November Habit #1 Menu Planning

Dear FlyLady,

This month I get to work on my other fails because menu planning became my mission at the beginning of the year and now I am a master.

I, too, used to stare at the fridge in the afternoon, frazzled and wondering what the heck I could pull together. Then I came across a handy tool in a magazine and never again. (If I am allowed to tout another source, it was Real Simple).

This simple sheet not only had a column for determining what I was going to cook that day but also columns for the sections in the grocery store so I could right now the ingredients I was going to need and be more organized while shopping. The only problem is that their’s was for the weekdays and I wanted weekends, too. So I made my own (borrowing their cute little icons).

Every week on Friday night or Saturday morning, I sit down and start thinking about what we will eat that week. I think of what items I already have (ground beef? chicken?), and I hit my favorite recipe websites to see what I am interested in trying. I try to get one new recipe a week, which makes Mommy feel like she is not always eating the same old thing. What makes it even easier is that I keep all of my old plans – the most recent are on the clipboard that goes with me to the grocery store, and the older ones in a file, so I can access previous successes and the ingredients they need. Also, since sometimes life throws a curve, any meals from the previous week that didn’t get used are automatically filled in on the new sheet.

I enjoy the process and am wayyyy more organized about it now. I simply keep the clipboard by the fridge so that I know what is coming up. My pulling frozens out ahead of time success rate has vastly improved! The other part  that makes it helpful is that I can always quick- print out a planner – if I come across a recipe I HAVE to try or have items I run out of that I need to pick up on the next run. I just jot a note at the bottom, and voila! I can forget it til the Saturday morning grocery run.

Just wanted to share some things that have definitely helped me tackle an old issue. Maybe they will help someone else. Now if only I could solve all of my other organizational problems!

Kelley in FL

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