Friday, September 18, 2009

Menu Plannin', Betty Style

I found it necessary to find an effective way to plan my evening meals. I remember watching a local talk show that boasted a system that well, seemed do-able. So off I went. Tweekin’ it here and there, until it was my own.

All in all, it seems to work well. Well enough that I thought I would share it here. What do you think? You don’t have to use it. Just nod your head in agreement, I won’t know the difference anyways.

So here goes:

You will need:
a healthy stack of 3x5 cards
something to keep your cards in
a calendar

Print each of your ‘staple’ recipes on the 3x5 cards. One recipe per card.

Lay them out, while referencing your calendar and decide which meals you want to have on which days. Voila. A menu for days, weeks, or months in advance.

It was originally suggested that you write the date on the actual card (with the recipe) and, simply toss the card after you had used it. I personally don’t have the time (or energy –THANK YOU VERY MUCH) to create new cards every two weeks. So I reuse my cards. Simply placing them in the order they are to be used. I usually will take a blank card, writing the dates and what the meals are for that date/time, and place it in the front of my menu cards. That way if they get dropped or shuffled, it’s not a big deal.

Also, if you are like me and sometimes (read: OFTEN), have help in the kitchen… Which means, a little assistance in what to pair with our main dish is sometimes needed. The last time I updated my cards, I included side dish ideas AND the recipe. It looks similar to this:

Meal: Meat Loaf
Side Dish: Garlic Potatoes
Vegetable: Green Beans
Recipe :

1 envelope onion soup mix
2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 C bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/3 C ketchup
3/4 C water (if needed)

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.

Bake 350°F for about one hour in 9x13 pan, or about 40 minutes in muffin tins for individual servings.

This ensures that everything is in one easy to find places...recipe and all. For us 'all things, Kitchen challenged'. This also makes it easy for me to make my grocery list. I simply thumb through the cards, making note of the items I need to complete the recipes.

*Be sure to include the appropriate amount of cards that read:
DINNER OUT or PIZZA NIGHT (Whichever applies)

How do you make sure your family gets fed?


Martha said...

I really like this system and I will give this a try, thanks, B.Sue.
Hmm, how does my family get fed???
Barely and not very well somedays.
I am getting in the routine of doubling up my meals for example roasting a chicken for dinner and then using leftovers for tacos, casserole, etc. for the next night.

Leavitt's said...

I just write a menu on a piece of paper and hang it on the fridge for 2 weeks at a time. Usually I don't use recipes, so I never write them down.

blueviolet said...

What a great idea! You are so smart!!!!

I agree that throwing away the cards is ridiculous!