some recipes before Chase woke up.  

The cards are color coded:
-pink for Pasta (penne and broccoli, etc), 
-purple for Family Favorites (chicken and sweet potatoes, etc), 
-green for International (Mexican, Chinese, etc), 
-blue for Soups, Sandwiches and Pizza,
-yellow for special things (take out, out to dinner, birthday meal, holiday, etc). 

The inside of the card lists the ingredients and the directions, ensuring that even if I'm hit by a bus tomorrow, my husband and kid can feed themselves for at least a week, until the food runs out.  

My new menu planner looks so cute in my new kitchen!  What sort of organizing tools have you created to fit your own system?

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