Monday, January 24, 2011

My Meal Planner

I have been intending to make myself a smaller meal planner for weeks now, so today was the day I decided to get it done. I try to put together a month of dinners at a time. I have a larger size that is in my Home Notebook, but I am finding that it isn't convenient for me to use, so of course, it doesn't get used. I am hoping that this smaller size will be used more often and thus help me in my home organization. Now I can see what was planned for dinner the morning of and take out anything that needs to be thawed. For the last few months that I haven't been meal planning, dinners have been sporadic and sometimes dismal. I can put together a list of ingredients needed for the week and have everything bought and available.

So here is the little planner. It is very simple. I wanted it to contain a list of the usual meals I make and the 12 months of the year. I left the months to a basic 5 week grid calendar. You can write it the dates and the meals. Since I wanted to be used year after year, this format was the easiest.

Supplies Needed:
     Printout, a long reach stapler, bone folder (optional)

Step One: Print out the planner. I made available my planner here. It uses 8 pages, front and back. It will look like it is messed up, but once you have printed it out and folded it, it will come together. I manually do the double sided printing on my printer since I don't like how my printer messes up every time using the automatic feature. Know your printer.

Step Two: Fold all the pages in half. I do this with them all together, but you can do this one at a time. A bone folder is helpful to use to get the crisp fold. Mine went walkabout, so I just used a pen.

Step Three: Staple on the fold.  I like making booklets, so I invested in a long reach stapler. You can probably get this done at a Print shop or bind it using bookmaking techniques.

Step Four: Use your new Planner. I am going to decorate mine at a later date. I like to get all the dates inputted and highlight special dates such as birthdays, anniversarys, and holidays. I thought about using sticky notes with the usual dinners I make, but I like to look back to see what we had and put something new into the mix to keep from getting bored with the same meals.

Well there it is, I hope you like it. I like to use pencil so I can change my mind. I don't hold hard and fast to my meal plan because things have a way of changing suddenly, but at least I have all the ingredients for a meal of some sort. Often, I haven't used any of the meals I planned, but I was able to make another simpler meal with the available ingredients. I try to have simple meals along with some more elaborate. Sometimes I see a recipe that I'd like to try, so I pencil it in on a day that usually is laid back so I have some time to work out kinks.  How do you get your dinners done?

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