Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Menu Planning System??

So I have been working through the October"Fall into Cooking" challenge that the ladies over at Happy to be at Home are doing as part of their End 08 Great Challenge. And I must say that I needed this challenge to help me get out my "cooking rut"!

Anyway, when they first introduced this month's challenge, Kate provided links to pdfs of a blank grocery list and monthly menu plan. I looked at them with great interest and wondered if I could use either of them instead of what I was using for my current system.

After looking at the grocery list in more depth, I realized that it would not be of benefit to me because I would have to be changing lots of different items on it. So I am keeping with using my current master grocery list.

However, the blank monthly menu plan really intrigued me, so I printed one off and thought to myself that this month I would work at developing a whole month's menu. Well, after about 5 days of the form sitting blank on my desk, I started my "quest" of filling out the monthly menu. I got one week done and then life happened and reality set in! Who was I kidding that I could do a monthly menu and actually stick to the whole thing when I have more than myself to think about when making a menu.

I wanted so desperately wanted to use this little form/sheet but it was looking like there was no hope! It really did look like it would work better in my "record keeping of meals" rather than trying to fill in a blank calendar and only have dinner meals recorded.

So I kept the form on my desk and thought some more as to how I could use the sheet while my planned meals for the week got moved around, or scratched or eaten.

Finally after taking some time to think, I have figured out what I am going to do with the sheet! I am going to leave it on my desk and use it as I figure out the week's menu. This way I have the previous week's meals on the same sheet and I can see what meals we had and what we didn't so far in a month's time so I can work at making a variety of meals rather than the same ol' thing week after week! If I find a new recipe to try I can plug it in on a day in the coming weeks right on the monthly menu sheet, so that the new recipe doesn't get forgotten!

So now instead of having several sheets of previous weekly menus, plus a master grocery list, plus my master menu suggestion lists(see left side bar for the lists), plus a list of "new recipes"'; I can have just this one sheet plus my freezer/pantry inventory sheet plus my blog opened to make my menus each week!

This should make for quicker and easier planning for me in the months ahead!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I think your system sounds great. I love that you are doing what works best for you. It took me a long time of trying out others methods before I was able to tweak individual plans into what really worked for me. I kind of think the trial and error system is fun, and I probably get a little too excited when I find one that clicks, but I'm not complaining!