Saturday, January 19, 2013

Meal Planning and Menu Board

I struggle with meal planning. Like, big time. When I know it's time to sit down and figure out next weeks menu/grocery list, I throw a mini tantrum inside my head. I'll spend hours (sometimes literally) pouring over recipe books, looking through my pinterest boards, and racking my brain trying to guess what we might be in the mood to eat 3-7 days from now.

Sometimes I even ask the kiddo and hubby what they might want. I'll get the usual responses- "Burgers" from both, or "Noodles" from the kiddo. (We eat gluten-free noodles which tend to be a bit pricey, so we don't eat them very often)

Cooking- Paleo Stuffin' (2)
Making Paleo Stuffing 

And more often that not, after carefully figuring it all out, I end up scrambling around at supper time anyway because no one wants what I have on the menu (or because I forgot to thaw the meat, or I just REALLY don't feel like cooking, or it's late and the meal will take too long, etc.). 

It's enough to give me (more) gray hair. 

So, I decided that instead of planning meals for each specific day, I will plan by meat category. I choose 3-4 meals, one from each of the following animals- beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood (not technically an animal, but you get the idea). 

Cooking- Paleo Stuffin'
Wow, this was fantastic! 

Each meal gets 2 veggie sides. Most of the time one of them is just a raw veggie tray, but sometimes I actually WANT to cook. Rare, but it happens. 

I don't cook every night, rather I cook 3-4 meals per week making sure to have leftovers for the other 3-4 days. 

Well, that's been the idea for the last few weeks. Sometimes I forget to cook with left overs in mind and I find myself, once again, scrambling a few nights a week to get something on the table for supper.  

In order to make things a bit easier (I hope), I created this menu board. 

Kitchen Menu Board by KaoticKrafter (12)

I have included the days of the week, but with the individual tags removable, I can easily switch the meals around. If we are not in the mood for Nuggets on Monday, we can have Burgers, etc. 

Old favorites- burgers, nuggets, pancakes, etc. will get a tag made now, but I will fill out other tags as we try new things.  If we didn't really care for it, no tag is made. If we liked it or loved it, we make out a tag then and there. 

On the front is the name of the meal or side, on the back is the cookbook or location of the recipe (website, etc.), as well as an ingredients list.

Kitchen Menu Board-meals-by KaoticKrafter (2) Kitchen Menu Board-meals-by KaoticKrafter

 Might as well make filling out the grocery list a bit easier, right?

Well, I plan to start using the menu board this week, so we will see how it goes! If anyone is interested in how I made this, head on over to my crafty site, KaoticKrafter, for a tutorial

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