Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Method for Meal Planning

It seems like everyone has a method for meal planning these days. My two least favorite jobs are shopping and cooking. I find cooking stressful. I figured out what I hate about cooking; having to plan a meal, find the ingredients, and put it all together. Yes, the whole thing. I don't have the time or energy to make up a new menu every week. So, I came up with this...

First, I made a list of all the meals that I can cook. It was a short list. 

Then I bought a pack of  multicolored index cards. I color coded the meals; red for beef, yellow for chicken, green for vegetarian, and purple for pork or ham, and you can do blue for sea food. I don't eat sea food but we have blue cards that I use for easy meals like nuggets and fries.

I wrote out the name of each dish along with a list of the ingredients to the meals on the index cards. 
These are not recipe cards. They are little shopping lists.

I cut off the ends of a spaghetti box and covered them to make card holders. One holds my possible meals and another holds my shopping list.

Before I go to the store, I pull out my cards and check for all the ingredients on the list. Whatever I don't have, gets added to my shopping list. BTW, HERE is the shopping list I use. Then I stick it in the, "meals" box. 

When it is dinner time, I go to the, "meals" box.. I can pull out whatever meal I am in the mood for and then pull out all the ingredients from the list and I am ready to cook. 

When the meal is done, I stick my card in the, "shopping list" box. Then I know I have to check to be sure I have all the ingredients before I make it again. It has helped keep me a bit more organized. Right now, I need all the help I can get.

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