Monday, February 20, 2012

Dinner Organizing

Now before anyone thinks I'm completely moronic for doing this, I am by nature a list maker.  I function much better if I have a list.  When I was 10 I used to plan out my outfits for months at a time, knowing just what I was going to wear 8 weeks from today.  Weeks before we go on vacation, I make lists of what we need to remember to bring and do and buy before we go, so as not to forget to bring or do anything.  I like to make lists.  I thrive with lists.  Maybe this explanation made me seem more moronic than if I hadn't made this disclaimer.  But I am much less stressed out when I have a list.  Maybe I'm just OCD.  
Growing up, my mother always planned the meals for the week before making a shopping list and going shopping.  So I've always done the same.  Some weeks it's more organized.  (like I know which dinner will be for which night.)  Other weeks I just have the meals we will have for the week and then decide from the list, which meal to make each night.  Either way, I dread it.  Tuesday night into Wednesday morning before I go shopping, I'm asking everyone what they want to have to eat that week.  No one knows (or everyone always says the same things) and so I end up thinking of things.  It's a huge pain that I dread every week.
No more!  While I've been sick I have organized my meal making so that we will have something different every night for 5 weeks and then repeat.  Now, I don't have 35 completely different meals, some things are similar.  Like pancakes, waffles and french toast (yes we like to eat breakfast for dinner) or spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini and lasagna.  Similar, but different enough, especially if I switch up the side dishes. (Note: I made sure that the similar meals weren't used in the same week)

So first I sat down and listed all the meals I could think of that we eat in our dinner rotation.  I scoured recipe books and my recipe boxes for reminders on things that we like, but have forgotten about.  I came up with 35 meals.   Then I labeled them as pasta dishes, meat dishes and soup.  Then I made a paper with 5 weeks Monday-Sunday listed and filled in all the meals.  Making sure to put the more time consuming meals on the weekends and the quicker easier ones on the nights I knew we were super busy and needed a quick meal.
I also tried to put meals that used similar items together, like hamburgers with spaghetti, so I could use the hamburger for the spaghetti sauce as well.  Or meals that we would eat rolls with on the same week.  That way there is little waste. And If I'm going to go to the trouble of making homemade rolls, I don't want them wasted.
Then I got on the computer and made up a table with 3 columns.
1) for the day of the week
2) The menu items
3) Shopping list.  For all the things I need to make each meal.

Now at the beginning of the week I hang up that weeks menu, and I have my shopping list all ready, and heck I even have my shopping list all ready for the next 5 weeks, so If I see something on sale, I can know when I will need that item and grab it.  Once we get to the end of the 5th week, we'll just start over again with week 1.  And we can always add more weeks or switch up the order of the weeks.
This is the idea anyways.  We will see how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. oh wow!!! great idea....nice to be organized and know what your making in advance!!!!