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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's For Dinner?

Today I am sitting at my table with a stack of recipe books and some of our favorite recipes printed out from Pinterest to tackle a BIG part of my job that has been a mess since way before I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago. To be totally honest...meal planning has not been a regular routine for me since probably before Matthew was born. (yes, that would be about six years!)

I had an awesome system for a long time that worked well for us. It was so long ago now that I had forgotten how much stress it took out of meal planning and grocery shopping. That isn't even mentioning pantry and freezer management. It helps there too. I have been searching high and low online for all kinds of organization tips and have printed out a few things for my menu too.

It was when I got together with a friend to rant and rave about "how I used to do my menues" that I realized I already have a plan, I just need to update it and execute! (I am such a distracted indivitual sometimes!) There are so many things out there on the internet that I get paralyzed and forget that I am a very capable person. I have a college degree, I have been a successful secretary, administrative assistant and teacher, and I can trust myself in my home where I am in charge. 

I ranted and raved as I showed the print out of my plan. Then I thought to myself "why in the world haven't I been using this?" I guess I am a glutton for punishment. Today is the day. I am pouring through my recipes, plugging them into my full proof menu plan and releasing myself from the stress of trying to figure out on a daily basis what's for dinner!

My plan consists of a four week schedule of our favorite meals listed on the first page. After that there is a page devoted to each week with a detailed shopping list including all of the ingredients needed for those meals. There is also a secondary list embedded down in the footer of each list with the pantry items and spices that are needed so I can be sure each week that I have what we need in the pantry. Then, under each section of the shopping list I put blank lines for anything else we may need for lunches or special meals for that week.

I am trying to work on a fill in version that I can do on the computer that would be easy to change out menu items because lets face it, there are times we just get tired of eating some of the dishes and want to try out different ones! I also have alternate items depending on the season. For example, my summer menus have grilling items and my winter menus have soups and stews.

Don't ask me why I have been sitting on this gem for so long when it has been a tried and true tool in the past. No more delay...updating today!

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