Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting organised....





One simple and  practical idea that we (the Mothers) all liked at camp last week was that although we cooked all the meals everyday the menu was all planned for us along with all the required food stocked in the pantry/fridges/freezers. We all thought wouldn't that feel great to be so organised like this at home. So on Sunday morning I took 2 recipe books off my shelf, sat in the sun on our deck and wrote out a menu for this week along with a grocery shopping list.  As you can see in the above photo I have a wee 'library' of recipe books collected over the years. I have 2 recipe journals to write down recipe's in and one journal specifically for storing those recipes ripped out of magazines. The added benefit of writing out a menu each week is that I will actually use recipes from each book rather than them gathering dust. I love trying out new recipes hence my large collection of books. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there that has recipe books that are seldom used though. Oh and to be completely honest here that shelf does not house all my recipe book collection. I have another 1/2 dozen recipe books on another shelf, because they are just too big to fit up there with the others and also not forgetting my small collection of "Donna Hay" magazines which I have stopped buying now.

 It really does take that pressure off throughout the day knowing exactly what's for dinner. Narrowing it down to 2 books each week makes it easier to choose 6 recipes for dinner, lunch ideas for the girls and my weekly baking. In case you're wondering my husband does actually cook and is a good cook. When his workload is not so demanding he cooks a few times a week but at the moment it's down to a roast on Saturday night. 
My girls are also enjoying having the menu on the fridge and knowing what's for dinner each night. No more "What's for dinner?" questions although 2 of the meals this week have stretched to do 2 nights which led to disappointed cries of "What about Thursday's 'Pork patties with fresh plum sauce'?? I like it when a meal lasts 2 nights though as it gives me a night off cooking :-)
So is anyone else this organised when it comes to family meals? Do you have a large collection of recipe books but only use a couple of favourite books?

9 comments:

Lis said...

I used to do this when I was at work, it was such a relief to come in, exhausted, and not have to think up a tasty meal as the decision was already made (it certainly cut down on the number of jacket potatoes we ate!) I think I might start doing it again in an attempt to introduce new recipes into my repertoire. Thanks x

KarenV said...

Good for you for getting organised!

My DH and I started meal planning in earnest last year (after a couple of half-hearted attempts) and it's made such a difference. No more "what do you want for dinner?" "Dunno, what do you fancy eating?" conversations at 6.30 in the evenings (or later, depending on what time DH walks in through the door). It's so nice to have the list on the fridge at the start of the week and know that we don't have to make a decision every night.

We don't have a huge stack of cookbooks but a while back we went through them all and made a note of the recipes we liked or wanted to try and then made a master list, arranged by type of meal (lunch/dinner, etc) and type of food (lamb, chicken, veggie, fish). Now, when we meal plan, we pull out the list, which we find easier than hauling all the books out of the cupboard.

Michelle said...

I do this sometimes... and then I fall back into my old ways, Lol I have a friend who does this all the time and she says it actually helps as she doesn't buy any food that may end up being wasted.
I have a whole row of cookbooks too, but tend to use most of them at different times... my most used book is an Alison Holst one and it is falling apart!

Katy Cameron said...

Oh, you're going to hate me, but I've been doing this since uni! I plan out my meals a month at a time, so I can hit the supermarket twice - first hit does fresh food and any tins/dried goods like tinned tomatoes, beans etc, and the second hit is much smaller, and only fresh stuff. It saved me a fortune at the supermarket knowing exactly what I needed to buy without getting distracted by offers etc It's not just dinner I plan though, it's breakfast and lunch too (yep, I know, you hate me lol)

Michele Pacey said...

Wow can't believe that comment from Katy. Amazing! We are not this organized at all Catherine. Picking a meal is a day by day event at our house. I can imagine that it would save a ton of time and money if we did it this way... Good for you for being so organized. I think it's a fabulous idea!

XUE said...

Try to but definitely not this organised at all ! And ... I am coming over for dinner ! PS : my handwriting is pretty similiar to yours !!!

Second Chance Tan said...

Oooooo yes this is just like me! (Katy you and I would get along so well!) I have a chalk board in the kitchen and each week the 'meal list' is done, and then I go to the local market and buy all the fresh veg and fruit and cheese etc that we need. Once a month I have a huge on line shop delivered with all the store cupboard essentials and heavy items that I can't drag back from our village with two children in tow. It's a great idea, and means that I only buy what I need (and sometimes Mark will come in from work and look at the chalk board and cook what is listed for dinner!) x

Leslie said...

i meal plan and keep my menus on the fridge so that i remember that there is something to make....i am terrible at dinner time.

Karen said...

I have always sort of shopped knowing what I was going to eat for the week. i really don't like grocery shopping and only go once a week. We tend to save more labour intensive stuff for the weekend. Sometimes if we plan it well we will have leftovers from Saturday and Sunday which means then Monday & Tuesday nights are covered. Nice. Otherwise during the week its meat & veg or salad.
We have a 'few' recipe books. My favourites are a few old ones put out by Family Circle and Jamie Oliver's 'Ministry of Food'.

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