Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Menu Planning

Like a lot of other people in the country, we live on a tight budget.  But we make it work and we get little extras every now and again because we are cheap frugal.  Well, my husband is cheap.  I am frugal.

Our favourite way to save money is menu planning.  It really does save us a TON of money.  We buy the sale meat/bread and put it in the freezer so that we have a stockpile.  We buy canned goods/cereal/crackers when they are on sale (sometimes with coupons) and we have a small stockpile in the basement.  Sales.  We don't use a LOT of coupons, but we do shop where it's cheapest and where the sales are.  Up to this point, our menu board was a whiteboard with a small weekly calendar written on it. 

But I saw a new and exciting idea on Pinterest and just had to try it!  First, I wanted to colour code into breakfasts and suppers.  Lunches aren't important around here because we are working 5 of the 7 days and the days that I won't be working (weekends and holidays) we will simply have leftovers for lunch instead of for supper.  Lunches need to be quick anyways because we always seem to be busy in the middle of the day.  So I measured the space on the bulletin board and cut our papers to write my recipe ideas on.

Next was the most time consuming part of this task.  I went through MOST (I left out the Company's Coming books) of our cookbooks and wrote down the NAMES of the recipes and the cookbook/page number.  I had three different piles going on.  One for suppers that we have already tried, one for breakfasts that we had already tried and one for new recipes that looked good enough to try.  After the cookbooks, I moved onto my Recipe Pinterest Board

At this point in the project, I decided I wanted more organization with the meals, because my husband is always saying, "we have ___ to use" or "nope, out of ___".  I didn't want to re-write all those recipes again, so I got some envelopes.  Each envelope was labeled and recipe cards were put in.  This was where my daughter helped me out. 

Once the recipe cards were done, I pulled out the glue gun and glued all of the clothespins onto the bulletin board. 

This was such a fun project, I can't wait to start using it!  I think the thing that surprised me the most was that we are always struggling with what to make for the week.  Grilled cheese again?  Soup?  Sandwiches?  But when I looked through my cook books, I was amazed by the number of recipes that we had tried and enjoyed and just never made again because I hadn't remembered.  Hopefully this will help having those names in front of me and we can have a more diverse supper experience!

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