I am slowly *but surely* working routine into our daily lives. No more fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants days for us! ...not that days like that aren't fun, but I have noticed that this past year, we are sorely lacking in the day to day order of things, and it's taken it's toll. When it came to dinner, for example, this past year has been more of last minute scramble than a well thought out meal. So, that was the first area I wanted to get sorted out. Nutrition and proper eating habits are so crucial to a child's well being.
The problem with information these days for me is one of information overload. When I started to look for ideas on how to get started I was overwhelmed with ideas and sites about the subject. It was enough to send me in search of the nearest paper bag to quell my anxiety. So, I sat back, relaxed, had a glass of wine, (chocolate wine - can you believe they make chocolate wine!) and thought about what I would need, realistically, to get me going. Simpicity was the idea I wanted to keep in mind. I have a tendency to over-do in the idea category and wind up creating obstacles for myself instead of making life easier.
So, I figured: 1) I wanted one shopping day, not 2, 3....5 because I wasn't sure what was for dinner and had to run out to play find-the-missing-ingredient.
2) I wanted an easy way to find recipes, I didn't want to sift thru endless cookbooks or websites in order to plan meals.
3) I needed a place to write a menu and keep recipes I find handy and accesible.
Sooo, here is what I came up with about 2 months ago, and so far it has been a success!
(with shopping list to the left)
Right next to the fridge is where the ideas come from for dinners:
I have found that I LOVE those little impulse-buy cook books from Walmart, Target, Shoprite, etc. First of all, they have tear out pages with the recipe ingredients on the back. I browse through a book, find a recipe I want and write down the ingredients on my magnetic shopping list. I even put a magnet on a pen to save me from having to find one. :) After I tear out the recipe card, I clip it to the menu board for easy access when it's time to make that dinner. When finished, I file the card in my cute little recipe box that I keep next to my cookbook basket.
This has been the easiest method for me. I plan my menu on Sunday by browsing through the cookbooks. I try to find things I can get more than one meal out of for that week, but it doens't always work that way. As I choose the recipe, I write the indredients on my shopping list. Shopping day is Monday which helps create stress free week when it comes to meal planning!
My family really likes the board and they add their input now. We even have a 1-5 rating scale that Josh started so I know what meals my family loves! (including side dishes!)