Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday (on Tuesday) 9/6/11

I'll be linking up to I'm An Organizing Junkie, if it is not too late.

This is my third consecutive week to plan menus. This plan is kinda wimpy. I didn't want to do it at all, but I really want to make this a habit.

{Report from last week: I had four dinners and Sunday lunch planned. I made two of the dinners exactly as planned and one needed some improvising. It was a new recipe that I didn't read carefully. One dinner was moved to this week. We did have the Sunday lunch. Why I feel compelled to clarify all that, I don't know, except that I try to keep it real.}

Tuesday: Frito Pie with salad (recipe from HEB)

Wednesday: Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna (from Finding Joy in my Kitchen)

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese from Food.com.

Friday: Homemade Pizza with Salad

Saturday: Greek Stuffed Peppers with Greek Salad (got these recipes from my newspaper a long time ago, but here it is on Martha Stewart).

Sunday After Church Lunch: Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Green Salad

I also hope to make this week:
Classic Bran Muffins (didn't get done last week)
Greek Pasta Salad (for snacking)
Millionaire Pie (didn't make last week; for dessert one night).
and maybe some Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have teenagers, you see. Hungry teenagers.

I am also evaluating my method of planning. I'm just not sure about Say Mmm. I want to like it. But it seems like it is taking me too long to get the hang of it. I also wonder....what if it is not successful? Will all my work inputting recipes and grocery items be for nothing?

In many ways, I am still a pen-and-paper planner. What appealed to me the most was that grocery list, but maybe writing a grocery list out each week isn't that hard?

I found these excel templates for menu planning. One even generates a grocery list! Pretty handy. I downloaded them and I may play around with them a bit.

The other option is one I tried a while ago, after I had put most of my recipes in page protectors and then into binders. One binder is dinner recipes, another is all the rest.

My plan was to pull recipes and move behind tabs. I was hoping to plan for four weeks, so I had "Week 1," "Week 2" and so on. That didn't work for me, so I recently changed the tabs to things like "Pasta," "Beans," "Chicken" and so on.

Planning a week at a time is plenty. So I will just pull the recipes to the front of the binder and then refile in the proper section next week. If I put them to the back of their section, then the recipes I have not made will be near the front of the section when I look through the dinner recipe binder for ideas next week.

I also need to organize pantry and make a grocery list of the staples we keep on hand.

But now, I just need to get through this day and dinner on the table this evening!

By the way, I would love to know how others plan their menus and generate their grocery list. Please comment if you want to share!


Cooking with Cristin said...

i use pen and paper in my notebook i always have near the couch to menu plan and make a grocery list. i do know what is in the freezer and pantry most of the time but i am looking for a nice sheet to print out to keep track so i can plan meals easier. i love to menu plan. i try to make meals out of whats in the pantry and freezer but im not as stocked up this month so i have to stock up when the good sales come along
I would love if you stopped by my blog
Here is a link to my Menu Plan
Have a great week:)

Leah said...

Making meals out of what is in your pantry is a great idea. I'm not there right now because my kids are so tired of what we normally cook. Menu planning is forcing me to try some new things, but that means buying things we don't normally buy.

There is a cool cookbook called the Stocked Kitchen. They give you a pantry list that you use to keep stocked. Then you can cook anything in the cookbook. Pretty cool idea. Eliminates those recipes that use an odd ingredient that you only use for one recipe.

Thanks so much for commenting. I looked at your blog and tried to leave a comment but I couldn't for some reason. I'll stop by again!