Thursday, June 4, 2009

Menu Board Revisited and LOVED!

A few months ago I picked up a few wall charts. I blogged about possible uses for the charts and I am still using one of those ideas. I thought I would show a few more details about my menu board and how I use it.

The menu board is working really well for me. I like that it is big, dead center, and hard to miss. Planning and actually cooking what I plan has become a lot easier. When it gets to be 3 or 4 o'clock and dinner starts to weigh heavily on my mind, I can look at my board and feel relief knowing what is on hand for dinner. All I have to do is throw it together, all the brain work has already been done.

I have created for myself a little menu planning station. I have a maganet clip on the fridge with my printed grocery list along with a magnetic basket to hold a pen, dry erase marker, and my menu cards. You can print off a copy of my check-what-you-need grocery list and/or save it on your computer and customize it for yourself (which is what I did with a list I found online).

I'm a sale shopper so I keep tabs on what's on sale in grocery ads for the week and they greatly influence what I'm cooking. I can go through my menu cards and pick out the meals that use the ingredients I know are on sale. It is so much easier to do this with the cards in hand then trying to dig through all the recipes or do it mentally. If I decide to do a paticular dinner I circle what ingredients I need to buy, make a note on my grocery list, and put the card up on my board. Some meals I generally always have the ingredients for and others I will have to complete with my shopping. By circling the needed ingredients I can remind myself at a glance whether I have the ingredients yet or not depending on which day I actually make it to the store (always an iffy thing depending on whether I have the car and what mood myself and my children are in).

Also on the cards I can make note of what leftovers are in the fridge so Josh knows what is availible for lunches.

For those recipes I decide to try that are new or haven't yet been solidified into my regular cycle of meals, I simply write them in with the dry erase marker on the back of an existing card.

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