Monday, November 14, 2011

Meal Planning: Trying to Find What Works

      Currently, I am not in a Food Co-Op, which is a sort of tragedy in my life.  I loved my different food co-ops, but I understand that it is not always to be, and so, I have been forced to really figure out meals in our little world, without them being delivered twice a week by friends.  Also, we have concluded that we have been eating out more than we should, and I want to be a better steward with our finances.  More reasons to figure out meal planning.  Which led me to Pinterest, which led me to what I am about to show you.  None of this was my idea - I saw it on Pinterest first, from the blog Controlling My Chaos and thought - that is what I need.  Here's mine.


I ordered the vinyl through the site she commissioned to make it, Thoughts in Vinyl.  I got it, and I put it up on my refrigerator.  I should have used a level and made it perfectly straight.  I didn't.  Don't be like me - make yours straight.  I followed the instructions that were included with the vinyl about how to make the little squares in Microsoft Word.  It was really easy.


I took them to CFA to laminate them, but you could easily take it to Office Depot or somewhere like that.  I made a bunch of extra squares, which you can see in this picture hanging out underneath the actual calendar.  I plan on getting a manilla envelope to magnetize to the side of the fridge to keep the extras in when they are not in use.  I also made little "Week Of" Magnets, so I would know what weeks were being planned.  I got wet erase markers to write on these with.

Picnik collage

So far, about 5 days in, I am really pleased with this system.  I will keep you posted on how it fares in our lives.  It allows me to plan for many different scenarios and to know what options we have available and what I need to shop for.  Our schedule needs to be flexible, because things come up, and it is nice to be able to move stuff around easily.  I can plan several weeks out at a time, and then use stuff up better.  For example, we had Crab Omelettes (loosely inspired by this friend's omelettes, as in, the idea to make omelettes at all).  I had leftover crab that will be put on grilled cheeses this week (not real crab, of course, but what we like to call "crab with a K" or "K-rab".)  And, I know which stuff to use from our freezer and when.  I think I am going to do a whole separate post on the freezer - I cleaned it out last week and am in the process of getting it all organized so I will not have meat in there from 2009.  True gross story.
      I think figuring out what to put on the squares was the hardest part.  I tend to make a lot of different things and have a lot of variety, and I wanted to be able to do that.  I also wanted to be able to write sides on to squares for certain meals - like when we are having people over, so I know what to get or make.  I even left some squares completely blank, so I could just write on them.  I only made 3 "Out to Eat" squares, in an attempt to eat out only once a week for dinner, but I did make some "Eating With:" squares, so we could plan to meet others out to eat as well.  I don't count us eating at CFA as eating out, since we don't exactly have to pay for it there.
      That is that.  This weekend was very low-key.  John ran 22 miles on Saturday in preparation for his marathon - I am in awe.  We had a great date night last night and ate at the Red Door - their BBQ Shrimp and Grits are amazing, and we had their Fruit Crisp with Cinnamon Ice Cream which was dessert perfection.  And we saw Moneyball, which we really loved.  So nice to have a night out without little friends - but so nice to come home and find them each tucked soundly into their beds, both sleeping with their little bottoms in the air.  ♥


the osbornes said...

so many things to say about this post:
1) LOVE that and am currently really mad that my fridge isn't magnetic. Weird.
2) We have Omelette Wednesday every week at our house. Best idea I've ever had. I don't even consider it cooking.
3) If you ever get another dinner co-op together, I'm in. We live close.
4) Love Red Door.
I think that's all :)

Kristin Murdock said...

Beautiful! And I think I need to bring you dinner some night so that you can use the "friend bringing over diner" square regularly. :)

I am in total agreement about Moneyball and its awesomeness. Loved it.