Sunday, February 8, 2015

Meal Planning System

I'd like to think that we are organized.  I know my husband is for the most part.  He has three notebooks with recipes in.  One is for desserts, one is for meats and main courses and the other is soups and salads.   He also has my pantry cataloged so we know what we have and which shelf it is on.  I am the fly in his ointment.  When I am making a meal I like knowing if we have something, but then I don't always cross it off the list.  I have learned not to put away some things after grocery shopping until it gets put on the list.

Recently I found out that we are far from organized compared to our daughter.  She is the master. She has all the kid toys in bins which are labeled.  The legos in one bin, trucks in another and on and on. They have a toy room and one wall is devoted to the bins.  Her laminator and her label maker are her best friend.

She shared with me her system for making meals and grocery shopping.  She has a big stack of laminated cards.  On each card is written a main course meal.  She has over a hundred different meals.  Every week her family chooses which meals they would like that week.  It looks like she chose green for chicken meals, red for beef, orange for pork, light blue for soup etc.  I see she also wrote where she can find the recipe.  On each card she wrote recipe box or the name of the cookbook or website.

On the back of each card is the list of ingredients it takes to make the recipe.

From here she makes her grocery list.  She may have some of the ingredients on hand, so everything doesn't have to go on the list.  For example, if black beans were on sale in the past and she bought four cans, then they don't go on the list.  She cuts coupons for the good buys she knows she will need in the future.  When the list is completed, she arranges it according to the map of the store or stores.  It streamlines the buying process.  This seems like a lot of work to set up, but when it is done it saves hours of time not to mention being able to feed her family real food.  Very seldom do they eat out.  In the morning, she knows before going to work what they will have for dinner (or supper as some of us say).  If it requires the crockpot, then in it goes.  Her favorite appliance is the pressure cooker as it is mine.  You can cook a whole meal faster than take out.  I am pretty impressed with her system although any of you who know Heather will not be surprised.

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