Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weekly Menus Notebook

As I've blogged about before, here and here, I have a system for dealing with weekly shopping and cooking. Now I've improved it by gathering everything together in this little notebook. The problem was that although I had my weekly menus in my hard drive, to be printed as needed, and the recipes were semi-bundled in binder clips, it was still hard to find what I needed. Either stray recipes would migrate to the bottom of a pile of papers (grrr! paper piles make me mad!), or, even worse, I'd have a shopping list in front of me but not be able to locate the piece of paper that told me what recipes actually were in that week--so I'd have ingredients but be a little uncertain about what I was buying them for! This system really ups the convenience for me.
Here's what it is. Four pocket dividers are bound together with rings (there are eight pockets all together). Each pocket has the week's menu items written on it and contains that week's shopping list and fresh copies of all the recipes. Being able to find everything for any given week right at my fingertips saves lots of time and guesswork, plus, since there is a central location for each week's materials, I can make myself notes, like additional shopping list items, which recipes aren't working for us, or what I want to change next time. If I want to phase out a certain dish, the recipes are right there, so I know just which ingredients to cross off my shopping list. I'm finding it gives me a lot more flexibility in subbing out a certain dish, either for one time or permanently. This is really working for me and having less dinner stress makes me happy and gives me more time to interact with the children. Win-win, that's what I like.

7 comments:

littlegreen said...

wow. i mean seriously. me? I am just trying to start cooking. at all. I am horrible at just doing my own meal. now if it was just me I could just buy salad stuff once a week and be good for the whole week, but of course my love needs more than that. you are inspiring! i know I won't get that far anytime soon, buy you are inspiring none-the-less.
thanks

Gift of Green said...

I bow to you. I also bow to your table...it is so pretty! Made put a pot of coffee on and I'll be purchasing flowers at the Farmer's Market this weekend.

Sarah said...

I'm so impressed with your organization! I think I'm going to try this.

(I found your blog because I made the No Cash Wallet (from BTR Sewing) tonight and my cards don't fit. Argh! I was searching to see if anyone else had that problem.)

mom go green said...

i just found your blog (via goft of green) and am so excited. i love it! you are doing so many things i am striving/ wishing i was doing. but this- the menu organizer - is just amazing. i need to know more. actually, i need one. with your recipes and shopping lists, too. (i'm only half joking).
thanks!

Mommy D. said...

I found your blog via...I have no freaking clue, because I am the WORST kind of "surfer"! I THINK it was "Angry Chicken"! I agree with the above poster. You MUST share more...for us who completely STINK at our attempts to do the same! I have YET to find the resources out there to make it easier, and I just don't have that kind of brain! You're fabulous!

Erin said...

How inspiring! I'm so tired of deciding each night what to eat and trying to prepare it with a 2-year-old underfoot. Your idea is great.

Perhaps you could share your menus as a jumping off point??

kirsten said...

this is awesome, mary beth! we've been trying to come up with some sort of system. we tried a month menu canlendar - but that kind of fizzled. maybe we need two months!