Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Meal Planning Experiment

Earlier this week, when I was thinking about meal planning and looking for new ideas, I came across a super cute homemade menu planner.  (For those of you who don't know me well yet, I am a huge sucker for cute, unnecessary things.)  Even though a plain old scrap of paper has been working just fine for me to plan my meals with, this cute idea made me want it.  (Remember - sucker for cute stuff)  So, I downloaded a free file.  But, as is my nature, I couldn't just use it as is.  It had owls on it.  Owls?  Yes, owls.  I am not a fan of owls.

However, being the creative genius and master time waster that I am (heavy sarcasm should be inflected here), I decided to "edit" the planner to remove the owls.  This was after I attempted to start from scratch and make my own version. (as my kids would say - epic fail)  The edit was much more successful and I did manage to remove the owl and leaves, leaving a cute meal planner with only a heart and flower.  Now what?  It seems like such a cute planner should have a purpose beyond just scratching out what I may or may not actually cook this week.

I started thinking (dangerous thing) and came up with a plan.  I have a cookbook where I put all the recipes I've collected over the years and it's getting pretty ugly.  By that, I mean that it's falling apart and it's really grossly dirty from being spilled on so many times.  (did I mention that I am not the neatest cook?)  I've been wanting to get a new one, but haven't found "the right one" yet.  What if I used my new cute, but unnecessary, meal planner as the beginning of my new family cookbook?  (Does this mean the planner is now useful instead of unnecessary?)

Here's what I plan to do:  I found a 3 ring binder in our "school supply" closet that wasn't being used.  I printed the front and back covers of the planner and slid them into the front and back covers of the binder.  Then I added divided tabs and labeled them with recipe book headings like "main meals, side dishes, breads" etc.  Each week I will make my menu plan as usual (except I will use my cute new planning sheets) and then after I actually make the meals I plan, I will add them to the new family cookbook.  If I work on this for at least the next few months, I should have a nice collection of our favorite recipes all in one place.  The internet and cook books are great, but if we've had it before, I hate having to remember where the recipe is located.  Plus, by using the meal planning sheets and keeping them in the first section of the binder, I can easily remember what we've been eating lately.  This should come in handy when I'm stumped for new ideas or when I can't remember how old the frozen chili is because I forgot to put a date on the container.  (as if I would ever do such a thing.....)

So there you have it, my meal planning experiment project.  I think it may actually inspire me to stick to my meal plans for a while.  Just in case you are interested, here is an image of the cute planner I'll be using.  If you, like me, enjoy cute but unnecessary things, please let me know and I can send you a copy of the planner.

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled upon your post and am happy to see that you enjoyed my planner. However my site DOES state not to alter my free printables in any way. I would appreciate if you would put a link to my planner in this post since it is my work that you altered). (I would have emailed this but did not see a contact button on your site). My Owl planner is available for download here: http://www.733blog.com/2010/09/another-freebie-from-closed-shop.html