Monday, May 17, 2010

A few months ago I worked full time for a  few months and with that I needed to find a way  to be more organized for meal time. I guess in some ways I am a little more old fashioned. While I do really enjoy going out to eat even that gets old too.

A friend on a forum that I am a member of once said she kept menus in a binder and used that to help be organized for meals and grocery shopping.  so as i thought about what to do to be more organized I came up with a version that would work for me. I am not rigid about following this but it does save a lot of time and alleviates the "what's for supper" stress.

Ok, here we go. The first thing I did was get out some index cards and then just think of some of the meals we normally eat-- nothing new and nothing fancy. I did this for 20 meals.

On the fronts of the index card I wrote the meal and on the back of the card I wrote the ingredient list. Not nearly as hard as it may sound because ,remember , these are things we have eaten over and over and over. I also wanted to do grocery shopping every 2 weeks instead of weekly.

Here are a couple of examples:

Before grocery shopping I look through the cards and pick out 10 cards. I use these to make my list. I keep the cards in a zip lock baggie hanging on the fridge. In the mornings I can get out a card for the supper meal and know that I have the ingredients and if need be start to thaw the meat.

While this may sound time consuming it really isn't-- it is  a big time saver. I can made my grocery list in 10 minutes for 2 weeks of food.

This may or may not work for anyone else but  it saves me a little time that I can use for fun things. And of course nothing is ever written in stone-- we may eat out  or we may have something not on the cards.

If anyone has another method tha tworks for them I would love to hear about it. I am always up for a timesaver.

til later


Ellie Inspired said...

Awesome idea Judy! Thanks! I try to do my grocery shopping once a month because if I can stay out of the stores, I save a lot more money. :) I make a list of about 20 meals on a piece of paper and if I need a recipe for it, I just write next to it what cookbook it is in. Then throughout the month, I just look down my list and see what I'm in the mood for that night and I know that I have the ingredients on hand to make it. I always put an asterisk next to the things that should be made first because the ingredients may spoil if left for the end of the month.

But, I like your notecard idea because then you don't have to constantly be making new lists each month. Thanks! I'm going to try that.

Sara said...

What a great idea!!! I struggle with mealtime every night. (I don't really like to cook, but hate the planning even more) I think this is an idea I could really make work!!!

Judy said...

Laura, great job on shopping monthly. I hate grocery shopping and at least one week I don't need to now. I also save money this way too.I hadn't thougth about putting cookbook references on the cards. thanks

Sara, I don't mind cooking as much as the shopping and decision on what to cook. This really helps with both.

Karen said...

Great idea! I am going to try this as soon as school gets out. I need to carve out more 'me' time somewhere!

Alecia said...

Really smart and easy to do idea. Mind if I share this in a blog post-would like my family members to see this post - I do menu planning by flipping through my cookbooks and my core handwritten recipes gathered for years- seems so much easier to make that list by looking on the back of the menu card. thanks a bunch

Judy said...

Thanks Karen and Alecia.

Alecia, I would be happy for you to share this idea on your blog. I will be watching for ideas or additions anyone might add.

I'm thinking of adding more cards to my collection.

marilyn said...

Great idea Judy!!! I hate cooking and always do the same old same old. But I do shop almost everyday because I hate frozen meat and I'm more of a steak tip, american chop suey, beef stew and salad kind of gal so pretty much everything I eat is fresh but I'm always running out of staples so this would be a great idea!!